Riding Chicago house's second wave with the edits specialist.
Jamie Watson came of age in a golden era of Chicago music history. Growing up in a milieu of house parties, school dances, street DJs and roller rinks, he was immersed in house music before the genre was codified into a specifically electronic texture. For Watson and his generation, house was the mix of new wave, punk, EBM, funk and soul blended by the likes of Andre Hatchett, Ron Hardy and Lil Louis, who Watson spent nights studying in clubs like Medusa's and the Music Box. Soon he had his own mobile DJ company and was helping shape Chicago house's second wave.
As a DJ and producer, Watson continues this tradition to the present day. The conception of house as a space where genres collide is typified by his edits, of which he's something of a specialist. He described last year's edits compilation A Taste Of Chicago as the "true unspoken sound of my city" and representative of a "whole hidden movement," suitably joining the dots between the likes of Calendar's '70s New Jersey funk and the Chicago house architects who shaped the sound of his youth. In conversation with Heléna Star, Watson shares his first-hand account of a dynamic cultural moment that still fuels his reason for being decades later.
Photo credit: Emmanuel Love