- Two years ago, there was a petition to get a cartoon cock etched on a sidewalk in London listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. To those who know Dance Mania for the dick-swinging ghetto tech pushed by the likes of DJ Funk, the idea of packaging the Chicago label's music into plush retrospectives might seem similarly absurd. But as Strut's past compilations have shown, the artists Dance Mania discovered during the '80s and '90s—many of whom passed through label owner Ray Barney's record store—cranked out much more than just foul-mouthed dance tracks. Indeed, on this follow-up to last year's Hardcore Traxx collection, it's only DJ Funk's "Bitches!!" that's likely to make you blush.
The previously mentioned petition claimed the concrete cock fulfilled UNESCO's criteria of being "exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared." Something similar could be said about Dance Mania. The label's booty bass sound has long thrived in the Midwest and has stomped throughout the sets of countless European DJs over the years. But it's had a new shot in the arm recently, with Nina Kraviz regularly dropping tracks like DJ Deeon's "The Freaks," Boys Noize compiling a Dance Mania tribute album and Jackmaster devoting a night of his XOYO residency to the label. Plus, there's the ongoing ascendancy of its bastard offspring, footwork. Like producers such as Traxman and Chrissy Murderbot, Dance Mania artists were happy to smash and grab influences from other genres and squeeze them into their pumped-up beats, whether that's the soulful vocals on Tyree's "Nuthin Wrong," the electro bleeps of Steve Poindexter's "Computer Madness" or the shameless rip-off of Joey Beltram's "Energy Flash" that is Paul Johnson's "Ecstasy."
Of course, taking this stuff too seriously is about as silly as the rubber mallet sound that thwacks throughout DJ Rush's "The Reactor." Tracks like Jammin Gerald's "Pump On The Floor" bypass the brain to home right in on that booty they keep banging on about. In fact, with all the constant demands to "work it!," Ghetto Madness can begin to feel like some kind of rave aerobics class. But far from being a soundtrack to healthy living, the Dance Mania is all about the buzz of the dance floor, and Ghetto Madness is full of filthy fun to get your blood pumping.
01. Jammin Gerald - Pump That Shit Up
02. DJ Deeon - The Freaks
03. DJ Deeon - 1112
04. Steve Poindexter - Computer Madness
05. Darien - Hit It
06. DJ Rush - The Reactor
07. Wax Master Maurice - Bounce That Body
08. Tyree - Nuthin' Wrong
09. Jammin’ Gerald - Pump On The Floor
10. Paul Johnson - Give Me Ecstasy
11. Parris Mitchell - Ghetto Booty
12. DJ Milton - House-O-Matics
13. DJ Funk - Computer Sex
14. DJ Funk - Bitches
15. Houz' Mon - The Groove