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Ace & The Sandman/Jamie Principle – House Of Trax Vol 3 review

Does Jamie Principle get the recognition he deserves? In short, no. The man essentially paved the way for two generations of producers from Chicago with “Your Love”, now seen as the blueprint for the genre. Officially released in 1986, it had a lasting impact on the Chicago club scene long before that, with Jamie handing a tape recording to Warehouse DJ Frankie Knuckles in ‘84. “I thought he was a millionaire in Europe somewhere, I didn’t know he was a kid in his bedroom somewhere,” reflects Marshall Jefferson on Principle. “That shit was bumpin,” adds Derrick May.

Two years after the release of “Your Love” came “Bad Boy” (“Baby Wants To Ride” was sandwiched in between), which preceded an extended spell in the shadows for Principle. Here we see this hidden gem get a reissue from Dutch imprint Rush Hour, who have clearly made it their mission in life to dig out and repress all manner of rarities from the Windy City.  It’s the unreleased mix that makes for the most fascinating listening, a totally sleazy cut that sounds as if it’s been ripped from the same shoddy vinyl as Trax pressed it on all those years ago. And, in a weird way, that’s part of the charm: Jamie’s sultry moans of “well you make call me a queer, you may call me a freak” are all but lost in a haze of jacking 808s and synths which are deftly manoeuvred to create a melody that sounds as startlingly fresh and catchy as it did 20 years ago. The unreleased version is accompanied by the cleaner original, with a longer intro and better sound quality making it more suitable for club plays.

Also appearing is Principle’s “It’s A Cold World”, first released by Atlantic in 1989, which sees Jamie’s falsetto singing voice backed by analogue bassline and a mono synth line that excels because of its simplicity. It’s essentially house noir – a moody and intense piece of music. Alongside these three sits “Let Your Body Talk”, a relatively unknown effort from Ace & The Sandman. It’s comprised of shuffling synth melodies, tumbling piano lines and smooth vocals lifted from of Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Chicago house textbook – unsurprising for a production team who, under their Virgo moniker, produced one of the most respected EPs in the history of house music (also reissued by RH earlier this year).

Review: Aaron Coultate