Rahaan – Edits Vol 1 Review

In underground disco circles, US crate digger Rahaan Young is considered something of an unsung hero. A formidable DJ and talented producer, the Windy City veteran has forged a reputation as one of Chicago’s finest underground exports – a hero to house heads who like their beats deep, their parties eclectic and their disco authentically crackly and upbeat.

Yet for all his DJ skills, it’s for his re-edits that Rahaan is most celebrated. Thanks to releases on KAT Records, Past Due, Jiscomusic and Stilove4music – the most recent of which dropped earlier this month – the Chicago resident is widely regarded as a fearless re-editor with a penchant for the weird, wonderful and little known. Crucially, he’s also sympathetic to his (usually obscure) source material – something that can’t be said for many 21st century scalpel fiends.

If you’ve yet to check Rahaan’s edit output, this lovingly packaged Edits Volume One double CD release from fledgling London imprint Spacemachine Recordings is an excellent starting point. It gathers together a selection of his finest edits to date – all fresh from his bulging hard drive. Additionally, there’s also a mixed CD, where Rahaan showcases his impressive DJ skills in an action-packed hour of sumptuous disco fun.

It’s the unmixed disc that is the real selling point, and with good reason. The 12 tracks span a range of moods and tempos, from string-laden slow burners and crackly disco-funk gems to horn-laden stompers and unashamed hands-in-the-air slammers. Most satisfyingly, there’s little in the way of 21st century studio trickery or digital wizardry – just high quality original grooves, subtly tweaked for contemporary dancefloors.

Matt Anniss