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Jon Convex – Pop That P review

Given that every other part of the Chicago story is being replayed and retold by an army of willing new school producers, it is only logical that the final part of house music’s back-story is brought back to life. There are many reasons why ghetto doesn’t benefit from the same kind of eulogies as Larry Heard or Ron Hardy, but it has a lot to do with its tawdry subject matter and the fact that many of its main proponents are, without sounding unkind, sketchy characters.

However, there are signs that it is gaining support and credence: DJ Funk is touring again and Jackmaster included a few ghetto house tracks on his Fabric mix. It also helps that producers like Jon Convex, one half of Instra:mental, has decided to try his hand at it. “Pop That P”, which this writer assumes is a reference to a lady’s private parts, features a monotonous vocal repeating the track title. It stops short of the kind of lyrical filth that a ghetto maestro like Funk is capable of, yet its bassline is more distorted and its rhythm looser and more rolling than the original sound. It’s ironic that the advent of digital production technology has allowed Convex the possibility to make the arrangement more freeform and the low end more gnarly.

“Your Mind (Or Mine)?” is even more interesting as it sees Convex dispense with the obvious or understated obscenities – the vocals are relegated to a mere muffle – and deploy an equally distorted, murky bass. However, instead of the trademark kettle drums, he uses a shuffling electro 808. This adds a new dimension to the sound and suggests that in the same way as Larry Heard and Virgo Four have enjoyed a rebirth, the time might be right for Chicago’s rawest sound to be re-awoken.

Richard Brophy