With tastes shifting away from pastiches of 80s Chicago house in favor of early-90s garage house styles, the time is right to re-evaluate the catalog of Curtis Jones (as Cajmere and later Green Velvet) and his Cajual Records imprint. While Jones and Cajual — as well as sub-label Relief Records — were instrumental in bringing about the second wave of Chicago house (along with the Prescription crew), it feels like a lot house fans nowadays tend to overlook this period with the exception of “Percolator” or perhaps “Brighter Days.” Only 4 U, a forthcoming double CD/LP collection by !K7’s Strut imprint, aims to provide a fuller perspective on this period through the lens of Cajual. Not only does it bring together Cajmere classics, it reminds listeners of the contributions of Glenn Underground, Gemini, Andre Harris, and more, and showcases remixes by Chez Damier & Ron Trent, Maurice Fulton & DJ Spen (through a Basement Boys remix), Louie Vega, and Danny Tenaglia. But this week’s download is a mix of Cajmere’s 1992 track “Chit Chat,” one which took Lil’ Louis’ conversational approach to vocals and injects a flirtatious tone — one echoed by the rising keys progression and warm, taut bass line. While Jones would take his music in dozens of innovative directions after this, it’s a great reminder of the role he played in the sound currently being lionized and copied.
Cajmere, “Chit Chat” (Clubhouse Remix)