Chrissy: Chicago Re-boot

The name Christopher Landis Shively may not be particularly well known on the House scene – but at Traxsource, we believe that under his latest pseudonym Chrissy, he is about to become very well known indeed. We get the info from Chrissy on his new releases on Freerange and Classic, and on his love affair with obscure disco sub-genres.

One of the residents at Chicago’s notorious Smart Bar (alongside Derrick Carter and the Black Madonna), DJ and Producer Chrissy has a long history in dance music. His DJ career began in the mid-90s and he became a prime mover in the Bass Music / Footwork scene, recording as Chrissy Murderbot. Chrissy then went on to run the successful Sleazetone Recordings and currently runs The Nite Owl Dinner with Alex Burkat. He has recently had releases on Razor ’N’ Tape, Hypercolour and La Mission, among others. However, it’s because of a couple of strong forthcoming releases on Freerange and Classic that we think Chrissy’s name is about to be on everyone’s lips.

Starting the new year with a pair of releases on two of the most-respected deep house labels is a pretty nice score for any producer – how does Chrissy feel about it?

“Feeling really excited for the upcoming releases! Both of them are house EPs anchored around vocal tunes with singers I really love. I’m really influenced by the song structures of disco and R&B, and I think that really shows on these records; they’re music that I think works in a club but also as standalone songs in their own right.”

He’s correct: ’Growl,’ the title cut on his 5 Track Freerange EP, is a precisely structured slab of futuristic, bass-heavy dance floor tackle that delivers a superb song. It also comes in a stripped down dub version for the heads along with two other originals from Chrissy and a tasty Savile re-rub too. ‘Growl’ is out now whilst on 5th February, the Classic Music Company unleash Chrissy’s irresistibly hooky ‘Join Me’ EP. Aside from the big vocals of the title track, the EP also features a superb down-tempo Rahaan Re-Edit and Chrissy’s piano stormer ’Get It’.

The disco influence is in evidence, particularly on ‘Join Me’ – it’s a sound that never seems to get old and that is open to constant creative reinterpretation. Chrissy has drawn upon his impressive vinyl collection of obscure disco/boogie cuts from around the world in returning to House music production and is particularly a fan of, as he says: “secret stuff from Quebec or Belgium or The Netherlands that I don’t hear many other people playing.” The “inventiveness and synth programming of Montreal disco and SF Hi-NRG” is another influence, along with a love of most forms of underground electronic music, ranging from Jungle to Soca. It all goes into the mix and comes out fresh for the dance floor, wrapped up in saturated 909 hats, Chicago style.

Speaking of the windy city, as resident DJ at one of the top underground venues in Chicago, Chrissy is well placed to comment on the House scene. We wondered how the Smart Bar residency was going and what kind of shape the Chicago scene was in:

“I’ve been doing a residency at Smart Bar for a little over a year now, and I really love it. It’s hands down the best club in America: great programming and a really close-knit familial vibe. I think the Chicago house scene is having a real renaissance lately – lots of great producers popping up at the moment, bringing a real diversity of ideas and of walks of life to the local scene”.

Whilst he’s not exactly a new-comer, we would include Chrissy’s new deep house excursions as part of that Chicago renaissance. His disco-fied take on house is a sound that’s really working right now – so look out for Chrissy’s new deep house releases in the next couple of weeks:

• The ‘Growl’ EP, is available now from Traxsource HERE and his ‘Join Me’ EP on Classic Music Company just landed on the site HERE.