Various Only 4 U: The Sound of Cajmere & Cajual Records

VariousOnly 4 U: The Sound of Cajmere & Cajual Records
In 1992, when Chicago house music pioneers Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson were moving on, and the late Ron Hardy had retired to that great DJ booth in the sky, 24-year-old Curtis Jones (aka Cajmere) revived the windy city's dormant scene with the gritty, back-to-basics pump of "Percolator." Armed only with a $60 keyboard, drum machine, four-track recorder and a love for the uncompromising sounds of early Chicago house, Jones's Cajual imprint inaugurated the 20 years of deep house charted on the two discs of Only 4 U. Though not as revolutionary as obvious influences Jefferson or Farley Jackmaster Funk, Only 4 U makes a case for Cajmere and Cajual as the most artistically consistent artist/producer/ label of the second wave of Chicago House. There isn't a weak cut, but his collaborations with the glorious Dajae on classics "Brighter Days" and "Day By Day," and Jones's green haired electro-punk alter ego, Green Velvet, production of Jamie Principal's "LaLaLaLaLa (Inside My Mind)" are seminal touchstones of soulful house. An informative essay by DJ historian Bill Brewster puts the importance of Cajmere & Cajual into proper context, and is the icing on the cake of this indispensable release. (Strut)