The label Still Music, led by Jerome Derradji, is preparing the release of “122 BPM: The Birth of House Music”, a compilation that (as indicated by the title) seeks to document the roots of house music in Chicago. To do so, it reclaims the jewels of the catalogues of labels Chicago Connection Records and Mitchbal; headed by Vince Lawrence and his father Nemiah Mitchell Jr., respectively. The releases of both platforms starting in the early 80s turned out to be key in the transition between the ashes of disco music and the then-embryonic house sound. Mitchbal was responsible for the release of the Z-Factor’s legendary “Fantasy” (Lawrence’s own project), the seed that would become Jesse Saunders’ “On and On”, commonly considered to be the first house release in history. As a consequence, on this occasion, the title of the compilation is richly deserved.
The release will arrive both as a double record and a triple CD, both with extensive liner notes and many photographs gathered with the aid of Nemiah Mitchell Jr. and Vince Lawrence themselves. A real first-hand testimony to the birth of an era.