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After The Paradise Garage – The Lost Era in NYC

July 10, 2013
Cover of "Lost Era in NYC"

Cover of Lost Era in NYC

Some time in 2012, I came across a compilation of Bobby Konders tracks that had been released on DJ Hell’s Gigolo label back in 2002. What intrigued me most was the album’s title – A Lost Era in NYC 1987 – 1992.

At first, this made no sense to me at all. As a teenager I’d get the train in to Liverpool to hang around at the legendary 3Beat Records – it was wall to wall Strictly Rhythm, Eightball and Nervous 12 inches. House music from New York City, literally all over the shop.

But then I realised: this was probably about 1992/1993 – the end of Bobby’s “Lost” era. I was 9 in 1987 with no older brothers or sisters to learn about music from. In the years since I’d got to know plenty about Chicago and Detroit’s music from back then, but I had to admit New York was a bit of a grey area.

My next thought was “hang on, what about Garage?”. Every House DJ in the UK was belting out Adeva and Ce Ce Peniston at the end of the 80s and it had been sampled to death for decades since. But I also knew this was more of a New Jersey thing – lots of big vocals, the sound of Tony Humphries at the Zanzibar. Bobby Konders’ music was very different to what we used to call Garage – much deeper, dubbier, more experimental. This was something I needed to look into…

So, for a year or so now I’ve been utterly consumed by my search for music from this “lost era” in New York. It turns out that Bobby was referring specifically to the clubs in New York at that time, but what I also found was a NYC Deep House music goldmine that I had previously known very little about. The more I looked into it, the more amazing music and fascinating stories I started to find.

Seemed a waste to leave it all stuck in my head, so here you go – it all begins in September 1987 with the closing of the Paradise Garage…

From → Intro

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