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Wild Pitch

July 27, 2013

On the theme of clubs, the 10 page booklet that came with my Bobby Konders: Lost Era In New York 1987 – 1992 CD also highlighted another party that had a big impact on New York’s house scene during the “Lost Era” after the Paradise Garage closed:

“…for five long years, Deep House was homeless.  Homeless but not gone.  In the underground, offside from big clubs, in tiny holes and secret locations that were only known to the initiated, the contemplative sound found a temporary refuge in now mythical parties.  The most important of them was called Wild Pitch.”

1990 FLYER USA NEW YORK WILD PITCHUntil recently, this was pretty much all I could find about Wild Pitch – that was until May this year, when some of the members of the deephousepage.com forum started this fascinating thread: Some of that House Nation/Wild Pitch back room shit.  What starts as a list of youtube videos for great soul, funk and disco tunes soon turns into an absolute goldmine – some of the guys that actually ran the party reminiscing about how Wild Pitch got started.  As forum member “House” recalls:

“Tim (1) and I had known each other through a mutual friend (LB Bad, The Prince of Dance Music)…  I met Greg (2) because we were doing a gig in the same room on the same night as suggested by the rooms owner… I had a shit load of equipment and paired it with this other kids set…  My involvement was always as a money guy and a sound system guy (I always had both) However, I came at this from a Hiphop mentality…  As I was never the best mixer or MC of the bunch, I took it on myself to do other things (anything) in order to make a dope event. Additionally, I had a very large sound system (like doing a float in the West Indian parade large) so cats would come to me a lot with gig ideas.”

1990 FLYER USA NEW YORK WILD PITCHTim (1) is Timmy Richardson (AKA The Other Timmy or TOT so as not to be confused with The Shelter’s Timmy Regisford) and Greg (2) is Greg Daye – more heroes of the NYC Underground House movement.  As with Richard Vasquez’s house parties when The Choice started, these guys (with a host of others) weren’t going to let the closing of the Paradise Garage stop the party.

Wild Pitch was a melting pot of New York music, bringing reggae and hip hop into mix alongside the Deep House and classic funk and disco sounds.  As with The Choice, they had New York’s finest DJs playing such as David Camacho, TOT, DJ Disciple and Kenny Carpenter, as well as superstars like Lil Louis Vega, François K, David Morales – the list goes on and on.  To quote the lost era booklet however “one DJ…epitomises more than any other the massive sounds and the unique spirit of the Wild Pitch parties: Brooklyn’s Bobby Konders:

“Five or six in the morning you’re smoking a nice blunt and them headz has hit that tune and they kill the music and the lights are dark.  You know, you into what homeboy is sayin and then the music slowly comes.  It’s that type of vibe.  That’s my type of house music.”

From Wild Pitch there are connections to every important DJ and producer in the New York scene, developing its sound away from the spotlight.  The Deep House sounds of Wild Pitch and other NYC clubs would become underground club hits worldwide, released on NYC record labels like Nu Groove, Fourth Floor, Big Beat and Strictly Rhythm.  Controversially, Chicago’s DJ Pierre would even appropriate the name for a series of “Wild Pitch” mixes, despite him and his music having very little (if anything) to do with the Wild Pitch parties themselves.  Ultimately however, this was music by New York for New York.  Anyway – the full story of Wild Pitch is still to be told by the guys that were actually there and when they do, I’ll be all over it!

From → Clubs, DJs

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