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Gene “Bluejean” Hughes

September 5, 2013

It turns out that a lot of the records I’ve found during this hunt through New York’s house history where written or produced by some very familiar people. More often than not, when trawling through record after record for something I really love, I’ve found that the best tracks have been written or produced by someone I already knew about. I have to admit it can be a bit of a let down – you’re hoping you’ve discovered some hidden gem that no one else has heard of, then you find out it was written by the C&C Music Factory guys and edited by Danny Krivit. Ah well…

Once in a while someone new does turn up though and this post is about one of those guys – Gene “Bluejean” Hughes. I first came across Bluejean while searching through the endless lists of Strictly Rhythm records being sold for about 50p each on Discogs. As I’ve said before, when I started buying records as a 17 year old Strictly was, frankly, rubbish. I picked up the odd track, but I could never square the fact that Strictly records had been so prominent in a record shop with the reputation of Liverpool’s 3Beat ever since I’d first visited in 1993. As I started working through the early releases however, I started to find stuff I actually really liked – tracks like Logic – The Final Frontier (despite being a Larry Heard rip off…), Total Capacity – Ambience and Chapter 1 – Unleash The Groove.

When the baseline on Unleash The Groove kicked in, I couldn’t believe I was listening to a Strictly Rhythm record – it couldn’t be any further away from the happy clappy nonsense I was used to from the mid 90s. It made a bit more sense when I checked out who Chapter 1 was – Damon Wild I knew from his Techno output on Synewave (he played at the T-Funkshun night I was involved with in Liverpool back in 2004), but Gene “Bluejean” Hughes was a completely new name to me.

The internet and in particular, Youtube user RJJNY came to my rescuse – I soon found Richard’s playlist of Gene’s classic tracks:

Sadly, I also found from Richard’s comments that Gene had passed away following a hit and run accident just a couple of years ago. I’ve been able to find out very little else about this incredibly talented and seemingly underappreciated producer, so I’m hoping that by sharing this music I might find out more – if anyone can point me in the direction of more information that I can share, please let me know. In the meantime, here’s some more of his amazing music:

From → Artists, Labels

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