Set the Fire

Boo Williams

It’s been said that the second generation of Chicago House artists such as Glenn Underground, Cajmere or Boo Williams have often been overlooked. The rich history & influence of 90’s house appeared to have been respectfully archived to keep the legacy & origins of Warehouse & 80’s Chicago/NY House warm & relevant for the new generation of listeners.
However with the archival power of Discogs & Soundcloud growing exponentially, combined with boutique web historians, their respective platforms have allowed forgotten EPs, aliases & labels to surface & cement 90’s Chicago House as an integral part of music history.

If you read any interview or ever get the chance to chat with Boo Williams, without question he will mention Glenn Underground (real name Glenn Crocker). There are countless stories involving the early days of partying in Chicago at nights hosted by Lil Louis or watching Ron Hardy, who heavily influenced Williams, control the room at Music Box.

“… one day Steve Poindexter told me “your buddy Glenn makes really good music”. So one night I was DJing at Power House and Glenn said, “here play this track I made.” So I put it right in my altracks tape deck with a pitch control on it and as soon as I mixed it in people went crazy.”

According to Williams, it was Glenn who expanded his production knowledge during their sessions at Glenn’s studio & together with Brian Harden, Dae Dae, Tim Harper, Vick Lavender they formed Strictly Jaz Unit, which now acts solely as a label run by Boo & Glenn.

“I didn’t know how to make music but I had one drum machine it was a Yamaha RX7 that I would make drum traxs off, and so Glenn had seen a little talent in me. After that I would go over his house almost everyday until night fall to work on music “

Like all of Boo’s aliases (Willie Snickers, Mandrake, Soul Survivors et al.) Moon Man was an outlet to create & explore different visions of his own music.
“… you’re showing people that you can be diverse, you ain’t just one way & that it’s more than one particular sound going straight ahead”

“One day Glenn was working on a track with the Yamaha keyboard and he made this sound that was amazing so he had to run to the store to get ‘some’ and when he went to the store I started playing around with what he created on the Yamaha and I made ‘Mortal Trance’ in 15 minutes then saved it on a floppy disk, so when Glenn got back he never knew I made it! This track did real good for me and is still doing good and there’s that little bit of history behind it.”

BUY  The Soul Survivors – Ease Your Mind EP
BUY  Moon Man – Lucky Star Ship EP
BUY  Boo Williams Presents – Strictly Jaz Unit EP
BUY  Boo Williams – Home Town Chicago LP

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One thought on “Set the Fire

  1. regarding Mortal Trance, that’s a pretty sneaky story… “Glenn… [had] made this sound that was amazing… when he went to the store I started playing around with what he created on the Yamaha and I made ‘Mortal Trance’ in 15 minutes then saved it on a floppy disk, so when Glenn got back he never knew I made it!…”

    presumably, he’s referring to the bubbling lead part?

    hmmm… pinching someone’s sound isn’t a nice thing to do. on the upside, the world has ‘Mortal Trance’

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