Note: The 5 Magazine DJ Series was a monthly CD series released in a limited edition from March 2007 to November 2008. We featured mixes from legends such as Frankie Knuckles, Gene Hunt and Terry Hunter to the next generation of hard-working Chicago House Music heroes, distributed for free on CD in the Chicago area.
It would take a couple of pages to cover Elbert Phillips’ accomplishments and his devotion to the DJ craft. He came of age on the burgeoning Chicago House Music scene in the 1980s, and remembers educating himself for years on the art of the turntable. “The first time I got paid to play was in 1990 at this reggae club across the street from the Riviera. We rented it out, and the first night went great. The next week, they wanted more money. I went on right after Ron Carroll that night. About an hour into my playing… they cut the power off! [laughs] It was a case of ‘Cut us in or cut it out.'”
Elbert Phillips: 5 Magazine DJ Series
From these beginnings, Elbert would blaze a trail, his DJing taking him from Chicago (Sound Bar, Sonotheque, Zentra, Transit) to New York (Bang The Party Brooklyn/ Manhattan, 2i’s, Glass) and then the world (the Monkey Club in Paris and countless others). After being chosen to play at a birthday party for Frankie Knuckles in 2002, Elbert would be given the honored privilege to open for Frankie at public and private gigs over the next four years.
“Musically, I aspire to reach people – more than rockin’ the dancefloor, which is of course important, but to really reach people. With these mixes, there’s so much great music that I feel good about right now that one CD wasn’t going to suffice. I think there’s something for everybody here – things I received on CDR, some older selections from my collection that need to be heard… I wanted to give people a taste of what it’s like to be in my house when I’m playing music for myself or a friend. Hopefully the people will enjoy it too.”