It’s 31 degrees in Chicago and some motherfucker is going on about Ibiza. Forty nine people were shot this weekend and if it’s all the same to you, I don’t want to pretend that this is okay, that we can just listen to the surf and the beats and the bottle service and wash all our cares away, dude. Because what’s important isn’t some trendy new supper club or the bullshit passed off as Balearica, and all the rest that’s just another dose of soma in a world that’s permanently stoned on it.
DJ Gene Hunt lives in Chicago and at the moment I’m shivering in 31 degrees and reading a bloody after-incident report, he’s shivering and reading it too. “Chicago”, as a term in dance music, has become meaningless. It no longer refers to people who live here, people who once lived here or people who have even been here. Scan any download shop or record crate and you’ll see Chicago Chicago Chicago and it’s disgusting, because while you’re doing Jesus Christ Poses in Ibiza with your “dope ass classic Chicago vibes”, the people of the city are once again left to stir over the embers and fend for themselves. Gene Hunt still lives here, Cajmere still lives here, Paul Johnson still lives here, Fiasco still lives here, Chez Damier still lives here, plenty of people still live here and the torch they’re carrying means more to me than all of the Ibiza mixes and Ibiza galleries and Ibiza festivals – more than you could possibly imagine. This city makes you hard but it also gives you an absolute intolerance for bullshit and that’s the thing you can’t fake.
Rush Hour has taken a number of Midwest House purveyors and introduced them to the world, and two of them are Mr. Hunt and Theo Parrish, the latter present on remix duties. As frequently happens when he’s making non-vocal tracks, Gene makes a return to his more atmospheric, techy roots. You can’t get more “Chicago” than this: even the synth riff, which certainly sounds inspiring, has a cock-eyed, disjointed feel to it and gives way to some absolutely malignant boogie-woogie. This shit is in unapologetically ill and carries Gene’s DNA in every beat. The thing about a Gene Hunt set is he DJs like his hair is on fire: you have no idea where it’s going to go and he doesn’t either. The whole thing could fall apart and for a few moments it sounds like it might, but it never does. He makes music the same way: when working with a talented vocalist, he fades into the background but here, it’s all Gene, unadulterated and raw.