Where to begin with this? “HM” might not mean much to you, but it’s the latest moniker being used by none other than Harold Matthews – better known in Chicago House lore as “Big Ed.” If you pride yourself on a record collection, go leaf through it now – the chances are pretty solid you’ve got a record in there written by, co-produced or performed by Big Ed, and it’s probably a pretty damn good record, too. You heard of a little ditty called “I Get Lifted”? That was co-written by Louie Vega, Barbara Tucker, Ron Carroll and our guy, Big Ed. Dajae’s “B With U” is another. He also had a spin with the well-worn alias Blak Beat Niks, who made some great releases in Large Records’ vinyl days, all the way up to “Free To Be Free” which I remember writing about when Tony Humphries released it in 2009.
Lately Big Ed’s collaborations seem to often include Sean McCabe and Joey Negro’s Z Records, but this one appears to be all his own. “Hold Tight” is too eclectic to show the influence of anyone else but Ed – it’s House, it’s Soulful House, but bears the stamp of perhaps the best of ’70s funk in both the style of the vocal hook and the various twinkles and clangs of bells and cymbals.