Music 101 | Loveslap | Soul Foundation | Wax Addict
Brian Gardner may have discovered his passion for DJing by accident, but his success is far from accidental. As a veteran of the Chicago House music scene for more than 15 years, Gardner has emerged as a versatile DJ and producer who manipulates everything from soulful, jazzy jack to the harder beats of industrial and techno. More recently, Gardner has stepped into the role as one of the booking directors for Chicago’s Music-101.com, where he brings in an array of top-tier House talent while promoting the underground vibrancy that makes the city’s house scene glow.
Gardner’s love for underground House stems back to his childhood days in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. While the “Hot Mix 5” DJs on the historic WBMX 102.7 dial sparked his passion for the music, it was involvement in the rave scene of the early 1990’s that first introduced him to the full spectrum of underground, electronic sound. When some friends asked if he could look after a set of turntables for them in 1993, Gardner saw it as an open call to experiment with beat matching and mixing. With his friends never reclaiming the tables, he delved deeper into his newfound passion, buying records and playing numerous house parties across the city.
In the mid 1990s, Gardner elevated his underground status by joining the ranks of Chicago’s Soul Foundation Kollective, where he and fellow House cohorts including Traxx, Jevon Jackson, Frique, Brenda D and John Simmons created an electronic blueprint of house music history. The legendary Soul Foundation parties allowed Gardner to step into his own as both a performer on the decks and promoter of the events. In 1998, he took on the role of House buyer of Chicago’s Hot Jams records while earning playing time at premiere underground venues including Smart Bar, Boom Boom Room and Mad Bar, to name a few. His success on and behind the scenes landed him the position as manager and house buyer for WAXaddict records in 2002.
“Acid, deep, jackin’, old school-I’m not limiting myself to any one genre of House,” Gardner says. More recently, his style has taken him the route of “deep boompty house,” which are slower beats characterized by big vocals. “I’m not interested in putting people to sleep,” he says of his performance style. “Good music is just good music.”
Gardner releases his first nationally distributed C.D. in fall 2007 on the San Francisco-based Loveslap! Recordings label. The mix C.D. features his mix of the label’s back-catalogued cuts.
“You always have to recreate yourself-you can’t get stuck in your niche,” Gardner says of his evolving career. “It’s an exciting time for House music in Chicago.” This information was provided by music-101.com.
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Super Secret Makeout Party @ Kinetic Playground (06-29-2008)