"122 BPM: The Birth of House Music"
Like many micro-genres that become movements, the descriptor of "house music" has lost a lot of its meaning. Today, kids at raves take it to mean almost any kind of four-on-the-floor dance tune built with synthesized instruments. But the now-omnipresent genre came from a specific time, place and culture, and the lovingly assembled "122 BPM: The Birth of House Music" should help clear the air.
Over three CDs, this compilation and album-length mixtape from Still Music's Jerome Derradji tells of the invention of a new dance music template -- one forged in the Chicago black middle class by kids influenced by the '80s New Wave movement. Compiled from the vaults of Mitchbal and Chicago Connection records (a father-and-son label combo at the center of the genre's birth and inspired by Berry Gordy), it's both an expertly curated historical document and a total party record.