Glenn Underground

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Glenn Underground is one of the deepest of the deep house producers, following Larry Heard’s classic Chicago tracks with his own earthy grooves, more closely aligned to the spiritual tones of disco than even contemporary house music. In fact, his bootleg remix of the prototype disco single — Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” with production by Giorgio Moroder — is virtually a necessity in the crates of house DJs. The head Underground has recorded for nu-school Chicago label Cajual/Relief (as GU) plus Europeans like Peacefrog, DJAX-Up-Beats, SSR, and Guidance. He often watched his uncle’s band practice while growing up in Chicago, and began playing with the group’s keyboard, a Fender Rhodes. He began DJing and also started producing tracks on tape as early as 1991 to mix in at his gigs. One of the first was a cut-up version of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” which exploded in Chicago’s clubland and impressed Cajual Records label-head Cajmere enough to begin releasing Underground’s tracks. The label eventually issued more than a dozen GU singles and EPs during 1995-1996, even while Underground recorded several singles and his first full-length, 1996′s Atmosfear, for the British Peacefrog label. His 1997 Secrets of CVO EP for Guidance expanded his ’70s influences with clean minimalist fusion-funk; the track “House of Blues” even featured a solo by guitarist Stevie Israel. The collection The Jerusalem EP's appeared on Peacefrog that same year, with a great variety of sounds from Detroit techno to deep funk and house. Underground had already debuted his collective the Strictly Jaz Unit with longtime friends Boo Williams, Brian Harden, Tim Harper, and Cei-Bei; the group released the LP Future Parables for London’s Defender Records. An Underground solo release, A Story of Deepness, followed in 1999. Underground and Williams also run Strictly Jaz Productions. ~ John Bush