Keep it Cajual: 10 Chicago house gems from the Cajual records vault





Braxton Holmes
Braxton’s Funky Disco Midgets
(Cajual, 1995)

Braxton’s first release for Cajual is an atmospheric three-track record that sounds like a Detroit-Chicago crossover. ‘Disco Midget Anthem’ on the A is 8 minutes of funked out house featuring jazzy keys and lush strings. ‘O Sometimes’ combines a spacey groove with the familiar vocal from Etta James’ ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’. But ‘Do For Me (below)’ is the crowning glory – twisted, druggy, hypnotic disco vibe, helped by samples from Dinosaur L’s cult hit ‘Go Bang!’.


Braxton Holmes & Mark Grant ‎
The Revival
(Cajual, 1997)

Braxton’s third and final release for the label, this time pairing up with Mark Grant. ‘The Revival’ and ‘Psychotic Pimp’ are both disco-sample house bombs, and there’s a ‘Ron Hardy’ tribute track that could do without the annoying vocal. A Motor City Drum Ensemble favourite, this EP now commands a premium on Discogs.

Spencer Kincy ‎
Tangled Thoughts Vol I
(Cajual, 1994)

A hard to come by record but if you can get your hands on it, it’ll have you hypontised from start to finish. A side tracks ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘At Play’ are especially choice cuts. The debut release from Spencer Kincy (better known by his alias Gemini), he quickly developed a reputation as one of the most inventive of Chicago house’s second phase of producers. Sadly Spencer dropped off the scene after the 90’s and reports suggest he’s faced a troubled stage of his life. Let’s hope he’s ok.

Le Fusion
(Cajual, 1995)

Spencer Kincy again, but a year on and this time under his revered Gemini moniker. It’s all about side A. Having a frantic French man laugh evilly and talk nonsense over your track might sound like a bad idea but not here. The deranged and demented vocals glide over cool live percussion and exciting double bass to deliver an amazingly compelling cut.

The most bizarre/unique/characterful Cajual release of all of time?

Deep Sensation
Talkin’… / Get Together

(Cajual, 1996)

Probably the most familiar one on this list, but it deserves greater recognition. Deep Sensation’s only release on Cajual and what a release it is –  jacking, deep and soulful all at once. Chicago house perfection at the hands of Glaswegian duo Colin Gate and Paul Hunter.  ‘Get Together’ (Deep Vocal Mix)’  is especially good – sampling the opening vocals of  ‘Woman Of The Ghetto‘ by Marlene Shaw (Blue Note) and working it into an incredible moody roller.