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






Cajmere Featuring Derrick Carter
Dreaming EP
(Cajual, 1992)

One of the earliest Cajual releases – back when Emotive manufactured and distributed their records.  It’s the joint effort of label boss, Cajmere, and one of Chicago house’s most established names, Derrick Carter.  As a result, it’s definitely not an obscure record – more of an underground favourite that never quite snowballed into widespread listening. Aptly named, this is a trippy EP. Firm favourite is ‘Dream States’ – it has the right amount of sleaze and a killer bassline (that crops up again on ‘Feelin’ Kinda High’ – Cajmere featuring Terrance FM).

The Chicago Connection ‎
(Cajual, 1997)

Also one of the better known releases on this list and one that trades at quite a high price nowadays. It’s the only release ever by The Chicago Connection, an alias for Curtis Jones (Cajmere) and Mark Grant. Heavily sampling Stephanie Mills’ ‘Put Your Body In It’, The Mark Grant version is a tracky disco filtered mix, while Cajmere steers things in a deeper, jacking direction. Both tracks are solid but the Mark Grant mix is a guaranteed dancefloor hit.

Glenn Underground ‎
G U’s 70’s Trip
(Cajual, 1997)

Cajual staple Glenn Underground had a rich musical upbringing,  raised on  jazz and disco records from a tender age, and this shines through in his production. G U’s 70’s Trip is one of his many quality, under the radar records that flawlessly infuse jazz, disco and beautiful melodic elements into a carefully crafted driving sound. Chicago house’s answer to jazz.

Roy Davis Jr.
Alive On Tha Set!
(Cajual, 1996)

Ok, so maybe Chicago house has two answers to jazz. Just one year before ‘Gabrielle’ fame, Roy Davis Jr enlisted trusty vocalist Peven Everett to create this raw jazz-house EP. Moody, blue note magic fuses with stripped down, authentic beats. Very hard to pick a clear favourite from the pack of four. His only release for Cajual, it’s an undetected EP that’s available cheaply. Go grab a copy!

Moon Man
Big Fat Woman
(Cajual, 1997)

Using the moniker Moon Man, this is Boo Williams’ only release on Cajual. Instead he released a fair amount on sister label Relief – a better home for his harder, jacking sensibilities. This EP is a more soulful, spatial exercise that travels deep and wide.  ‘Big Fat Woman’ occupies the whole of one side and kicks large with bouncy filtered hooks. On the flip you’ve got ‘Orbit Dance’, a track that goes round and round, and there’s ‘Jaz Stick’ which borrows chords from the timeless Atmosphere track ‘Dancin’ In Outer Space’.