WAX LYRICAL: TERRY FARLEY | DJMag.com Skip to main content

WAX LYRICAL: TERRY FARLEY

Dedication to house and disco purism

It's no secret that Chicago's musical heritage is having a renaissance among a new generation of clubbers, but it'll culminate in the coming months with a slew of comprehensive acid house retrospectives — from Trax Records, Sunset Records Inc. and an off-beat collection from Still Records.
The catalogue that's getting most people in a tizz at the moment, however, is Terry Farley's 'Acid Rain' series.

Five CDs of scrupulously selected tracks that chronologically chart the origins of deep house in '85 to its course into the UK clubs at the turn of decade — featuring cuts from Mr Fingers, Farely Jackmaster Funk and Ron Hardy — the package works as a definitive guide to a sound that has never gone away, resurfacing repeatedly over the years as producers have returned to the cultural blueprint that spurred a nationwide explosion that we know as the 'second summer of love'.

And it's hard to think of a better candidate. One of the creative minds behind the Faith fanzines during the '90s and the label Junior Boys Own, Farley is held by many as a national treasure. Dedicating his career to preserving house and disco purism, he's an internationally touring DJ in his own right, just as much about dancefloor history as having a good time. 

First-ever rave experience?
“Depends on what you call 'raving'. I started going to serious dance music clubs in the '70s in London and then throughout the '80s with the warehouse scene being massive from '82 up until '88 when acid house exploded. My first acid house experience was Shoom! at the Fitness Centre in either January or February 1988.

I was at a club called BoilerHouse run by London DJs Ben and Andy when a very good pal of mine, Gary Haisman, dragged me off in a club to Southwark in South London. When we arrived, there was smoke pouring out of a street level vent and Adonis's 'The Poke ' filling the street with sound. Inside, about 150-200 kids were doing that funny Ibiza/Amnesia dance and were all dressed like they were still in Ibiza. It was a totally new experience and something you knew straight away would sweep the nation.”

The most crucial record of all-time?
“House-wise? I'd say Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle's 'Your Love'.

It's got everything a good house record needs... Sex, sleaze and a sense of danger.”

Three tunes that never leave your bag...
“Joey Beltram 'Energy Flash' — for those lights-off, heads-down banging moments. Teddy Pendergrass 'You Can't Hide' — for house heads who know the roots of the culture.

Pure energy, and those horns kill me every time. DJ Pierre 'What Is House Music' — '90s wildpitch heaven that still sounds brand new all these years later.”

Lights up end-of-the-night tune?
“There's been some amazing ones I've witnessed. Alfredo playing Mike Post's 'Them From Hill St Blues' at 11am in the morning at Amnesia throughout the '89 season, and Tony Humphries dropping Phil Perry's 'Amazing Love' at a wonderful film studio party in Wembley back in the day, but for sheer jaw-dropping, E-rush flashbacking I'd say William Pitt's Balearic classic 'City Lights'.

It evokes magical nights and memories never to be forgotten.”

If you could meet anyone — alive or dead — who would it be?
“Rick James. Imagine a night out with that cat? If any one person was truly HOUSE, it's Rick.”

Imagine the world is going to end tomorrow. What are you gonna do tonight?
“Cook dinner for my family then all watch ET.”

Three words you'd use to describe clubbing in Y3K
“Submissive, corporate and lazy (although it doesn't have to be like that).”

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