Harmony Funk - Before Life EP

Soulful, chunky Chicago house classic

  • Label: Real Estate Records
  • Catalog Number: RER 010
  • Year: 1999

Spring has sprung in the Bay, so it's time to emerge from the depths of esoterica and share a lil slice of dance-floor pathos care of Chicago's Harmony Funk. Before Life is the duo's first release from 1999, but it sounds like it was recorded a good 10 years earlier. The EP's three tracks are chock full of classic Chicago house moves, with shufflin' hats, funk basslines, and moody string stabs, all recorded with a straight-to-the-tape lo-fi energy that takes the vibe over the top. 

On the A side, Happy Feelings lives up to its name in fine style, delivering swinging, funky house heat with fully chonked lo-fi percussion hits, g-funk synth lines and crooning vox. A sultry sunshine ode to the merits of partying. On the flip, the instrumental Time Zone goes for in-the-red catharsis, with rolling bass and wailing strings, peppered with classic drum machine clatter for the heads. Can't Let You Go takes a hard turn towards the introspective, delivering a Club Lonely-style paranoid bedroom-house paean to a lost lover over sizzling hats and wooden kicks.

An essential bit of Chicago house history from the heart. Why not treat yourself?