The dance music world lost one of its earliest and most innovative heroes last week with the passing of Chicago house legend Frankie Knuckles. Detroit’s Jimmy Edgar (pictured) celebrates the late DJ’s life and influence with a classy edit of Knuckles’ 1987 single Baby Wants To Ride, updating the sounds and production flourishes for the modern dancefloor while retaining all of the magic of the original.
Edgar’s edit is accompanied by a heartfelt letter that describes the tight musical bonds that link Chicago and Detroit as well as the DJ’s own experiences discovering house and techno:
[…] Whereas Detroit had a much more distant, cold feeling while still trying to retain human elements, Chicago house music always appealed to me because it seemed like the softer, soulful version of Techno. I was drawn to the organ chords and the jacking indigenous rhythms of 808s….
Frankie Knuckles was the most pivotal figure in this movement, for me. The first time I had heard “Baby Wants To Ride”, it really moved me. The way the dot matrix synths moved in seemingly Euclidian patterns, the bounce and slight swing of that bass line, and the way the dissonant chords tied it all together. One listen and you can see where I drew all my inspiration from when making my tune from 2006, “Hot, Raw, Sex”. Let’s just say that record would have been a lot different without Frankie K.
Indeed, dance music itself might scarcely resemble what we know and love today, if not for Knuckles. Make your way over to SoundCloud to read Edgar’s letter in full and download the Baby Wants To Ride edit. While you’re at it, check out the original mix below: