The Lost DATS Part One: Unreleased House Music 1997

Hard Times Records | DJ Romain | HTRE004


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"1996-97? Yeah, that’s when New York was still NEW YORK!

That was around the time we really started to get hold of exotic herbs. Copper Haze, hydroponic! The vibes in the studio were always lovely. I had hair at the time! Dread-Locs down to my shoulders... I was still rockin’ the Wallabees, or British Walkers as we called them - representing for Brooklyn and my West Indian roots!

There was no social media, no supervision, nobody all up in our business… It was classic "mind your own business" NYC Vibes! I was DJing at a lot of the hot clubs and THE hottest afterhours in the city. There were nights when I saw Micheal Douglas roll into the afters with Grace Jones - they were there to party and unwind and I was there dropping the dope tracks for the people.

When it was studio time, with my homie Matt Echols...I was probably setting things off with some quality herbage, a big ass bag of Funyuns and my trusty SP-1200, lol. I had picked up some tips and tricks from Todd Terry and by '96-'97 I was a Shaolin with it myself! This was around the time tracks like "Flowers" and "Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Dub)" were tearing up the clubs. I wanted to be able to get my ideas out with no problem, and by then I had a lot of confidence...

Being able to Dj in some of the hottest NY hot spots at the time, I was able to really see what worked and what didn't on the dancefloor. The best House Dancers from around the world and around the Tri-State area would be at my jams. I'm talking Ejoe, Voodoo Ray, maybe kids from the Mop-Top Crew... I was definitely taking note of the kind of rhythms and sounds that would make them go crazy on the dancefloor!

And that's how we went about it - I laid down the rhythms that made it happen in my sets and translated the vibes I was picking up from NYC itself. Matt threw down musically and we were just being as creative and inventive as possible! But we always kept in mind that our job was to make the people on the dancefloor jump!

A lot of the jams from those days got signed to various record labels, we dropped a lot of them on our own label...and some of them ended up in the archives - until now!"

- DJ Romain

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The Lost DATS Part One: Unreleased House Music 1997