5 House Heaters From Chicago Legends Gene Farris and Green Velvet
May 24, 2023
3 min read
Chicago DJ and producer Gene Farris has been a staple of the house music scene for almost 30 years. He got his start in 1994 with the Journey EP on Green Velvet's (real name Curtis Jones) Relief Records. Farris and Jones have remained close friends and collaborators ever since. Jones even convinced Farris to continue his work in music when he thought his career was over in 2008 after moving back to The States from Amsterdam.
Their firm friendship has also been the anchor for over ten years of collaboration. Starting in 2010 with "The Music Box," Farris has worked it out on raw and funky tech house releases with both of Jones's aliases, Green Velvet and Cajmere. A certain kind of magic happens when two veterans and celebrated artists can find synergy in the studio on so many occasions.
We pulled together five of our favorite Gene Farris and Curtis Jones collabs. Read on and rave on.
1. Gene Farris, Green Velvet - LOL
In 2017 the pair ventured into the darker side of tech with this hypnotic bomb of a track. Green Velvet has long been a master of blending shadowy, almost maniacal vocals with the steady thump of a warehouse-tinged bassline. "LOL" is no different, with a warped voice commanding you to dance and laughing like a lunatic over a bed of stuttering arps, misty foghorns, and a grinding techno beat.
2. Gene Farris, Green Velvet - Galaxie
In 2019 Gene and Curtis took us on a ride into the cosmos with a disco-tinged treat. Proving that less is more, the methodical bassline thumps along with little more than some sprinkles of ear candy and sparse reverbed vocals atop. After decades of production, these two know how to create stark yet danceable beats.
3. Cajmere, Gene Farris - The Inside
Flipping things over to Green Velvet's alter ego, Cajmere, "The Inside" is a decidedly funkier and housier affair. Trading the hypnotics for a funky bounce and even more disco-tinged flair. This is the classic Chicago house sound at its finest.
4. Gene Farris, Cajmere - O' Darlin
Masterfully sampling The O'Jays 1976 hit "Darlin' Darlin' Baby," the boys craft a sunny funky house record. The looped vocal and bright strings leave you longing for the long summer days or the twirl of a disco ball.
5. Gene Farris, Cajmere - Swing Set (feat. Karen Incognito)
Yet another masterful sample pull from two Chicago legends. "Swing Set" puts the jack on "Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)" by Louis Prima. There are few swing-era drum lines and horn riffs with as much power as this one. Curtis and Gene slap a powerful kick beneath the bed of jazzy trumpets, turning a 30's favorite into a club heater.