ABOUT THE MASTERMIX 6

Welcome to the Mastermix 6 website. In 1984, Chicago's top Adult Contemporary and R&B radio station WGCI 107.5 FM under the direction of the P.D. Graham Armstrong and Evan Luck a radio personality, created the "Mastermix 6" DJ team, an On Air Dance Mix Show featuring renowned local DJs in Chicago. As the show started building its notoriety and fanbase, DJs Carlos Valderrama, JMJ (Jam Master J), and Matt Warren became a permanent fixture on the mix show. Subsequently, with the addition of Tony Cano, Mario Reyes, and Jorge Suarez, the Mastermix 6 were also considered early pioneers and contributors to the shaping of the Chicago dance music culture.

All members are well-established professionals in every aspect of the Dance Music Industry. Their overall resumes includes nightclubs, radio, mobile, retail, publications, record labels, studio production, marketing, and promotions. Their music knowledge spans from the late 70's thru the dance and house music formation of the 80's and into the present.

The team believes Chicago DJ's are the BEST masters of the "Mix". Its mixing style, turntable creativity and skills are unique and well recognized (Turntablism). Globally, Chicago has produced top DJs and takes credit for the creation of House Music. In addition, Chicago commercial radio stations were one of the first to establish the "DJ Mix Shows" which sets the trends for others to imitate. The Mastermix 6 invites you to share their experiences and listen or download their mixes.

CHICAGO DISCO ERA

In December of 1978, WDAI radio switched its music format to all-disco format with the disco craze until May 1980. In 1979, WDAI was the first radio station to feature "DJ Mixes" with Lou Divito, Peter Lewicky, Scott Adams, Charlie Di Giovanni and Kenny Jason. Lou Divito was the first Chicago club disc jockey to have his mixes aired on radio. WGCI FM is also credited in playing and programming Disco music during the late 1970s; especially when playing the full extended version of dance tracks.

Although WDAI airwaves reached citywide, the north side of Chicago was at the forefront of the disco craze. Dance floors filled across the discotheques and large dancehalls by diverse and ethnic club goers.

CHICAGO DANCE MUSIC PIONEERS

 

THE DJs

Besides the radio mixers, we credit...

  • Freddy Fro
  • Enrique "Fly" Pascual (RIP)
  • Murphy Quintero
  • Jeff Davis
  • David Morrison
  • Greg Vargas
  • Paul Weisberg
  • Frankie Knuckles (RIP)
  • Mike Marcharello
  • Don St. James
  • Diego Trejo
  • Ron Hardy (RIP)
  • David Lopez
  • Sal Amato
  • Xavier Joshua
  • Frank Lipomi

THE DISCOTHEQUES

Key clubs that impacted the industry.

  • Dingbats
  • Bananas
  • Coconuts
  • Phoenix
  • Century Disco
  • Alamedas
  • The Bistro
  • Paradise
  • The Warehouse
  • Malo's
  • Rainbow Rollerink
  • Charlie's
  • Carol's Speakeasy
  • Nimbus
  • Prime & Tender
  • Zacks
  • Rush Street (Faces, BBC, Mothers)
  • Jenals
  • Footloose & Fancy Free
  • East Palace/Copa Casino
  • Tiffany
  • Fire Alarm
  • Stay Outs

THE DANCE PROMOTERS

Dance promoters that produced major events.

  • The Disco Allstars - Lorenzo Sandoz
  • Moonlight Traveling Disco - Frank Torres
  • WGCI Disco Van - Terry Hedderman
  • D.J. International - Rocky Jones
  • Sunset Disco - Alex & Robert Rojo
  • Al Cisnero Promotions

THE RECORD POOLS

  • Dogs of War
  • N.A.D.J.A.
  • Audio Talent
  • Let's Dance
  • I.R.S.

THE RETAILERS

  • Imports, Etc.
  • Loop Records
  • Gramophones
  • Sounds Good
  • Baby O's
  • Barney's
  • Disco City
  • JR's World
  • Hot Jams
 

The above list of pioneers are credited and been involved in the formation of Chicago's disco/dance scene throughout the decades. Coming soon: their interviews in our "News" section.

CHICAGO RADIO MIX SHOWS

Despite this assault "Disco DAI" did very well at the height of the Disco craze and it’s featured DJ mix show. Legendary local radio personality Herb Kent, a well known and a pioneer in Chicago's music scene was brought into WXFM (early 80's) and created his "Disco, Punk, Funk," show. Herb Kent's show included dance music of all genres. This show would open doors for the another radio mixing concept as shortly thereafter known as WBMX (102.7 FM). This station along with its "Hot Mix 5" team revolutionized the dance scene.

In 1981 WBMX program director Lee Michaels held a meeting where various Chicago DJs were invited to attend. Amongs them were Farley Keith, Ralphi Rosario, Kenny Jason, Mickey Oliver, and Scott Silz. Invited but unable to attend was popular DJ Jeff Davis. The team became known as the "Hot Mix 5." which remained popular thru the late 80's. WBMX radio personality Armando Rivera is to be credited for being a permanent fixture as the host of the Hot Mix 5 shows.

In 1984, rival WGCI radio personalities create the Mastermix 6 consisting of the aforementioned adding Mario Diaz, Fast Eddie, and Jeff Anthony. Through its popularity Chicago radio stations started airing their best Dance Music formats which spread to adjoining states. The creation of house music later becomes a worldwide phenomenon, now being showcased on airwaves through major and college radio, internet and into online streaming services.

By 1986, Chicago's B96 was airing hot mixes created by Brian "Hit Mix" Middleton. By 1988, DJ Julian Perez initiated the same and formed a hot mix team on the station. The B96 team would undergo changes throughout the following years but remained loyal to the hot mix program, and are credited to the progression of the house sound.

Chicago college radio was a strong influence on the dance and house music scene. Key college stations included: WCRX (Columbia College), WLUW (Loyola University), WNUR (Northwestern Illinois University), WHPK (University of Chicago), WCSU (Chicago State University), and WCYC (Boy's Club of Chicago), hosted by Harv Roman with earlier hostings from Jeff Davis, Mario Reyes, and Kenny Jason.

Prior to 1999, Chicago was primarily known as a 'classics' city. New music was met with huge resistance. Web sites like Deep House Page, Underground NYC, GottaHaveHouse, and other sites, posted mixes. Followers of house music with open minds adopted the new sounds. Eventually, internet radio stations like Cyberjamz and DeepHousePage radio jumped on board, and further fueled the movement.

CHICAGO GOT A NEW SOUND

There has been much debate about the origins of Chicago House Music, from where the name derived, to who made the first House record, to what are the true origins and influences of the music, etc.

This website will provide exclusive interviews from the DJ community and music producers that supported, contributed, and influenced the sound. These series of interviews will be made from key Dance Music contributors that provided an insight from the proper historiographies point of view. Most of the books, articles or documentaries about these questions are either produced or written by individuals who had no real connection to the Chicago House Music Movement or are too connected and invested in a narrative that overstates their own importance to the movement of Chicago House Music. Read these interviews here.

HOUSE MUSIC GOES GLOBAL

David Guetta who has since become the ringleader for the house music phenomenon sweeping across the world. Guetta says "I wanted to create a bridge between Europe and America," and he did just that. He saw house music as a way to bring urban and white culture together under one roof and has proven that house music is here to stay.

In Chicago, the early 80s the clubs and radio DJ's were playing various styles of dance and disco music. In the mid 1980s and 1990s, house music became a major fixation on the UK music charts. In the past decade, house music has become very popular in America because many artists have crossed over to the mainstream. Young people are now more interested in the chorus and beat of a song over the words, something that house music has capitalized and utilized. This younger generation grew up with hip-hop music with loud bass so House music is a natural progression for them.

DJ's today have taken over pop culture by producing for America's most prominent music figure heads and immersing themselves in clubs and venues with large capacities. Electronic music was able to break into pop culture because it attached itself to popular music, creating new beats, hooks, and breakdowns. It's been easier for DJ's to draw an audience because they are elaborating on music that people already enjoy. Pop culture and house music are now intertwined more than ever before, and the fans are loving it. DJ's are quickly becoming the new celebrities and they are attracting young people by the thousands.

Electronic dance music is not a new genre. In fact, it's been around for more than three decades. House/electronic music movement began when the disco era was ending. It's hard to pinpoint a date and location to the beginnings of Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Some say it began in Germany and London, others make a case that it started in Detroit, in the U.S. For Guetta, both continents played a role: "This is what happened ... it was born in Chicago, U.S., but the U.K. made it trendy. And it became a massive movement in Europe, but never in the U.S., which is crazy." He later adds, "I think America is always creating the new movement and then the U.K. has this genius of taking this concept and making it accessible to the masses."

A report stated that EDM market is valued at $7.1 Billion annually, and is growing fast with a 60% increase over the past 3 years.

Reference: House music has become a global phenomenon @ forbes magazine.