History, history, history… If there’s one thing in discovering any subject, especially any genre of electronic music, it’s to learn where it all came from, and how it got to where it is now. With the rise of house in the '80s and early '90s, music labels like Trax sent dance music into a new era globally, but there was one label that saw it as a call to respond with a grittier edge – a sound that represented the street-sound of Chicago and beyond.

Enter Dance Mania.

The label, founded and ran by Ray Barney in 1985, pioneered the ghetto house sound which ultimately started the juke/footwork genre that has now reached worldwide recognition. After an almost two-decade hiatus the seminal label is back with a strong outlook into the future, not without letting you know what their past was about. Strut Records presents Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 showcases this label’s finest moments for the first time in a physical format. Much like the Traxbox compilation, it features many early Dance Mania classics next to the rarities and the lesser-heard releases of the catalog, and the physical copies feature rare photos and artist interviews conducted by none other than Chrissy Murderbot. The whole Hardcore Traxx compilation was put together by Connor Keeling, popular for his “Teachers” DJ mixes – an homage to not only Daft Punk, but also the pioneers of Dance Mania and the ghetto house sound.

This expansive release is slated for January 2014; for more information, head over to the Dance Mania website.


1. Die Form – Are You Before
2. Neon – Informations of Death
3. Gaznevada – Going Underground
4. Carmody – Vulcani
5. Daniele Ciullini & De Rezke – Ancona Icone
6. 0010110000010011 Cancer – Naonian Style
7. Victrola – Maritime Tatami
8. 2+2=5 – Jacho’s Story
9. Laxative Souls – Niccolai
10. LA 1919 – Senza Tregua
11. Baciamibartali & Winter Light – Kill Myself 2
12. Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici – Back and Forth
13. L’Ultimo Arcano – 1984-1985
1. A.T.R.O.X. – Against The Odds
2. Doris Norton – Norton Apple Software
3. Kirlian Camera – Edges (Original version)
4. Spirocheta Pergoli – Romero’s Living Dead
5. La Bambola Del Dr. Caligari – Deep Skanner
6. Pale TV – The Livid Triptych
7. Rats – Please
8. Plath – I Am Strange Now
9. Tasaday – Crisalide
10. La Maison – Critical Situation
11. Suicide Dada – Waiting For September
12. The Tapes – Nervous Breakdown
13. Maurizio Bianchi - Auschwitz
1. Hercules - 7 Ways (Club)
2. Victor Romeo featuring Leatrice Brown - Love Will Find A Way (Club)
3. The House Master Boyz And The Rude Boy Of House - House Nation
4. Duane & Co – J.B. Traxx
5. Vincent Floyd - I Dream You
6. Da Posse featuring Martell - Searchin’ Hard
7. Club Style - Crazy Wild
8. Jammin’ The House Gerald - Black Women (Club)
9. Tyree - Nuthin’ Wrong
10. Strong Souls – Twinkles
11. 3.2.6 – Falling (Armando’s House mix)
12. Rhythm II Rhythm – A Touch Of Jazz (Lifestyles Of The Rich mix)

1. DJ Funk - House the Groove
2. Paul Johnson – Feel My M.F. Bass
3. DJ Funk – The Original Video Clash: Video Clash II (Street mix)
4. Parris Mitchell Project feat. Wax Master - Ghetto Shout Out!!
5. DJ Deeon – Da Bomb
6. Houz’ Mon – Fear The World
7. Vincent Floyd – I’m So Deep
8. Tim Harper – Toxic Waste (Club mix)
9. Robert Armani – Ambulance
10. DJ Deeon – House-O-Matic
11. Traxmen & Eric Martin – Hit It From The Back
12. Top Cat – Work Out