There is a lot of discussion today on what exactly is deep house. Can you call the sound of George Fitzgerald deep house? Some say you can, others say it’s nowhere near deep house. One thing’s for sure though, the style of the master craftsman Rick Wade is 100% deep house. Here’s our small homage to one of house music’s central pillars.
Growing up outside the Chicago area in neighboring Michigan, Rick Wade became fascinated with the city’s radio stations at an early age, taking an instant liking to artists such as Al Green and Isaac Hayes along with the disco sounds of labels such as Salsoul that received substantial airplay. By the early ’80s, Wade began spinning records at parties, slowly transforming into a talented DJ while simultaneously furthering his musical interests. Then as a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, he DJed at the University’s radio station, WCBN, where he pioneered the station’s first show dedicated to house music. It was during this period, at the end of the 1980s, alongside other electronic dance music DJ artists such as Ectomorph’s Brendan Gillen, that he began producing his own tracks. A few years later in 1993, Wade began his own house label, Harmonie Park, followed by a ‘booty bass’ label, Bass Force.
The rest is history. Wade has spent a long career making highly atmospheric, super soulful 4/4 and he refuses to stop. His latest EP, ‘Hard Full’, is a great example of what he does and what he’s always done: house music that mesmerises the mind and warms the body. A prolific run of 12″s has seen Rick Wade release on Mike Grant’s Moods & Grooves, cult European label Laid and Amsterdam underground dance institution Rush Hour, among many others. That’s not to mention the wax he’s self-released via his own Harmonie Park imprint, which stretches back some 20 years and has recently enjoyed sought-after reissue treatment.
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Rick Wade has always been outspoken about his love of disco and funk and the records that he was first introduced to while growing up. That certainly comes through in his productions, which flow with a classic, misty-eyed vibe and contain lush flourishes of instrumentation and vocal hooks. Then there are the drum beats, which are quick footed, slightly tribal and oh-so addictive.
Now the soulmaster has released his Drum Voyager Sample Pack, consisting the dustiest jazz, disco and rare groove drum loops from Rick’s personal collection. Perfect for any producer who wants to create some deep and funky house, hip-hop or anything in between. Check it out!