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Steve Silk Hurley

One of the most important producers for the early popularity of Chicago house, Steve "Silk" Hurley precipitated the founding of a major early house label (DJ International), recorded house music's first number one single, and was the first to branch out to encompass pop and hip-hop within the house framework. Born on the south side of Chicago, Hurley began listening to contemporary R&B/funk of bands like Parliament/Funkadelic, the Gap Band, and the Ohio Players. Influenced to become a DJ by the disco hot mixes he heard on local radio, Hurley manufactured his own mixing set-up out of spare parts after a trip to Radio Shack. He studied engineering at the University of Illinois (and later at junior college), but dropped out by 1981 to concentrate on music full-time.

As a crucial early DJ, Hurley's name was made in 1983 at a club called the Candy Store. With his friend and roommate Farley Keith, he promoted house music parties and also mixed on local Chicago radio station WBMX-FM. After Jamie Principle's rough bedroom demos became huge crowd favorites wherever he DJ'ed, Hurley began buying synthesizer and recording gear; he emerged with several rough beat tracks, then recruited Keith Nunnally to add vocals and named the project JM Silk. His single "Shadows of Your Love" was the first release on DJ International (the label had been financed by Hurley and owner Rocky Jones). The B-side, "Music Is the Key," quickly made the single a double-sided Chicago hit and set the Hurley sound blueprint: a cavalcade of stuttering beats balancing an insistent melodic quality which mirrored Nunnally's soulful vocals. The addition of a rap -- the first on a house record -- only added to the epic quality of the single.

In 1986, Farley Keith had stunned the Chicago community when he hit the British Top Ten with "Love Can't Turn Around," recorded as Farley Jackmaster Funk. Hurley, however, claimed the track was a blatant theft of one of his own productions -- the two stopped speaking to each other -- and got his revenge by trumping Farley's success with his next production, "Jack Your Body." Borrowing the bassline from the club classic "Let No Man Put Asunder" by First Choice, and adding the sampled stutter technique from "Music Is the Key" (though here on the vocals instead of percussion), the single hit number one in Britain in early 1987 and proved the most successful of the dozens of tie-in singles which swept Chicago house during the jacking craze of 1987.

Like Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, and several other Chicago producers, Hurley spent more of the late '80s and early '90s working on production and remixing than actual recording; he provided club treatments for the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson, CeCe Peniston, Inner City, New Order, Black Box, and En Vogue, winning Remixer of the Year honors at the 1991 British Dance Awards. After forming his own Silk Productions company, Hurley gradually branched into hip-hop and R&B production as well. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Best Of Toolroom Records 2013

1. Man With The Red Face

2. Metrum

3. Three Triangles (Losing My Religion)

4. Downpipe

6. Wrong

7. Zdarlight

8. At Night

9. My Sister

10. Your Love

11. Truth

12. Don't Go

13. Clobber

14. Ten

15. Flip

16. Rush

18. Let The Bass Kick

19. Jack Your Body

20. Let's Go

21. Sail Away

22. Blessed

23. Canixo

24. Open Your Eyes

25. Le Pump

26. Cause And Effect

28. Rock Your Body

29. Jackbody

30. Downpipe

31. Onderhuids

33. Thinking

35. Tech This Out

36. IRobot

37. Jumpin

38. Eric Goes To Disco

39. Messing

40. That Sound

42. The Way I Feel

43. Hypnotic

44. Hold On

47. Budapest Bounce

48. Hustles Revenge

49. Brokend Hips

x

Track List: Ibiza Deep 2013

1. Jack Your Body (Doorly Club Rub)

2. Your Love (Club Mix)

4. Baby Talk To Me

5. Do You Want Me Baby (Dusky Remix)

6. Zdarlight (Chopstick & Johnjon Remix)

9. Thinking (Mark Knight Remix)

11. Onderhuids (Club Mix)

16. About Love

18. Love No Limit (MJ Cole Remix)

21. Feel For You

24. Juscan

25. Leave Me

26. Can You Feel It (Club Mix)

29. Stranger (Wehbba Remix)

31. Methane Lakes

32. Tired Of Being Wrong (Club Mix)

33. Hypnotic

35. Wait Until The Morning

40. Sunday Sunday

44. Jumpin (Iban Reus Remix)

x

Track List: Toolroom Knights Mixed By Doorly

1. For Me (Original Club Mix)

2. The Clapping Track (Doorly Clap & Pop Remix)

4. Beroving (DJ-Kicks)

6. Steven Jello

8. Henry's Treat

10. Narwhals

11. Ben & Gerd (Killin It M Day)

13. The Fat Rat

14. Thunder Clap

15. Shrubby

16. Get Yo A** Off My Grass

17. Groove Me

18. We Are Sound (Doorly Remix)

19. Set Me Free (A1 Bassline Nostalgic Mix)

21. Ladies Night

23. Kool FM

24. Jack Your Body (Doorly Club Rub)

25. The Set Up

26. Squad

30. Mothership (Accapella)

x

Track List: Toolroom Records Ibiza 2013, Vol. 2

3. Tonight In Tokyo (Breach Remix)

4. Night & Day

9. Rosario

10. Vision Of Love (C2 Edit)

12. So Hot (Club Mix)

13. Three Triangles (Losing My Religion) (Club Mix)

14. All Night (UMEK Remix)

15. Invent (Club Mix)

17. Truth (Digitalism Remix)

19. Get Busy (Club Mix)

20. Drums & LFO's

24. Larks Rise

28. Jack Your Body (Doorly Club Rub)

29. The Future Is Yours (Prok & Fitch Remix)

30. Ignite (Club Mix)

33. Down In My Soul (Pammin's Sunshine Remix)

39. Here Comes The Noise

40. Orange Country

41. Borderline (Rafa Barrios Iberican Mix)

42. Disco

46. Right Now

47. True

x

Track List: Toolroom Records Selector Series: 21 Redondo

2. Old Future

3. Rush (Feat. Soraya Vivian) (Tough Love Remix)

4. Baby Talk To Me

7. Seductive (Feat. Miss Enard)

8. Falling For You

9. Jack Your Body (Doorly Club Rub)

11. Old School Bizz

12. Can You Feel It? (Feat. Alec Sun Drae) (Fred Everything Lazy Days Vox)

13. This Kinda Love

14. Sinnerman

15. Love No Limit (MJ Cole Remix)

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