Dance Mania is a Chicago record label founded by Jesse Saunders in 1985. It released many house music and acid house records in the 80s and early 90s and defined the ghetto house sound in 1994 and 1995.
Started off as Dance Mania Records before later changing name to Dance Mania and later still to Dance Mania Inc. Jesse conveyed Dance Mania in 1986 to Raymond Barney when he left for Los Angeles. Label became known for raw, percussive TRACKS from the very beginning.
Dance Mania has wielded its influence heavily across dance music since its first breakthrough club smash in ’86, Duane & Co’s ‘J.B. Traxx’, offering a raw, DJ-led alternative to the Chicago powerhouses of Trax and DJ International. Founder Ray Barney astutely released classic after classic during the early years – ’7 Ways’ by Hercules (Marshall Jefferson), ‘House Nation’ by Housemaster Boyz (Farley Jackmaster Funk) and Li’l Louis’ debut recordings all helping to cement Dance Mania’s credentials.
Throughout its long history, the label never pandered to commercial pressures and the lure of the "hit", focusing purely on the dance floor and the DJ. As styles changed and Chicago clubs like The Factory held sway during the ’90s, Dance Mania became a key player, unleashing uncompromising anthems like Robert Armani’s ‘Ambulance’ and ushering in ghetto house with Traxmen and Eric Martin’s ‘Hit It From The Back,’ as BPMs became faster and lyrics became ever more X-rated. A new wave of producers including DJ Deeon, DJ Funk, Slugo and Paul Johnson all appeared on Dance Mania, recording prolifically and honing the new ghetto style, stripped back and raw.
The label’s influence continues today. Daft Punk famously name-check a series of Dance Mania producers on their ‘Teachers’ track, featured on the album Homework and you can hear the label’s DNA through contemporary sounds as varied as Diplo, L.I.E.S., Brazil’s baile funk movement and Chicago’s modern day footwork producers like Nate and Rashad.
DJ Funk (who was already producer for the label) bought the digital download DanceManiaRecords.Com and made DMR-1001, DMR-1002, DMR-1003, DMR-1004, DMR-1005, DMR-1006, DMR-1007 and Booty House Anthems 3. It’s a medley and reprise of Funk’s old tracks and a live mix along with Dj Deeon, Dj Slugo, Marvy The Pimp, Ghetto House goddies which could get any booty party started with it’s House, Techno & Hip-Hop
Coming 2014, we have a very special release on the way for lovers of quality original Chicago house music as we team up with the legendary Dance Mania Records for their first ever full label compilation, dropping on January 27th, 2014.
Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 is released on 2xCD, 3xLP and digital download, and features a full history of the label by DJ Chrissy Murderbot, artist interviews, rare photos and track notes.
Sublabels: Dance Mania Digital, Freak Mode, Subterranean Playhouse LLC., Subterranean Playhouse Series.