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Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Double shot

Bad Boy Bill, Diz Bring Back Chicago

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   Before he was a DJ, Bad BoyBill was another just Windy City house fan, mixing records in his bedroom at 4 a.m. and priming for a shot on the decks. Like many players of the day, Bill let his beats speak for themselves-until they piqued the legendary ear of Farley "Jackmaster" Funk of WBMX's Hot Mix Five team.

  While Funk gave him his first radio broadcast, the rest of Chicago would soon go on to embrace big room sound with every nasty rub of vinyl. From his rise as a turntablist in the late 1980s to the launch of his own label, International House Records, Bill has run the gamut of DJ, performer, label head and legend.

  After more than 20 years in dance music, Bill's live sets continue to reflect his hip-hop roots, often using four turntables at once. In the end, he still delivers fast, fluid performances that hang loosely over audiences then pulls them in with sonic flash. Like his seminal Bangin the Box mix series, Bill still knows how to take Chicago house heads on a long drive through blissful bass, regardless of the decade.

  Bad Boy Bill returns to Milwaukee on Friday, Sept. 19 at The Rave/Eagles Club (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.). With support from La Dolce Vita, DJ Tony Tone, DJ Tsunami, DJ K Funk, Nix-9, Alex Peace and Nick Rockwell. Music 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cover charge: $16.50.

  Resident Funk: Like Bad Boy Bill, Chicago's Diz has seen house music cycle through a decade or two. From his early hobnobbing with Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy and-yes-Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Diz began carving out his own niche on the city's scene. In the early '90s, he roamed through its burrows with the likes of Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Spencer Kincey (Gemini), eventually taking residency at Shelter and later, the now-defunct Red Dog.

  Since then, Diz has crafted funk-filled, chuggy tracks that have found their way onto labels including Classic, Tweekin' and his own self-helmed Igloo imprint. When he's not performing on the decks or producing in the studio, Diz is the voice behind Freaks, his band project with Classic co-owner Luke Solomon (UK, Music for Freaks).

  Back in Chicago, his residency at the city's longest running underground dance night, Boom Boom Room, continues to justify why sometimes it's OK to stay at the party too long.

  Diz performs on Saturday, Sept. 20 for the Step Up at Three (722 N. Milwaukee St.). With support from Josee Angel. Music 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Cover charge: $5.

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