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Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008

Chicago Label Showcase More Naughty Than Nice

Tech, house and fidget come home for the holidays

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Chicago's Nate Manic has made a habit of giving bad advice to dance music producers across the Midwest and beyond. Since launching the Bad Advice Music imprint in 2007, the DJ/producer/label head has managed to coax top-notch producers into spiraling down toward the dark, dirty trenches of his tech-influenced label. Some of his most recent converts include Derrick Carter, Cheap as Chimps and HeavyFeet, to name a few.

Since July 2007, Bad Advice has built its reputation as both a digital and vinyl label with an open-door policy that welcomes a range of production talents. In partnering with co-label founder Matthew Martin, Manic intends to push the envelope and further the scene without taking the music too seriously.

"We want to make music with integrity, stuff that makes people think," he said during a 2007 interview with Chicago's Newcity magazine. "(Our) music is original, but we also want to make it fun for people to dance to and listen to at a party."

Ah yes, the proverbial mission to bring the party. But what clearly separates Manic and his label from the slew of production heads in the dance community is a carefree demeanor on the decks that hardly matches his raucous style of play. As a DJ, Manic instinctively manages to keep the party interesting, peppering his sets with just enough deep cuts and just enough tech to keep audiences aware of exactly where he's coming from. It's house, it's techno, it's electro, it's dubby-and more importantly, it's all around bad in the best way possible.

Saturday, Dec. 20, at Three (722 N. Milwaukee St.). Classic record's own Brian Heath (of Beat Giants fame) joins the party for an opening set. Free CD and vinyl giveaways all night long, including DJ mixes and an unmixed Bad Advice Music sampler. Music 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. No cover charge.

Soap in the mouth: It's been more than 18 months since Potty Mouth Music revealed its dirty secrets to the underground global dance scene. Milwaukee-turned-Chicago-based label head James Amato has steadily grown his talent from Santiago & Bushido to a worldwide roster of artists, including HiJack, The Bulgarian, HeavyFeet and Scott Cooper, among others.

Today, Potty Mouth Music has released about 20 EPs that have come to embody a new brand of tech house that twists and turns into the darkest corners of the dance floor. Potty Mouth's most recent release features a filthy electro-influenced EP by UK's Kelevra, who brings his Clean Jeans EP stateside. And with the all-digital label still milking the three-week chart-topping success of 2008's "Head Trick" (Santiago & Bushido), it seems Potty Mouth has no intention of taming its taboo ways.

Label head Amato cracks the whip on Saturday, Dec. 27, in a special home for the holidays set at Three (722 N. Milwaukee St.). Chicago's DJ Midway (JungleFly) opens the show. Music 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. No cover charge.