Welcome to 909rewind, a new series from 909originals that delves into the early careers of some of dance music’s biggest names, uncovering hidden gems and familiar classics from the archives.
We dive into an artist’s back catalogue to uncover rare singles, albums, productions, remixes and more… the tracks that helped shape their sound and set them on the path to legendary status.
This week’s 909rewind pays tribute to one of Chicago’s more offbeat artists, Curtis Alan Jones, aka Green Velvet.
The mastermind behind two of the Windy City’s most iconic labels, Cajual and Relief, Jones burst onto the scene at the start of the 90s with his track Brighter Days, recorded under his Cajmere alias, featuring vocalist Dajae.
But it was the launch of Relief Records in 1993, and the unveiling of his Green Velvet alter ego, that would catapult the young house producer to global recognition.
The debut Green Velvet single, ThePreacher Man, set the tone – jerking beats, scattergun synths and a howling preacher – while tracks like Percolator (ostensibly a homage to a coffee pot, released in 1992), The Stalker (featuring possibly the creepiest lyrics in techno) and Land of The Lost (“Land where the misfits… fit”) helped cement Jones’ alter ego as one of the most warped minds in techno.
You will likely already know tracks like Flash and La La Land, but arguably the mind-bendingly brilliant curio here is Destination Unknown, from the 1997 EP of the same name… one of techno’s all time greatest crescendos, if you ask us.
“House is more about the vocals, and songs,” Jones told The Quietus in a 2012 interview. “Techno is more instrumental, and it’s a bit darker.”
As both Cajmere and Green Velvet, the Chicago producer has proven himself a master of both.