Virgo Four guest at Rubadub’s 19th birthday
Chicago house greats set for Glasgow record shop's Sub Club night
‘We weren’t cool with any of the other DJs back then,’ says Merwyn ‘Merl’ Sanders, one half of old school 1980s Chicago house duo Virgo Four alongside Eric Lewis. ‘Our stuff was weird, it was a little mellow, and I’m coming from a Christian Church background, so it wasn’t natural for me to do a lot of the “jack it up, move your body” kind of thing. We totally get why we were missed in a way.’
Just like anyone who doesn’t recall Virgo Four alongside such Chicago house greats as Frankie Knuckles or Marshall Jefferson will get why this pair are primed for rediscovery if they dig out any of their old tracks (also look under the aliases ME, Ace & the Sandman or just plain Virgo). It’s appropriate, then, that the duo are playing their debut Scottish performance in honour of crate digger’s paradise Rubadub’s 19th birthday. Although their style is firmly aligned with the piano-focused Chicago house sound, the pair of old school friends grew up trying to emulate the funk sound of Chic, Stanley Clarke, Slave and Funkadelic.
First discovered on the Trax label in the late 80s, half a decade after they started out, the pair have never quit making music together, with the recent Resurrection compilation on Rush Hour Recordings bringing them back to active service. ‘Resurrection’s all from the 1980s,’ says Sanders, ‘so we could probably do another from the 90s and one more from the 2000s. Then of course, there are all the things I find on YouTube that I never even knew we put out.’
Rubadub’s 19th Birthday at Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 5 Aug.