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Todd Terry (1967 - )

Related: 1967 - house music - New York music - sampling - MAW

Todd Terry

Todd Terry

Past, Present and Future (2005) - Todd Terry
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And Todd Terry dispensed with a vocal narrative altogether on Royal House's "Can You Party," as he created a dance classic out of a delirious, near chaotic collage of electronic samples -- Greg Kot.

Terry's year of relentless production began with Royal House "Can You Party" (which included the infamous police siren coda and "Can You Feel It?/"Ooh, baby" chants), Black Riot "A Day In the Life" (which revolved around a steady groove and riveting synth line) and the Todd Terry Project "Bango" (which sampled Lola Blank's stranger-than-strange vocal on Dinosaur L's "Go Bang"). Then, in close succession and an impossible-to-trace sequence, he delivered "In the Name of Love" (Swan Lake), "Weekend" (Todd Terry Project), "Yeah Buddy" (Royal House), "Just Wanna Dance" (Todd Terry Project), "Back to the Beat" (Todd Terry Project), "Dreams of Santa Anna/The Texan" (Orange Lemon) and "I'll House You" (Jungle Brothers). Albums by Royal House, the Todd Terry Project and Black Riot appeared in a synchronised storm at the end of the year. With no interest in pausing for breath, Terry promising a fourth LP by Swan Lake at the beginning of 1989. --http://www.timlawrence.info/linernotes/2005/toddterry.php [Aug 2006]


Todd Terry has more than any other producer, defined New York house during the 1980s. His productions can be descriped as a varied sampladelic smorgasbord blending the sounds of classic disco, the more introspective Chicago sound pioneered earlier in the decade, plus plenty of hip-hop attitude and sampling piracy.

Todd Terry has been responsible for releasing two of the most respected crossover remixes of the house era "I'll House You" by the Jungle Brothers and "Missing" by Everything But the Girl.

Among his fans Todd Terry is known as "Todd the God" (or occasionally, simply "God"). This even though he has often been accused of recycling his own beats and effects (in his production work as well as a DJ) a bit too often. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Terry [Feb 2005], partially sourced from John Bush, allmusic.com

"What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time"

The sample features at the very start of Weekend by Todd Terry Project from 88. The original smaple is from an old 70's record by The Jimmy Castor Bunch called Troglodyte.

Hip house

Hip house, also known as house rap, is a mixture of house music and hip-hop which arose during the 1980s in New York. The first hip house track was "I'll House You" by the Jungle Brothers - although this is not indicated on the album, the track is generally seen as a collaboration between NY house producer Todd Terry and the Jungle Brothers (an Afrocentric rap group from New York). Shortly after "I'll House You", artists in Chicago, the home of house music, started producing their own hip house tracks. Though hip house never achieved massive popularity, there were a few hits (such as by Technotronic, a Belgian group) in the later part of the decade and the early 1990s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_house [Feb 2005]

Party People

It was into this exciting and transitional environment that a young, would-be producer walked up to Vega and handed him a cassette. "This guy came up to the booth and said, 'My name is Todd Terry. I just wanted to give you these new jams.'" The night was drawing to a close, so Vega had a quick listen to the track that was about to turn Terry into New York's hottest house producer. "I was like, 'Wow! This is powerful!'" With its quick-fire sampling techniques and harder beats, 'Party People' introduced an edgy, hip hop aesthetic to the Chicago house sound, and Vega wasted little time in securing a reel-to-reel copy. "There was an instant reaction on the dance floor," he remembers. "I was playing 'Party People' six to nine months before it came out, so I got everybody into that sound." --Tim Lawrence, 2000

"It's disco to me."

So how did the house scene start according to a hip hop boy ?

Todd Terry: "They always say it started from the Chicago or Detroit thing, but to me it's just regular dance music - it's disco to me."

Todd Terry: "I don't think it started from anywhere; it could have been Miami, it could have been New York. It was just that old disco scene. House is just a transformation of disco."

Freeze Records

Terry moved into label-entrepreneurship in 1992 when he formed Freeze Records with William Socolov. Several of Terry's early singles had appeared on Socolov's Fresh/Sleeping Bag label, also the home of rap acts like EPMD, Mantronix and Nice & Smooth. Freeze became the obvious home for many of Terry's productions, including several volumes of his EP series Unreleased Projects beginning in 1992 and running through 1995.

Todd's Top Ten

  • Todd's Essential Top 10 House Classics (1996? In No Order)
    • - 'Running Away' - Roy Ayers (polydor) - " This Came Out In the early eighties. It's got one of those great choruses that always sticks in your mind and the bass is a good groove."

    • - 'Mainline' - Black Ivory (mercury) - " Leroy Burgess Sang On This And The Group Was Rocking" Patrick Adams, Leroy Burgess

    • - 'Aint Nobody' - Rufus & Chaka Kahn (warner bros.) - "This Brought Me Into A More Melodic Type Of Thing - A Funky Beat Type Vibe. I Definitely Play This Record Out."

    • - 'Jingo' - Candido (salsoul) - " I Think This Came Out Around '81. A Friend Of Mine Was In A Record Pool And He Got Sent It And I Begged Him For It.......I Don't Think He Really Knew What It Was, Especially As It Was A White Label DJ Promo. He Wouldn't Have Given It To Me If He'd Have Known. It's A Latin Percussion Type Thing - No Verses."

    • - 'Don't Make Me Wait' - Peech Boys (west end) - " This Came Out In 1980 although I didn't Get It Until A Couple Of Years Later. It Was A Big Record Both On The Radio And In The Clubs. The Singer, Bernard Fowler, was great; he rocks those kind of records."
    • - 'Just Us' - Martha Wash (rca) - " This Came Out In '93 And Was A Remake Of An Old Song She Did - She Used To Be In A Group Called 'Two Tons Of Fun'. I Like This One More; It's Faster - The Old One Was Slow, 112 BPM, You Couldn't Mix It With Anything - This One Is Brought Up By 10% At Around 122 BPM."

    • - 'Walking On Sunshine' - Central Line (mercury) - " This Came Out In The Early Eighties, It's Another Sunshine Record - I Like These Sunshine Records. Its Has That Dance Groove - Raw Sounds Over A Skippy Beat With A Swing To It. It's Not Really Straight, It's Like A Swing Groove. If I Am Playing In Florida, And If It's A Classic Set, I'll Play That." Larrry Levan mix!

    • - 'Do I Do' - Stevie Wonder (mowtown) - " I Went Into A Store In Brooklyn And Bought This In The Early Eighties. He Made This A Club Record, Not A Radio Record. It Has Dizzy Gillespie On It - It's Like A Jam Session. Its Has A Good Feel: Great Hooks And Lots Of Great Melodic Sounds."

    • - 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine' - Roy Ayers (cbs) - " I believe This came out earlier ghan 'Running Away. It's a groovy type track. You can almost feel the high strings in it - It's a summer record."

    • - 'Watching You' - Slave (coalition) - " This came out around 1983. It was like a New York roller skate record. Not that I roller skated - I didn't want to break my legs. I play this in a classic set."


  • Todd Terry - House Movement[1CD, Amazon US]
    1. Back to the Beat 2. Come On 3. Place in My Heart - Kym Mazelle 4. If It's Good to You 5. Question of Faith (Tee's Radio) - Lighthouse Family 6. Somebody 7. Something Goin' On - Todd Terry 8. Make Your Move 9. Live It Up - Masterjam 10. Groove E.P. - Todd Terry 11. Bounce to the Beat - Sound Design 12. Catch the Light - Martha Wash 13. Set It Off 14. On a Mission

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