There was a time in the New York underground House music history where DJ Duke was omnipresent. He founded his label, Power Music, in 1992 which later become a huge structure consisting of about ten sub labels around 1995. His massive body of work is really representative of the evolution of the New York sound.
A very versatile producer, he started out with ultra deep tracks which were perfect for the late nights sets, and also did perfectly the classic Vocal Garage sound. Around 1993, club culture was changing a lot and DJ Duke was somehow a silent key player for creating and pushing that harder-yet-still-funky, Junior Vasquez Sound Factory influenced sound. That year he had major crossover hits with “Blow Your Whistle” and “I’m A Sex Maniac” while creating the timeless classic “Love Don’t Come Easy” with Lee Smith Jr. – one of his finest moments. The “Wild Pitch” parties was also bringing lots of inspiration for his releases as he also started to feature DJ Pierre, Roy Davis Jr. and Felix Da Housecat on his labels.
From 1994 until 1996 all his labels and productions were absolutely showcasing the full spectrum of the House sound, from Garage to Progressive, from Deep House to Chicago Acid Tracks, from Disco influenced grooves to sublime Jazzy House cuts such as his “Funky Horns” project. He kept the releases coming out frequently as if his life was depending on it.
After 1996, DJ Duke somehow became more discreet with very few releases on his label and Henry Street Music. He started out a new imprint in 1999 called “Earth, Moon & Sun” which presented a deeper and jazzier feel.
He’s without a doubt an unsung hero of the 90’s House music movement. This mix features my personal favourites and it’s mostly focusing on his early years and the evolution of his production skills between 1992 and 1996. Dim the light, ease back and crank this up!!!
1.Freedom – Closer
2.Black Rhythms Volume Two – Blow Your Whistle
3.DJ Duke Presents Club People – Party Time
4.DJ Duke Presents Protection – Safe Sex
5.Storm – I’m A Sex Maniac
6.Pleasure Dome – 12 Min. To Do It
7.DJ Duke Presents Black Rhythms – Can You Feel It
8.DJ Duke – Release Da Tension
9.The Music Choirs ft T.K. Roberts – Get Down To Love
10.DJ Duke Presents Music Madness – Fall Down
11.Inner Soul – Celebrate
12.Tribal Liberation – One Man And A Sax
13.Techfunkers – Rock Da Tech Funk
14.DJ Duke – Hangin’ On
15.Mood II Swing – Call Me (Duke’s Deep Mix)
16.Roy Davis Jr. – People From Mars (The Sun Mix)
17.DJ Duke Presents Club People – Clubdancing
18.DJ Duke Presents Music Madness – The Musical Journey
19.DJ Duke Presents Freedom ft Lee Smith – Love Don’t Come Easy
20.DJ Duke Presents The Sound Of Music – Stuck In The Middle
21.The Klubb Kidz – Come On (Duke Rock Mix)
22.Tribal Liberation – Warrior Drums
23.DJ Duke – Trent
24.Pleasure Dome – 8 Min. Of Tech Funk
25.Pleasure Dome – 8 Min. Of Trance
26.DJ Duke Presents Club People – Before Dawn
27.DJ Duke Presents Aries – Moon Over Egypt
28.DJ Duke Presents Inner Soul – Make Things Happen
29.DJ Duke Presents Inner Soul – I’m In Need For You
30.Tech Disco Vol. 9 – Mountains
31.Black Rhythms Vol. 5 – Hot 4 U
32.DJ Duke – D2-D2
33.The Funky Horns – Blow
34.Pal Joey Presents Expression – Ancestoral Groove (DJ Duke’s Deep Groove)