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Sassmouth Loves Old Songs that Sound New and New Songs that Sound Old

The Last Record: Chicago-based DJ, producer and label boss Sassmouth has a lot to share about her recent purchases.

This week, we spoke to Chicago DJ, producer and label owner Sassmouth. All of Sassmouth's records were purchased at Gramaphone. "It's my record store and it has been since I started DJing in Chicago," said Sassmouth. "It's just always been a hub of the community for me and thousands of other people." You can catch Sassmouth play with Virginia and Jarvi on March 24 as part of Smartbar's Daphne series, a monthlong celebration of electronic music by women-identifying and non-binary DJs and producers.


Tru Funk - "4am (The Lucid Phase)"

It's my favorite edit of the record. It's an old record, from 1990. I just fell in love with it. It's just got this very loopy acid line that builds throughout the track and then this–it sounds kind of cheesy–Kenny G current. It's haunting over the really dark, acid bass line. It has this balearic feel, but it's just a little bit darker and a little bit weirder. For me, it's something perfect I would play at the end of the night, which is how I used it when I just DJed in Rochester for the Signal noise party a couple of weeks ago.

I've lately been finding balearic or early UK acid records that I really like, and it's a sound I've been reincorporating into my sets. Like Primal Scream tracks or things from that time period that sound fresh to me again for the 10th time.

Exterminador - The Slave Gods EP

I don't really know anything about the artist. The whole thing is a little bit mysterious to me.

What caught my eye is that the cover is absolutely gorgeous. It's like a piece of art. It's a painting by Abdul Qadim Haqq, who is a Detroit artist who does a lot of the artwork for the Underground Resistance records. I'm lucky enough that I have one of his paintings hanging in my house. Right away, I thought, "I think this is a Haqq painting."

What's pretty cool is when you see a really beautiful cover of a record and the record itself is fantastic too. The track in particular that I really like is the first track, "Bondage 2 Ideals." It's this almost fuzzy, guttural electro with a really tripped out, acid beat over it. It's kind of nice because it can go either way: sort of more toward acid records or electro records, which I like mixing together.

I kind of feel like there's been a rebirth of electro, which is great because it's always been something I've enjoyed incorporating in my sets. But it's always been about digging for older stuff or finding older stuff. Lately, there's been some new, fresh electro coming out and I've been pretty excited about that.

Chicagodeep and Taelue - Metamorphic Expressions

These are a couple of local artists I started following a few years ago. They started their label Perpetual Rhythms around the same time I started my god particle label. Somebody at Gramophone tipped me off to their music. They were very new. They had just started releasing music. I've been closely following and buying pretty much every one of their releases.

It's just very deep, deep Chicago house with a little bit of an atmospheric vibe to it. It's perfect for when I'm opening at Smartbar for the beginning of the night. The tracks have a very timeless sound to them.

One in particular, it's by Chicagodeep, and it's called "Kinetic Energy." It's just perfect to get the party started as people are filtering in to the club. I always try to find songs that are not "too much," because I think when people first come to a party, they need something warm and inviting, but still get them interested in dancing. I really find their music is perfect for that.