50 years of Gramaphone Records, Chicago’s most beloved institution – Mixmag

There’s something very special about Chicago. It doesn’t feel like any of the other major US cities that’s for sure. It’s not as intense and busy as New York and it’s not as a sparse as Los Angeles. It’s a self-contained hub where culture, art and perhaps most importantly music, thrives. Not just any type of music though, not even just any type of dance music either, house music is Chicago and Chicago is house music.

What started in the mid-late 1980’s in Chicago changed electronic music forever and house music remains one of the most popular genres in the world. Fans of the sound have the Windy City to thank for that and the artists that pioneered a movement are still keeping it real to this day.

Read this next: Listen to a ‘100% Chicago house’ mix from Ariel Zetina

Chicago’s oldest and most revered record store, Gramaphone Records, hit a milestone in November last year, a milestone that precedes the birth of house and goes back even further. 50 years ago, the institution opened its doors for the first time and became its own eco-system, providing the city with music, music that would go on to travel the world and most importantly, it’s music that started its life in the city.

The record store, now owned by Michael Serafini, teamed up with Red Bull Music Festival Chicago to host a 50th birthday party like no other. Taking place at the legendary Smartbar, another essential establishment in the city, the line-up for the party was, as expected, a who’s who of house music royalty. The sort of acts that only Chicago could command, all joining together for an evening of non-stop happiness and house music heat.

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