On October 20th, as the seasons change, MK and Lee Foss will give the Junkyard a combination of Detroit and Chicago here in Denver, Colorado. No two cities have been more impactful to electronic music as the birthplace of techno, Detroit, and the home of house music, Chicago. For this one night, it will be a balance of the two with DJs who represent both where house and techno have been and where it is going.
MK, also known as Marc Kinchen, might not have the sound you WOULD expect to hear from A DJ and producers from Detroit — and yet, that is what has made his career so magical over the past three decades. His success started in the ’90s with what is still a house music classic called “Burning.” Funky yet emotional, the song is loved all over the world. His early work is such a great representation of that ’90s house sound that we hear influencing so much techno these days. That’s the balance between house and techno. They always inspire each other, like Detroit and Chicago.
My favorite memory of MK is from the music festival held in Detroit now known as Movement. It started as Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) and allows house and music lovers the chance to make a pilgrimage to the heart of the city as a way of showing their love for this music. On a bright, sunny day, just after rainfall, MK played another hit of his, “Piece of Me,” to the biggest crowd I have ever seen in Hart Plaza. Most people go to Detroit for the techno, yet there we all were, smiling and enjoying house music with skyscrapers surrounding us and people wearing black everywhere.
MK’s list of hits and collaborations is as long and impressive as any producer or DJ out there, as he’s responsible for other great songs like “17,” “There for You” with Gorgon City, “Underwater” with Annabel Englund, “Kiss It Better” with Aluna, and “Rhyme Dust” with Dom Dolla. MK gives you a chance to see the other side of Detroit — the side that’s funky, vocal, and groovy. After all, Detroit is also the home of Motown.
As a counter to MK and Detroit comes Chicago’s own Lee Foss, who has a long list of collaborations and hits that are tough to match. The best place to start when discussing Lee Foss’ music career is with the massively successful group he founded with fellow superstar Jamie Jones called Hot Natured. Their track “Reverse Skydiving” still bumps the dance floor every time and also represents that moment for all electronic music. Those who love house music will perhaps always remember what it felt like to hear that song for the first time.
From there, Lee Foss started and now still runs Repopulate Mars, which is responsible for great music and amazing events held all around the world. Combine that with a few collaborations like the ever-polarizing John Summit, and you have a DJ that represents the moment and also the sound that Chicago made. To this day, the two are always influencing and balancing those of us living in the middle.
My favorite memory of Lee Foss is from Chicago during the first year of Arc Music Festival, an event very similar to Movement as it gives house and techno lovers a chance to return to a place that helped create it and hear the music we love. He was playing the closing party for that first year, and it was a Monday night at some club whose name escapes me. As the night turned into the morning, and we suddenly realized it was Tuesday, a funky and vocally powerful song crept in, and I realized it would always be the song that would play in my mind when I thought of that year. The track was “Summertime Chi,” a new track he had just made with John Summit that I was hearing for the first time from the dance floor. To this day, when I hear that song, I think of that moment and how it looked, felt, and sounded. Most of all, I think of Chicago and Lee Foss.
On Friday, October 20th, Detroit and Chicago combine for a night of house music bliss at The JunkYard in Downtown Denver. If you love house music, you don’t want to miss this show. If you can’t find your way, close your eyes and follow the sound of the music as it carries through the streets, just like how it leads us to Detroit and Chicago. Get your tickets and we’ll see you on the dance floor.