Among those in-the-know, Big Strick has long been held up as one of the Motor City’s best and most discerning DJs. Although best known for his merits behind the turntables, he’s increasingly earning a reputation for the consistently great output of his 7 Days Ent imprint. Home to a collective of artists whom Strick is tight with (including his longtime friend, Ron Cook and his son, Generation Next), the label serves up a quality-over-quantity ethos like few others in its field. And the goods keep coming too: just last year they released one of my favourite records of 2020, Butterbandz’ awesome The Legacy EP. Away from 7 Days, Strick’s sounds have found a home on the likes of his cousin Omar S’ FXHE, and as you’ve probably noted at this juncture, for Big Strick, music is very very a tight-knit, family affair. We decided to pick his brain recently about some classic cuts, as Strick gave us his two cents on jams from Joey Beltram, Dan Curtin, Daniel Bell and more.
(PS – while we’re here, go buy Reckless Ron Cook’s Night Moves on 7 Days Ent. What an incredible track!)
Joey Beltram – Energy Flash (R&S, 1989)
Man this song really is in my top 10 for real. I love this song, high energy rush, hard pounding ground moving nonstop action, I mean this is a go-to song! I mean hard drums, erupting synthesizers unforgiving hi hats and snare drums. You know one of those tunes that you drop at the 2 hour mark and you can play the whole version and the crowd will still be moving from wall to wall! Definitely one of my top 10 songs of all time. Definitely! Haha.
Jaydee – Plastic Dreams (R&S, 1991)
Another club banger that stays in the bag I mean this is definitely one every Detroit DJ has in his bag! In Detroit they have a dance called the hustle and this song is one of the most requested songs to hustle to most definitely. I can’t say enough about this song! I mean excellent programming, nice keys, nice drums, high hats, tight organs I mean I can go on and on about this one I really enjoy playing this song. A dance floor classic! Jaydee really got down on this one.
Dan Curtin – 3rd from the Sun (33rpm Records, 1992)
This is a nice uptempo acid themed groove from Dan with nice hi hats. The programming is worth a mention here also. Key elements in a high adrenaline rush track such as this. Not sure where to place it as deep house or techno but I think it would fit nice in either setting. An All around nice track with an array of change ups to keep the crowd in tune with the DJ. Overall this track STAYS in the bag!
KCYC – Stompin Ground (Strictly Rhythm, 1993)
Classic NYC house from Kerri Chandler right here! Baseline tight and drums are programmed nicely with perfect claps and hats to set it off. Cool vocals, nice mix and pianos make this one definitely one every house music DJ needs straight old-school classic. From beginning to end this song keeps you moving I mean nonstop building and then a nice break down and then build it right back up what can I say aside from I need a Stompin Groooooooound! This song is true to the Strictly Rhythm sound that you could expect from the label. It definitely doesn’t disappoint.
DBX – City on The Edge of Forever (Peacefrog, 1993)
This one here is kind of on the melodic techno side of things. Nice laid-back hypnotic growth as the track goes on while staying in pace with the synthesizer. The cool vocals gives this one a real Detroit effect. Something you can drop in at any point of the party. It has great elements all around. It is a big room and small room sound. I can just imagine club goers moving side to side shuffling to this. I get deep underground feels listening to this!
I-F – Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass (Viewlexx, 1998)
This one I’m not really sure about. I mean it’s definitely different from my style of music that I play, I guess you can call it techno? It definitely has elements of fast paced dance music, kind of puts you in the mind of a Technicolor groove. Fast paced with the hint of acid and space style vocals keep you in tune with the groove and topped of by a nice drum program. Again no disrespect but I don’t believe this is one that I would play but that’s not to say it’s not a good song I just can’t see myself playing it.
DMX Krew – Come to Me (Rephlex, 1998)
This cut puts me in the mindset of some old Italo disco mixed with the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams. Not sure how I slept on this! Classic feel with tight vocals that put me in the mindset of a good ole’ jam set in the early 80’s. Definitely a good find for those who like the disco style of dance music. The build up to the break is what gets me the most for this track. I just wish it was a little longer so an extended edit mix is due. A lot of spacey synths that keeps this track interesting.
Soul Capsule – Lady Science (NYC Sunrise mix) (Trelik,1999)
This track just sets the right mood for any situation. Whether it be getting the party started or sitting down for dinner this cut will definitely not be out of place. Though I have to be honest… I don’t have this in my collection but I am going to be on the hunt for it most definitely. Every DJ should always be updating their bag with this no matter how young or old. There are so many gems out there that have yet to be discovered.
Detroit in Effect – Shake a Little Faster (M.A.P, 2010)
Hey, what can I say… that’s true Detroit right here! Where I come from we call it ghettotech or Booty shake music, which derives from REAL Techno. With cuts like R-9 and Clear (Jaun Atkins – Cybortron) that’s the era where the birth of ghettotech came from. In Detroit clubs, we like our tempo at least 125-150 for the jitters (a dance with Detroit Roots) and the booty shakers. D.J. Maaco is definitely a top producer from the city. The bass-line really carries the rhythm here which gives a sort of RnB feel along with the John Legend sample takes it to the level.
Head High – Rave (Power House, 2012)
Nice dancefloor feel. This one keeps me moving and grooving. Nice drums, nice hi hats and easy listening stabs here and there. Nice mix put on it and it gives me the feel of 90s house music. A lot of key elements to this song which make it a great song for building the party up. One I think you can never go wrong with. I would drop this one around an hour into a set while everyone’s energy is high.