‘Virgo’s debut EP from ’89 is arguably the finest house music 12-inch ever created.’
First time around these guys never received the credit they deserved in the story of Chicago House Music… over the past 6 months, that balance has been re-addressed and we’ve seen not just one but two re-issues, one their classic album, the other a crazy amount of unreleased gold – both equally of seminal quality. Below we examine their releases by form a musical highlight/journey. It is by no means decisive. If you like what you hear – and if you don’t I think we may have some serious issues – we strongly advise you to delve deeper and pick up the aforementioned of reissues.
We could try to write our own biog of them but when you have in-depth quality like this, it seems silly!!:
The self titled Virgo album, released in 1989, is regarded as a seminal house album. Yet, the album is not common knowledge. Nor is much known about its creators Eric Lewis and Merwyn Sanders. ‘We were horrible at networking’ says Merwyn now. ‘By the time we started releasing on Trax, the label was past its prime’ explains Eric. Besides, there has always been some confusion about Virgo and Virgo Four. There were two different Virgos on Trax, the other one being the Virgo of Adonis, Marshall Jefferson and Vince Lawrence. Merwyn: ‘That was one of Larry’s (Sherman, Trax label boss) ideas. felt since we were unknown and our stuff was in the same vibe that it would add some name recognition. Our name was M.E. (Merwyn & Eric). We were very against Larry changing it. We had no idea until he started pressing em up. We were somewhat furious, but finally went along with it because we were so into doing the music and not so worried about a name. Eric and Merwyn were both born and raised on the south side of Chicago in musical families…
read the full bio on rush hour’s site here
‘When the golden era of Chicago house gets mentioned nowadays, people will be quick to mention people like Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk and Larry Heard, but Eric Lewis and Merwyn Sanders? Although they might not be household names, the duo’s small discography is highly rated by connoisseurs of the deeper Chicago sound, and some might go as far as to say that their debut EP from ’89 as Virgo Four is arguably the finest house music 12-inch ever created. I’m inclined to agree, and if you’ve ever heard the strutting space-age bleep-house of “In a Vision” or the euphorically melancholic reggaematics of “Take Me Higher” before (the latter of which I would rate as one of the best electronic music tracks of all time), it’s likely that you will too.
Although they might not be household names, the duo’s small discography is highly rated by connoisseurs of the deeper Chicago sound, and some might go as far as to say that their debut EP from ’89 as Virgo Four is arguably the finest house music 12-inch ever created.’
Richard Carnes on RA
If you don’t own their debut EP you need to rectify this forthwith! There was a superb remastered double vinyl re-issue from last year on Rush Hour. Get hold of it here
Virgo Four – Debut EP
Check the full EP in all it’s glory below
Youtube comment about the EP:
“I would prefer to think that it is just a question of exposure. The masses haven’t been in a hot sweaty dimly-lit warehouse free of meat market mentality and bling-wear, where they are just there only for the music. i think, then and only then would something like this be meaningful.”
That is until they play Eastern Electrics on the 29th of next month!
This sht goes deep:
It’s a bit of a cheat this one as it’s this is actually the other Virgo… but it’s a banger so had to include!
And the superb, superb Sex from this year’s stunningly great Resurrection release from this year:
This album is so ridiculously good! Rush Hour put together a collection of previously unreleased material from late 80s Chicago house pioneers Eric Lewis and Merwyn Sanders, AKA Virgo. Rescued from dusty shoeboxes full of DAT tapes, it showcased long-lost house classics. “Next-level acid experimentation and raw, midtempo dreamscapes is the equal of anything that emerged from the Windy City in that productive period from 1986-1990. If you’re a confirmed househead, you need this in your life.“
Here’s how it’s looking thus far:
And it’s only going to get better…and better!
All the 15 tickets have now sold out. 18 tickets for the event of the may bank holiday are shifting super fast. Don’t miss out on your chance to secure a ticket for under twenty quid! They’re not going to be about for long.
eastern electrics May Bank Holiday 2011
Sunday 29th May
Great Suffolk Street Warehouse
Tickets// Limited Third Release 15 tickets on sale NOW
Early Bird and Second Release tickets SOLD OUT