A man not afraid to express his emotions (as difficult as it may be at times) & talk about music, politics, beliefs, values & his future aspirations. Interview further down.
I had a crazy phone interview (covering so many topics) with, Corky strong Traxman. He explained how his two biggest influences –US Garages, Larry Lavin and Chicago’s Frankie knuckles shaped his own musical style as one of the co-founders of the footwork genre community.
Larry Levin quick started a whole new genre to electronic music -blending Latin -Spanish Harlem, hip hop & underground disco music in New York that would inspire Frankie knuckles to salvage disco in Chicago with the techniques he learned off Lavin in New York.
He dared to play & remix songs other D.J.’s were afraid to play.
This was the early 80’s when Chicago radio declared :
‘Disco music is a disease -It is a disco dystrophy’
Some of this prejudice against disco was due to the transgender scene that Lavin flouted. Radio wasn’t ready to put gay black music on the airwaves.
So the warehouse with Frankie Knuckles at the helm, became for many of the Chicago dance community another place to socialise with like-minded souls. It was referred to as a house. Or church.
Disco has its revenge -Frankie’s knuckles
Frankie & the Chicago underground music scene tried to preserve disco & created a new sound ‘chicago acid house’
To understand corky’s music style we have to delve into history.
Soul, dance & technology created a new hybrid.
When you try to kill something, it goes underground & comes back harder the early 80’s
Corky had the opportunity to embrace both music scenes
It was a very diverse scene my uncle had a girlfriend whose brother was openly gay in the early ’80s and they used to go to the warehouse on the martian circuit. We had Spanish Harlem.
Did you ever get caught up in drug scene -ecstasy vibe?
I’ve never done ecstasy.
As a kid, I didn’t experience or witness hard drugs. It was 1981. There were big parties but I was too young, y’ know. Then when I hit 13 years old I became the curious DJ I met up with
Slick Rick the masters ( the American music producer )
Steve p .and through dance mania (records) in 1984, and that’s when we got a taste for the party scene
Corky was signed up to the dance mania label ( founded by Jesse James in 1985)
In 1987 the door opened and I met up with slick rick the master. And a body down the projects called DJ. Funk 1 * (check ref ) we hung out at the Jam House (and) Gerald did something we’d never seen before. He used a cassette machine to make our own beats. One track was Sleazy Dee’s ‘Loss of control’. and another THEN one of the U.K. music house hits was ‘No way back traxman
Corky was a co-founder of TEK LIFE (Top 50 Rolling Stones magazine in EDM music for 2017 ( album insert) – reviving the footwork era -( CSTraxman has a varied & insane knowledge about music and genres. So what inspired to become a part of The footwork genre with (the deceased) D.J. Rashed?
TO understand music sometimes you have to know the history, then you can appreciate it more and give it a try.
What have you been able to do with music and your vocation /career
Think of another word?
I’ve now got my own label – Music chicago -we – Rob ( muffled sounds in the back ground) -our distributor in Germany open it so that we had the freedom to make our own choices.
Corky lists his other influences as the Hotmix five
Delving into politics ( music & politics are inseparable for those who have something to say or something they believe in) – reword
So what do you make of Trump?
Trump doesn’t concern us -African people, you know… What he is doing to us -he is not doing anything to us that hasn’t been done before.
What about Obama?
Fuck Obama! (laughs).He did something for the American people & the minorities. He didn’t do anything for the Black people…. Obama gave no tangibles
(asked to elaborate)
The black people wanted 365 days of Free labour back?
How do you think that is going to happen?
I dunno a grassroots campaign (gives example) Hold your own nuts , you know.. Don’t do harm to children & babies & that’s it.
What Kind of people do you think are drawn to your music?
I dunno, Normal people-you don’t have to be white or black or transgender.
Corky’s biggest base is in Japan and when I asked him what genres of music were popular there he said:
It’s not just footwork & Juke . They are massively into reggae & beats like that.
To follow is our conversation about a suicidal kid in Phoenix,U.S.A .
Check him out on Bandcamp below.