There are times when a party isn’t just a party. In the case of this Saturday night’s post-Artscape “Music Liberated” event, this–moreso than any other event in recent memory–can be viewed as the official “re-start” to the Baltimore club movement. Thus, the release of a four-track EP for said event featuring the Unruly Records Chavy Boys trio of Scottie B, Shawn Caesar and King Tutt, Mighty Mark, TT the Artist and Jon Kwest makes sense. Between the five producers and one vocalist represented, there’s 20 years of history there, hearkening back to nights at Odell’s nightclub, legendary (and “Unruly”) nights at the Paradox, being “The Shit” with DJ Class, surviving America’s borrowing of club’s impulse in the early days of electro’s rise, and now, this return.
Though many would claim that Jersey’s where its at these days with DJs Sliink and Nadus making major waves, there’s still something to be said for the sound’s roots. Kwest provides two solo cuts here with very familiar samples. “Hells Bells” gets things “rocking” with Run-DMC memories, while “T.U.T.D” takes Lil Jon, “Davvincii,” and Saturday Night Live down I-95 to the Charm City. “Wet” brings Scottie B and company back into the club, with an inimitable style that is the same as it ever was, while new era Bmore representatives Mighty Mark and TT the Artist join a crew of others to “Get Violent.”
Regarding the name of the party and EP (whicih you can stream and download down below), Jon Kwest says the following:
Music Liberated was an historic record store (that I once managed) located on the corner of Park & Saratoga St. in West Baltimore. In the late 90s to early 2000s it released roughly 70% of Bmore Club, overall, through it’s Baltimore BreakBeats and other labels. Regular customers included Afrika Bambaataa, Biz Markie, Frankie Bones, Dj Icee and other breakbeat legends. Over the years it employed Teddy Douglas, Tommy Davis (of The Basement Boys), Ian Carey, Scottie B, Diamond K and Chris Brooks. [As well], it was used as Motor Mouth Maybelle’s record store in the original Hairspray film.