It’s hardly fair to call Matt Warren a “new artist” as he’s one of the original pioneers of Chicago House music and thus of EDM in general but with his new album Music Is My Life, he is in fact returning to the genre with a new sound and a new perspective. In the 80s and early 90s Warren was one of the main developers of what is now known as Chicago house and he put out dozens of releases under his Sunset Records and AKA Dance Music labels.
When Chicago house exploded in the early 90s and Warren became a household name, he also began collaborating with a number of artists on more indie and pop projects. He’s worked with Bjork, KMFDM and Faith Evans and most notably engineered on the Mortal Kombat Soundtrack, which earned him a platinum record.
While he gained lots of accolades for his work in other genres, Warren never lost his love for Chicago house, and he recently reconnected with Pepper Gomez (now MyMy Lady G), a legend in her own right in the house world. Warren decided to put his first LP in over a decade out Gomez’s new label Wake Up! Music. The album is an unmistakable throwback to 80s and 90s Chicago house but definitely has a modern flare.
Two videos have been released so far from Music Is My Life: “How Do I Love Thee” featuring Gomez and “Get On Up” with another house and disco originator, Janis McGee, on vocals. McGee was a huge get for the album because she works in so many genres and she was definitely the only one who could give “Get on Up” its quintessential house Chicago flavor, not that Gomez does a bad job of it on “How Do I Love Thee” either.
The focus in both the videos and, indeed, of the album, is that Warren can see across the generational, genre and technological divide that sometimes separates old school ravers and modern EDM. To him, the sound endures and the feeling is the same. In the video for “Get On Up,” that’s made quite clear as it seamlessly shifts between images of McGee and her analog band and a DJ playing on Serato; to Warren the tools of the trade might not be exactly the same but the sounds and the love of dance music are what endure. That’s why he proudly proclaims in this album, Music Is My Life.