Article: Mark Grant-A Taste of Cajual (Cajual)

Author: Michal Trnka

Reference: 1997


Perhaps, as the Glen Underground tune claims, house music will never die, but it certainly goes into long periods of hibernations now and then.  Disco cut ups, tek-house and all the other formerly innovative flavors of the last couple of years ran out of inspiration and began rehashing themselves.  The forecast: a long, bleak winter for house-heads.  But instead of sitting on our butts moping while waiting for the stateside arrival of speed garage (or whatever the next big thing is slated to be), maybe its time to step back and look upon the bright spots of the last few years.  Cajual, the prototypical Chicago deep house label of the decade, is releasing its second mixed-retrospective CD.  This time around, itís piloted by up-and-coming producer/DJ Mark Grant.  All the usual suspects are represented in their 1996-7 guises: label founder Cajmere/Green Velvet, Johnny Fiasco, Glen Underground, Braxton Holmes, Mark Grant, and Dajae, who recently gave Cajual its first number one single.  Since the first Taste of Cajual was mixed by Derrick Carter, Grant has some pretty big shoes to fill, and he does a fine job.  The disc is more about the music than the mixing though, and in that respect it lives up to the Cajual tradition.  Everything goes: from filtered Ď70s guitar riffs, to wailing divas, to fat analog basslines, to the harder funk Green Velvet made famous.  And even if itís not quite as exciting as the Cajual records of five years ago, the arrangements are tasty and its easily good enough to make you forget about the current malaise plaguing house music Ė if only for 72 minutes.