Editor Note: Very rarely (if ever at all) do I express myself personally on this site, but since this is a particularly special mix I would like to be a bit more candid with my reflection. If it weren’t for these people, I would probably not be where I currently am. So, it only seemed fit to express it direct and from the heart.
On the first of November I packed up my car and hit the 90 West from Buffalo, N.Y. to Illinois. My first weekend as a Chicagoan was spent on the dancefloor at Smartbar for the 23-Hour Party People, a 35th year celebration of the iconic club.
I was greeted by friends and familiar faces on the dancefloor. “Welcome home,” they said to me.
Chicago started feeling like home in March earlier this year when Sam Kern (Sassmouth) asked me to participate in the Walking & Falling mentorship program along with mentors Elly Schook (Kiddo) and Jarvi Schneider. During workshop week I attended my first Planet Chicago party at Smartbar, thrown by the NBFC. My love for the Naughty Bad Fun Collective started when I first interviewed Sam in 2015 when Sequencer was just a prototype. In the years that followed my friendships with them have only grown stronger. Their parties have always resonated significantly with me. Sam and Jarvi became pillars in my life; they helped me not only as I began learning to DJ, but most importantly showed nothing but love and support as I began accepting myself for who I truly am. They encouraged and helped me change my life, and make this move into a new city. Because of this I couldn’t have asked for a better “Welcome to Chicago” weekend celebration.
At a Planet Chicago party there is a feeling of togetherness and comfort that is unique and beautiful. It is exactly the type of energy I look for and try to bring to others. The inexplicable feeling I get inspired by these parties is unchanging and always present. I felt it at my first Planet Chicago with Virginia, and again during the second workshop in October with guests Shane Christian (Kiernan Laveaux) and a live set from 214.
As time progressed during the 23-hour party the energy of Smartbar shifted drastically as each DJ switched in and out. Yet somehow amidst the madness of day-long raving (and even without the signature NBFC decorations) the Planet Chicago slot brought that undeniable energy forward. For three hours we ripped through a space continuum and it suddenly felt just like a night at Planet Chicago. As I watched Sam, Jarvi and Pat Bosman play records together, I knew I finally made it. I knew I was home.
And although this is just my own reflection, it’s irrefutable each person present for this set had an experience that was beautiful in its own way. For this month’s guest mix, I am beyond happy to release the second half of their set from that day as they played back-to-back. And even if you weren’t there for this powerhouse experience, you can still feel it through your speakers. The Planet Chicago realm is not bound by physical limits, and will always make you jack.