Hear the Music? - Well can you? - 2014 (Todd Terry)

Todd Terry - who was named Todd "The God" TERRY here in Enland during the 1990'S

During the late 1980's within England and within the cities such as New York, Chicago and New Jersey within the USA. We were witnessing the fact that Hip Hop music was not having its own way all of the time. Another type of Dance music was wanting a piece of the same action. This form of dance music was known as House and Garage. It had taken over the underground, dance music club scene within Chicago (well House Music had for sure). and the sound was filtering back to New York via the Manhattan club circuit fast.

The Dj/Producer known as Todd Terry was really one of the first to really put New York back in the forefront in regards of the music known as "House" after the initial musical movement was made popular by the music lovers within city of Chicago.

However, many music critics state the fact that New York's Disco Culture had led to the creation of Chicago House music in the first place. Without the music of Disco, there would be no House and Garage music at all they state.

However, we are not here to argue who is the true innovator of the music of House music or Garage music to be honest. We are looking at the creation at depth on just one of Todd Terry's brilliant tracks.

On this occasion we will be looking at the song that is known as "Hear the Music" by the Gypsymen (1992) which is just one of the names that Todd Terry goes under.

The track called "Hear the Music" has an tribal like drum pattern that kicks in so effortlessly that it has us all transfixed  to the tune like a snake who is hypnotically under the influence of the snake charmers pipe.

The track in question was huge all over the world via the underground disco's or dance music clubs at the time. It even went to number one states side (Usa) within the Dance charts of April 1992.

Todd Terry hails from New York, Usa. He is today considered a House music legend. He was originally immersed within the music after listening to Hip Hop music and break beats. In fact he was working with 2 x Hip Hop groups within New York during the early to middle 1980's, but nothing was working out for him with that type of music.

Todd Terry - New York's first true Super Star of House Music

He was introduced into the music of House via music friend of his called "Tracks" - who stated that maybe they has better pay attention to a new style of music making some "noise" within the Manhattan area of New York, known as House music.

After himself (TODD TERRY) getting into those same clubs within Manhattan, he went home and started mimicking what he had just heard within those same Manhattan clubs that he managed to squeeze into. Once he refined on what he head via those clubs that he visited he was on his way into making bonifide House music tracks.

He made a breakthrough with the tune called "Alright, Alright"(1987) that put him on the right step to stardom. Then came the singles that created the legend that is Todd Terry. "I'll House you" *by The Jungle Brothers (His mix on this single - 1988). Under the name of Todd Terry Project he brought out these singles - "Weekend" and "Bango back to Beat"(1988) all of which were massive on a Underground and world wide level.

Once Todd had got the bit between his teeth there was no stopping him. First came the Underground Club hit called Black Riots "A day in the Life" in 1988. Then came Royal House - "Can you Party" in 1988. It seemed as if every mix/tune he was putting out was sure fire gold from TODD TERRY.

However, the mix that even made me and plenty of others stop dead was this one. This one is sweet. I know this will not cut it with alot of people. Even make you wonder if I have lost it. As many are not under the House groove, But for those that are this is the Todd Terry track.

Have a listen to this yourself. The single is best known for its heavy computer tribal drum beats, non-stop scatting male vocals, female vocals chanting "can you feel it?" and the looping keyboard sampling of Machine's 1979 disco song,"THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I" .

GYPSYMEN - "Hear the music" - 1992

As I mentioned its those drums, that gets you hooked first of all. Lets hear how Todd goes about making these tunes in general.

How do you write songs?


I get started with a bunch of pretty melodies, put it to a hard beat and bassline, and take out all the melody after the song is done. Like these pretty pianos [on the track he’s working on], you’ll never hear them on the record. That would soften it up and make it sound just like every other house record. The pretty pianos and bells and whatever that I use to write the song, I take them out and I put in some harder elements, keeping the way the singer sings the melody. Its a trick actually. I keep the basic chords but it won’t sound nowhere the same as when I did the demo. A lot of singers, when they hear the finished song they’ll be like, ‘Oh that was good, that’s interesting.’ I keep the same formula but I just change the sound. I could put a complete acid sound to it after the girl sings it.


Todd Terry Being Interviewd by Frank Broughton - 1996 - Interviewed by Frank Broughton in New York, May 21, 1996


So that's the secret of how Todd Terry create his masterpieces? Well,  I am sure that there is more to it then that. He has a few more tricks up his sleeve. For instance he has been working on different styles of music such as making Drum and Bass Tracks and Dubstep tracks, which from him allows him to keep that edge.


Another explanation to his continuing within the music industry is that he has decided to do more Dj/Producer collaborations. He is working with a number of new producers that have impressed him. Which in its self allows him to move to a new direction on how these younger DJ/producers go about making music. What Drum patterns they are using, snares, etc, etc...


Todd Terry - Where he love to be!


Todd often states that his generation was always geared towards making music. He sees this generation in being moved towards making just sounds,


"Yeah, always. There are always different sounds, different warps, vocal tricks, drum rolls, echoes—I can always learn from these kids because they are looking at producing way differently than I did. I was brought up making music and they're brought up making sounds, that's a big difference. I see what it is, it's all about the sound to them. Me, I'll take a piano and make music, but they'll take a piano and warp it"


Please click here to find out more about the Interview - Todd Terry Interviewed by Xlr8r magazine in 2013

So what are going to expect in the future from Todd Terry? Well lets hear from the man himself.

 "I've always been at my roots whether people notice it or not. I've always done a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I'm not running away from house, but every once in a while, I want to do a different beat; I want to do a break-dance record or a freestyle record. If I feel like doing it, I'm just going to do it. I just did the Todd Terry vs. Hip-Hopalbum because I wanted to do it. I just want to stay like me. [laughs] It can be hard in this business, but I have to stick to that because I think that's what has kept me here for 27 years. You have to do it as a feeling, not just because someone wants you to put a warp sound on their track. It's important that you want to do it"

Please click here to find out more about the Interview - Todd Terry Interviewed by Xlr8r magazine in 2013 


More on the subject from Todd Terry


 "Yeah, I try have fun with it, but it's a business and I have to pay some bills every now and then. I try to do two records for the people and two for myself every month. I'm doing a freestyle album right now—makes no sense at all, but I'm doing it. I'm setting up a session to bug out and do some music with a Latin band in June (2013). I think that people have alienated the fun out of music. We have to get the dance floor back to where people are having fun and it's interesting"


Please click here to find out more about the Interview - Todd Terry Interviewed by Xlr8r magazine in 2013

Or try this instead. Here below is a you tube video interview with TREVOR JACKSON ( House Masters - Defected Records) and TODD TERRY - 2016. Please click on the link below.

Todd Terry, is an important chapter within any book devoted to House and Garage music. There are other worthy Djs and Dj/Producers that deserve a mention on this website. And trust me I will be working on this in future writings about the same subject.


However, I would like to offer my opinion that Todd Terry was House music first true International superstar. I get the feeling that I 'd better start dodging the rocks that I feel will be hurled at me by the lovers of the music (House music especially) from the City of Chicago, Usa.


The City of Chicago as I have already mentioned class the music of House as their very own. However, there was a period from 1990 to 1992 that Todd Terry turned harden Hip Hop music Heads for some time into liking House music. That's some going. Some going indeed. Here in England, at the height of his popularity he even gained the nickname of  Todd "The God" Terry!


Have a listen to the GYPSYMEN - "Hear the music - 1992 track above and hear why. And check out the YOU TUBE VIEW INTERVIEW WITH TREVOR JACKSON

Well that all folks for now anyway.

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