Foto: Press (Specter)

Since Specter released his debut album Built to Last on Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature in 2018, the Chicago based producer built up an ever-growing reputation outside his hometown. Within the Chicago scene, however, Andres Ordonez has been a well known DJ and selector for over two decades, producing and releasing tunes since the early 2000s. In October, he’s playing J.A.Ws Family Reunion at Griessmuehle among the likes of Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman or Mr. Scruff. To arouse anticipation, he recorded a joyous mix and spoke to us about Chicago, his career and raw energy.

Since you’re in the game for over 20 years, can you point out some major changes in Chicago and house music as a whole?

Well, I think Chicago has been going through the changing of the guard for a while. Lot of young cats doing their thing. Although some geezers and grumps would probably not admit. But it’s time to usher in the young bloods and teach to those that will listen. Otherwise the shit will die off. House has split off in many directions but as long as there is raw energy, house will keep its original integrity. That goes for every city pushing this music.

How did you get into DJing in the first place? Which crucial moments or releases do you recall within your career?

My uncle had a setup but would never let me touch the equipment or record with my cheap tapes, haha. But he would take me to the record store with him and that pretty much caught my interest. I would see neighborhood guys playing block parties and stuff like that. Once I started hearing the mixes on the radio, I knew it was something that I wanted to do. 
When I put out my first release, that was a crucial point obviously. It elevated the game for me. Because up to then I didn’t really take it seriously and I gotta thank my brother Damon Lamar (founder of Tetrode Music that published Specter’s first EP For All The Music in 2001) for that push.

What’s the most important characteristic when it comes to Chicago House and what does the genre stand for in your eyes?

To me, House was always more then just Acid and reverb drums. It was a lifestyle. Those tracks among others just happened to be the soundtrack. It was an outlet for people to escape from everyday life. That will continue as long as there is raw energy from the crowd and the listeners.

How did you connect with Theo Parrish and Sound Signature?

We connected through just meeting up randomly when he was in town to play. I was already playing a lot of the early Sound Signature records. So we just started from there and he blessed me with the opportunity to release on his label.

You’re playing the J.A.W Family Reunion amongst Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman, Mr. Scruff or Leroy Burgess. What’s special about the concept of J.A.W and what are you looking forward to the most?

Catching up with a lot of friends, old and new. The J.A.W guys are solid dudes and always put together heavy line-ups. Very thankful to be a part of it all.

Stream: Specter – J.A.W Family Reunion 2019 Mix

Groove presents: J.A.W Family Reunion
October 8 to 13

Line-up: Doug & Jean Carn Black Jazz All Stars 50th (live), Darryn Jones, Employee alias Max Graef, Hieroglyphic Being, J.A.W Family, John Gomez, Julion De’Angelo, Leroy Burgess Full Band (live), Marcellus Pittman, Mr. Scruff, Nicole Misha, Pablo Valentino, Red Greg, San Soda, Specter, Theo Parrish, Tony B. Nimble, Waxist

Festsaal Kreuzberg and Griessmuehle
Berlin