Founder Ray Barnes probably didn’t predict the years of continued relevance Dance Mania would enjoy when Duane Buford christened the label in 1986. But here we are, still talking about those bold, brazen and sometimes plain obnoxious records that were propagated by the Chicago powerhouse. Thirty years on since that first 12″ and echoes of Dance Mania can be heard coursing through the curation of record labels far and wide, but nowhere more so than Parisian imprint, Hard Beach Entertainment.

Launched with a split effort from label owners Beusta and Trebluf, the rough-cut debut set a precedent for the label that declared the likes of DJ Deeon and Jammin Gerald as major influencers. In no uncertain terms, these guys really love Dance Mania. Coincidently, so do we, and with the recent arrival of a second HBE release from Toni Moralez we asked with the ghetto house connoisseurs to pick a few of their all-time DM favourites.

So in no particular order and accompanied by a few words from the label heads, here’s a playlist of the selections;

1. Herman Orphey – Rhythm [DM108]

The deeper side of Dance Mania.

2. Houz’ Mon – 101 RX (Jammin Gerald Remix) [DM112]

The techno side of Dance Mania.

3. Stacy Kidd – Give It To Me [DM139]

That’s what inspired the whole late 90s french touch disco house thing, but it came out earlier, and it’s.. better.

4. 2-bit Project – OOOH EEE [DM147]

One of the most obscure DM tracks, taken for a 8-track EP full of dope stuff. Enjoy the subtle sub kick coming in and out.

5. DJ Topcat – I Need Weed In My Life [DM165]

This one is an anthem. Perfect use of the Boss DR660 for the beat…

6. DJ Deeon presents Dj Puff – Real Pimpin [DM184]

The sensitive/romantic side of Dance Mania. What so many people miss about this label.

7. Tyree Cooper – Kan I Git High [DM244]

A rather good use of a Mr Fingers sample…

8. DJ Phats & DJ Skip – That Motes [DM250]

That should be a classic! However, it’s rather unknown… so far!

9. DJ Flint – Denial #69 (Trick Don’t Waste My Time) [DM256]

Another from the late DM catalog – best lyrics ever.

10. Eric Martin – Smoke Summ [DM257]

Dope Eric Martin track… Paul Johnson couldn’t have been too far from being involved here.

Toni Moralez’s Little Havana EP is out now and available over at Juno.

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