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About Rockin' House RecordsRockin' House was an influential record label, though it issued fewer than two dozen singles. Its hits included "House Girl" by Mystic and "Video Crash" by Tyree. Founder Rodney Bakerr (who spells his last name with one r when he's not making music) created many of the compositions himself, including the amazingly intricate acid track "Love Is Happiness (Acid Rain)" (as Jaquarius). Remixers for the label included Mike Dunn and Michael Ezebukwu. Several of Rockin' House's singles were charted by British music magazine NME, even though the label lacked European distribution. In 2007 Clone Classic Cuts officially re-issued Bakerr's "House Girl."
The first artists on the label were students where Bakerr worked. According to Bakerr, "Terrence Woodward with 'Jack the Box,' he was a student at CVS [Chicago Vocational School]. I believe Fred Brown, who we did 'House Whop' with, was a former graduate of CVS. And then later I met Tyree and then it expanded out into a larger group of house people."
Rockin' House was an essential influence on the creation of the Belgium New Beat Dance scene. And, was featured in the film documentary TSOB: The Sound of Belgium.
The Rockin' House recording Roman Days has been described as being essential and influential to Belgium's New Beat scene in the '80s.
Rodney Bakerr of Rockin' House Records is probably best known as the man who wrote the first Original House music drum patterns for the Roland Synthesizer Company in 1986-87 for the Legendary TR 808, 909 & TR series drum machines for the Roland Rhythm Guide book and Roland Users Group magazine. The Patterns were the first written and published Chicago House music Patterns ever in Print, and distributed around the world. Many top producers used those music patterns. Roland USA president Tom Beckman hired Rodney and Rockin' House for the job. The Roland Company was introduced to Chicago House By Rodney Bakerr and Rockin' House Records at the Chicago Namm Show. Before that meeting Roland had never heard of Chicago House music. Roland did a six page article on Rodney Bakerr and Rockin' House Records in their Roland Users Group magazine they called it Rockin' the House with Roland. Many producers learned to program intricate Chicago House beats from that Book.
Here is a German article (Page 1 / Page 2) about the work Rodney & Rockin' House did.
Click on images to enlarge them.
Rockin' House was established in 1986 when acid house was taking over as the dominant style. Bakerr insisted his artists and producers use "acid effects." He explains, "From my experience learning about avant-garde and synthesizer music, and also understanding from Hendrix the whole psychedelic movement and rock, I knew that acid would be big in House music." A good example of this is the Rockin' House classic "Love Is Happiness (Acid Rain)" by Jaquarius.
Bakerr quickly learned what gear to use. "I could hire guys like Mike Dunn, which I did for some of my better records," he explains. "I hired Mike to come in to assist me. He came with the [TB-]303. Later on I got my own 303, my own [TR-]808, my own [TR-]909. Mike Dunn was incredible. When we did records like 'House Girl' and 'Numbers' we would set it up with an 808, do a mix with 808, do a mix with a 909, and just run those through."
Bakerr's rock background gave his label a distinctive sound. He recalls, "I insisted on a lot of those records to put guitar parts in them. Even on our most famous record, 'Video Crash,' I even slid guitar in there on that record! Without Tyree's approval, I just slid it in there. It was a Gibson SG Standard on that, on the B-side." Bakerr says he added Brazilian percussion as well.
"Video Crash" was Rockin' House's biggest hit, but Bakerr laments, "I never made much money from that [single] because it was bootlegged so badly. In fact, in New York, it got bootlegged as 'Acid Crash' and most people who know it on the East Coast know that record as 'Acid Crash.' They know the bootleg as the real thing [and] they had nerve enough to list me and Tyree and everybody on the bootleg!"