Brooklyn-born, Chicago-based, Heather Robinson programmed hip-hop, rare grooves, and downtempo electronica in small bars before she could mix.
“To me, ‘the Chicago sound’ has always been a combination of musical styles – house, disco, techno, gospel, et al. – and putting those elements together to create your own,” she emails. “What I play is a reflection of that ethos.”
As DJ Heather, Robinson found her niche in deep, funky, Chicago house. A resident of the Windy City’s famed Smartbar, she mixed an early compilation for the influential Fabric mix series from the London club of the same name, and toured nonstop on her own and with her friend Colette Marino, a vocalist and fellow Smartbar resident. The pair headline a SXSW-like label showcase with Midwest funky breaks champion DJ Dan.
“What happens when [Colette and I] play together is fun,” writes Robinson. “The set times are shorter, so we have to ‘tell our stories’ in a more condensed version. I think it works because we then have to get ‘to the point’ right away, which keeps the dance floor going.
Robinson’s known for Apollo Music Group releases of squelchy tech-house, but fans of the lush deep house releases on her own dormant label Blackcherry Recordings are in for a surprise.
“My new projects include collaborations with Lauren Flax and Scrubfish amongst others,” she reveals. “Blackcherry will relaunch this very April with an EP from J Fader.”
Go, go, go Heather Robinson.
“I feel as if I do tour perpetually and for that I am really grateful. I’ve learned to just roll with it.”
Sat., March 10, 2pm