It's funny the way San Francisco's house scene has risen to prominence under the guidance of a host of Chicago-born DJs and producers. Funnier still that John Howard, one of the higher-profile DJs in the Windy City, is actually from San Francisco. And yet Howard doesn't dish out much of the patchouli-scented, dub-influenced "San Francisco sound" that has blossomed there over the past few years.
In 2000, Om Records asked Howard to curate the second volume in its San Francisco Sessions series, and ironically, the mix he turned in feels a lot more like Chicago than it does SF. Maybe it's because Howard draws his influence from Chi-town greats like Derrick Carter and Gene Farris, or maybe he was just trying to keep critics from pigeonholing him. Either way, Howard's Sessions bumps and funks with the best of them. The tribal accents conjure images of a Bay Area full-moon gathering, but the bulk of the mix flaunts deep, Chicago bass lines, post-disco glitz, and occasional Latin flourishes. We'll have no complaints if Howard brings a similar sound to Cleveland.