Club music is easy to mock. Most people know someone skeptical or dismissive of it, a class clown-type who'll derisively mimic a cut by huffing "uhnt-chk-uhnt-chk-uhnt-chk" while goofily nodding his head. Heed this warning: Paul Johnson's "Feel My M.F. Bass" will be a boon to this person. Shrill and stone-stoopid, the song's refrain repeats as such: "Feel my moth-er-fuck-ing bass in your face/ Feel my moth-er-fuck-ing bass in your face." The rhythm, composed on a then-cheap, probably discarded drum machine, goes "uhnt-chk-uhnt-chk-uhnt-chk" except when it goes "unt-uhnt-uhnt-uhnt." The bass line sounds like...well, there is no bass line. But if you dropped this little chunk of rhythmic coal on the South or West side of Chicago in 1994, or if you drop it just about anywhere in Europe in 2014, people go wild.
"Feel My M.F. Bass" is a standout track from Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997, the first-ever compilation to honor Chicago house music's coarse, brilliant, and suddenly trendy prodigal son. Best known for lewd, raw, high-tempo tracks—a style known then and now as ghetto house—Dance Mania churned out dozens of classic singles that rarely escaped the Midwest. The label was, essentially, primed to run as a modest small business: attract a dedicated, local following by using its paltry resources to shake as many asses as possible.