The Sunday Sessions

The Sunday Sessions 015: Rick Wade

Every legend has a "Once Upon A Time." The story of the now-legendary sound of Rick Wade begins in small-town western Michigan, less than an hour from Chicago's South Side. In the late 70's, when Chicago's Warehouse was groovin' to Frankie Knuckles, and the Philly, Salsoul and Classic Deep sounds were being pumped on the airwaves of WBMX, Rick Wade was just a small boy with a transistor radio glued to his ear.

In a 1999 interview with the editors of flatplastic.com, Rick remembers: "The mixes were really smooth and I remember how amazing I thought it was when they would blend two records together. It was back then that I knew I wanted to be a DJ just so I could blend records together and try to come up with something new."

Deep House, in its infancy, took hold of Rick Wade's imagination just like the funky rhythms of Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield had taken hold of his heart.

By the early 80s, Rick was making tapes for his friends at school and spinning at basement parties, controlling the pitch on his turntables by holding his finger on the record label. Within a few years, Rick Wade was off to college at the University of Michigan, performing at frat parties and gigging off-and-on at the infamous Nectarine Ballroom. Rick "24k" Wade (as he was known in those days) was quickly gaining notoriety for his smooth blends and deep house grooves.

At that same time, the Nectarine Ballroom was writing another page in music history as the home of Detroit techno pioneer Jeff "The Wizard" Mills. On Ann Arbor's WCBN, Rick started the popular Saturday night dance show "Journey to the Land of House." The early 90s found Rick Wade, at one point, doing three radio mixshows a week while at the same time spinning at various clubs in and around Detroit.

In 1993, Rick built his own recording studio and began producing his own distinctive brand of bangin' deep house material on his own label: Harmonie Park Records. Harmonie Park productions began to attract the attention of critics and record producers worldwide, just as Rick's mixshows and live DJ sets had attracted a following in the Detroit area.

Today, Rick Wade enjoys a reputation as one of the premier House mixshow producers in the world and his studio productions appear on over 15 different labels worldwide. In December Õ99 Rick was featured in the special double edition Germany's D2000 Magazine as their ÒDJ of the MonthÓ.

"Quantum Expressions," the latest Rick Wade EP on Detroit's Moods & Grooves label, is listed on dance charts around the globe. In March 2000, the recording holds #9 on Germany's Groove Magazine Top 50 and #1 on Australia's Hype Magazine Top 30.

"Deep Threats," the debut production of the new German label ATC, was even featured on Spain's Top Radio 106.1 FM as #12 on Kiko Navarro's playlist.

"Mr. Harmonie Park" hasn't lost touch with the live club scene that energizes his sound. Having spun along side world-class DJs such as Jeff Mills, Claude Young and Mike Huckaby, Rick has played every major underground club in Detroit. No one can forget the celebrated "Capricorn" party at the "Science" club in which Rick and Mike "Agent X" Clark performed a non-stop 8-hour set.

Rick was also the feature DJ at Mike Huckaby's well-known "Deep Transportation" release party. Held at the "Motor Lounge", Rick's set was simulcast live on 89X's underground mixshow "Maximum Overdrive".

"Deep Transportation" is also the phrase that best describes a Rick Wade set. Rick exposes the music to the crowd, taking the vibe to an emotional peak where it merges with the body, mind, and spirit into a continuous musical orgasm that continues long after the set is over. Rick has received accolades at San Francisco's "Staple" and thunderous cheers at "Mettle" in Toronto. The blends are so smooth and tight that party-goers have actually checked to see if Rick was really spinning live or playing pre-recorded, studio-produced deep house megamixes. Fans soon discover that every Rick Wade set is fresh and spontaneous, drawing its energy directly from the unique vibe of the party.

Having produced mixshows for top-rated underground programs such as the highly respected London-based pirate show "Still Waters" and RTR-FM's "Ben Stinga Show," Australia's cutting-edge source of deep underground tracks, Rick Wade's future looks extremely positive. He plans to step up his focus on live DJ appearances, using his international reputation to establish a presence in clubs and parties around the world.

Rick Wade's Sunday Sessions mix is titled "Deep Transportation," and takes listeners on a multi-textured and cinematic-sounding journey into the denser realms of deep house/techno. Sunday Sessions is the place where outstanding Detroit-connected DJs display their talents with an hour-long non-stop mix from 11pm-12midnight every Sunday on 101.9 FM WDET and wdet.org. Contact Chris Campbell if you're interested in submitting a mix for the SUNDAY SESSIONS at ccampbell@wdet.org.