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Dj Garth

House aficionado DJ Garth is arguably the most important individual figure in the rise of the San Francisco club/rave scene during the '90s. As a recording artist, he produced several of San Fran's signature club anthems; as a DJ, he headed up the Wicked Sound System and organized a series of legendary underground parties, both of which played crucial parts in establishing Frisco as a dance music hot spot. Born in England, Garth moved to San Francisco in the late '80s and threw himself into the city's budding dance scene. He helped organize the Full Moon events that sparked underground interest in rave culture, and in 1991, he co-founded the Wicked Sound System with fellow DJs Jenö, Markie, and Thomas. After four years, the quartet saved enough money to buy proper equipment and a 1947 Greyhound bus, and took the act on tour. Emboldened by their positive reception, the four decided to take the plunge into original production, and set up a recording studio and record label. Wicked Records' first (and most successful) release was DJ Garth's 1996 collaboration with E.T.I., "20 Minutes of Disco Glory," which became an underground hit and was eventually compiled on the soundtrack of Greg Harrison's Frisco rave flick Groove. In 1998, as the only member of the Wicked collective who was releasing solo material with regularity, Garth formed his own label, Grayhound Recordings (named, of course, after the Wicked tour bus). Grayhound became the home for Crosstown Traffic, Garth's collaboration with Rob Doten, and saw the first release by Rocket, his partnership with Eric James of E.T.I. Also in 1998, Garth released the mix CD U.S. Underground, Vol. 1. Garth began to concentrate on Rocket as his primary outlet, and by 2000, his skills as a remixer were in heavy demand, with assignments from artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Perry Farrell on his plate. 2000 also saw the release of The Cisco System, a mix CD showcasing Grayhound's stable of talent. In 2001, Garth followed it up with the San Francisco Sessions, Vol. 3 mix, and continued his monthly residency at Come-Unity, which made him the head of the longest-running house night in the country.
© Steve Huey /TiVo

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