Influential Chicago DJ Terry Hunter spoke to MN2S about his latest project: Mike Dunn collaboration House ‘N HD’s ‘Theme of Life’.
Terry Hunter is one of the most enduringly successful DJs to come out of the original Chicago house scene. With decades of success as a DJ, producer, remixer and label head, Terry always has a lot on his plate. His latest upcoming project is a brand new album from House ‘N HD, his partnership with fellow Chicago veteran Mike Dunn, preceded by the forthcoming new single ‘Theme of Life’, out this week on his own T’s Box Records.
As Terry tells us, the House ‘N HD connection goes way back: “Mike and I were childhood friends. We came up together in Chicago in the mid-to-late 80s. Mike was very instrumental in helping me produce my first track as a DJ.”
With Mike and Terry being two of Chicago’s hottest DJs, both part of the Wayne Williams-founded Chosen Few DJs, always playing together and working on music, House ‘N HD was the natural next step. “We decided to start a group, just the two of us, and record under a different name.”
The name they came up with is as simple as it is catchy. “It’s plain to see, it’s House ‘N HD!” Terry enthuses. “A lot of people think ‘High Definition’ when they first see it. It actually stands for our surnames, ‘Hunter-Dunn’. But if you want to read it as ‘House ‘N High Definition’, that’s no problem.”
The name was just the start. “We put out a couple records on T’s Box and people were like ‘House ‘N HD’, it’s cool, it’s cool. So we took it a step further.” On December 20th 2013, Hunter and Dunn debuted House ‘N HD in a live environment for the first time.
“There was a I night I used to do called Bang Sundays at a legendary Chicago club called The Shrine, recently closed down. For the third anniversary of Bang Sundays, I brought out Mike and we did it like a show. We had a talking intro explaining what we were about to do, we played off a few skits of scenes from famous movies. It was a proper show. We had two setups. Mike would play a song and I would play a song. Nothing was rehearsed, we just fed off each other for the entire set.”
Though they were excited to see Terry and Mike behind their respective decks, the crowd were initially baffled by the show. “For the first half hour people were just standing there with their phones recording. They didn’t know whether to dance or to watch. After a while they got it and started dancing and it went over well.”
House ‘N HD’s latest single, ‘Theme of Life’ was created with a process that mirrors the House ‘N HD live experience. As shown in the above video, Terry and Mike each work from their own Chicago studios, passing ideas back and forth and building them up into full tracks. “Sometimes he’ll come to my studio, sometimes I’ll go to his. I might have an idea and send it to Mike, he will add to it, then he might call me with another idea of his own and I add to that. You can see it in the video. That’s exactly how we work. We got out of bed and we’re making a record.”
House ‘N HD’s success lies in the duo’s styles and the way they collide. “Our styles are close, but different,” says Terry. “That’s why the reception has been so incredible. It’s two styles that are very similar but different coming together. There’s that bond of brotherhood there. It’s like a competition, but it’s not. It’s a competition to push both of us in the name of making the crowd have a good time.”
As for ‘Theme of Life’, Terry thinks it’s the most exciting House ‘N HD track yet. “The track is definitely reminiscent of the 90s, but it also has a disco flair to it, with sprinkles of me and Mike all over the whole thing. You’ve got that famous Mike Dunn voice on the hook that you will have heard on ‘God Made Me Funky’. The song is called ‘Theme of Life’ because we want to let people know that musically we can be the theme to their lives.”
House ‘N HD are working hard to finish their upcoming debut album, and they plan to tour the globe next year to bring the high definition sounds of Hunter-Dunn to house fans worldwide.
Download ‘Theme of Life’ from Traxsource now.
Book Terry Hunter to bring the ‘Theme of Life’ to your venue.