The return of Dance Mania Records

Twelve years after it folded, the Chicago label that helped birth ghetto house, juke, and footwork music makes a play for the new EDM crowd.

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Ray Barney has a basement full of old dance records, on shelves that stretch from the floor to the ceiling, but it’s not his personal collection—it’s leftover inventory from Dance Mania, a Chicago label he ran from 1986 till 2001. Barney and Victor Parris Mitchell (a producer who put out several records on Dance Mania) are relaunching the label, in part because they’ve learned that while this back stock has been gathering dust, original Dance Mania releases have become highly sought after, especially in Europe. “What I’ve noticed on Discogs and a lot of other sites, people are selling these records for ridiculous amounts of money,” says Mitchell. “These records are in demand, and people are selling them for $100, $200, $300.”

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