Various Artists



Barely Breaking Even

The record label Muggsy is not related to Muggsy Spanier, the legendary jazz cornettist. Nor is it connected to the tiny terror of the NBA, Muggsy Bogues. Neither, for that matter, is it linked to Cypress Hill DJ and producer DJ Muggs. Nope. It is, however, entirely related to the Brooklyn house firmament, HenryStreet.

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The man behind Henry Street is Johnny De Mairo, known among New York industry
heads simply as Johnny D; ergo he is also the chap responsible for Muggsy, which
is why we are here.
Born and bred in Brooklyn (and proud of that fact), Johnny D has been a DJ,record
and autograph collector from the moment he had some spare cash. He got his first
break in the music industry working for Vince Pellegrino’s S.I.N., before moving on
to work for Atlantic Records, with whom he was associated for many years.
He first launched Henry Street in 1993, followed a few years later by Muggsy.Henry
Street became known for a sound deeply rooted in the disco that Johnny De Mairo
loves and collects while still taking care of dancefloor business.
Muggsy was his chance to branch out into other areas. “Initially, I had intended for
Muggsy to be the harder more ‘tribal-type’ label and keep the soulful stuff for Henry
Street. So when Chris ‘TKC’ Staropoli came to me with ‘Back Jack’ I figured that
was the best time for Muggsy to begin as it was a bit tribal but, more than that,
pushed the envelope a bit more than my regular releases on Henry Street.“, recalls
Johnny D.
With a collection of like-minds gathered around the De Mairo table recording for the
label, some of them New York cohorts (Kenny Dope, Brutal Bill), with Chicago’s
Ralphi Rosario, Robbie Rivera from Puerto Rico and Miami’s Mike ‘Da Mooch’
Mucci, Muggsy released a string of tracks that ploughed a differentfurrow to big
daddy Henry Street. But the Muggsy groove still retained the sample-based ethos
(and disco roots) of its proprietor Johnny D
The Muggsy Story is a document of a special time in New York history, before the
gentrification of New York made party-throwing a guerilla activity, rather than the
core of its musical soul. Muggsy, we salute you.
(added: 2013-03-28 11:09:49 )
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