Kenny Summit leads tributes for former Subliminal A&R guy Melvin Moore, who died suddenly last Friday – but amidst sadness, questions linger over who’ll be taking house music into the future…

Anyone following Ears To The House on our socials will almost certainly have seen our posts last Friday night referencing the death of Melvin Moore. Now, Moore wasn’t the most famous name in the industry by any stretch – but like a lot of the people in this scene, he worked mostly in the background.

Whilst a perfectly skilled DJ in his own right, he had a talent for spotting talent – ironically, a rare talent in itself. Nonetheless, the infamous New York based house label Kult Records saw his potential, and brought him on board to manage their A&R department between 1995 and early 1997.

Later on, he was hired by close friend Erick Morillo to work on the A&R department at his own Subliminal Records. Morillo himself died under a cloud of suspicion in 2020 with a rape charge against him – but there’s no point attempting to deny just how influential Subliminal was in house music at the turn of the millennium. With Moore working there at the time, he was instrumental to the label’s success.

Kenny Summit – a very highly connected man in the world of house music if ever there was one – paid quite a lengthy tribute to Moore over the weekend, describing him as “stubborn as a f***ing ox” and saying they “got along like peas and carrots”. He also recited this tale…

“My only regret happened around 2011. We got into a very stupid argument about some s*** on social media and we didn’t talk for YEARS until Frankie Knuckles died in 2014. Melvin called my cell, I had deleted his name from my phone (because I was THAT upset at him at the time) but I knew his cell number by heart so when it popped up I immediately answered with tears in my eyes, he said ‘I know you’re hurting young buck, we’re all hurtin bad right now. All the dumb s*** aside, I love you and I’ll always love you. You are my brother. We gotta celebrate each other while we still have the time.

And just like that, we was back to our regular banter, friends again, busting balls like no time had passed at all.”

A few people in the comments section on Summit’s Facebook tribute state they’re wondering how to handle the fact that the people who were around in house music’s more formative days are starting to pass away. This isn’t a new thing, of course – Frankie Knuckles, the man who did more to make house music a thing than most, died in 2014, and similar sentiments were made.

Nine years later, Ears To The House can’t help but ponder this question, too. And it’s one that has us worried – for example, we might well occasionally mock the likes of Louie Vega or Danny Tenaglia, but few would deny that they’ve generally contributed a lot to the culture. But where are the greats who are going to replace them?

Tenaglia had a reminder of his own mortality recently with his cancer scare – and it’s one which we gather has certainly shaken some of his friends to the core. The likes of Melvin Moore was cantankerous and disagreeable – but once again, he helped to move things forward. Where are the next new names in dance music with new ideas who want to do things differently?

This is a question that Ears To The House is going to be looking at very closely in the near future. And rest assured we’re going to do everything we can to help them rise to the surface…

Ears To The House Team

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