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Johnny Fiasco

John Lopez -- better known as Johnny Fiasco -- was raised in the predominantly Hispanic "Pilsen" neighborhood of Chicago. Surrounded by music from an early age, he played guitar in a number of rock 'n' roll and funk bands throughout his teens. In the late '80s, house music was born in Chicago, and Lopez was ready for it. Armed with a healthy interest in electronic music and a bunch of re-edits of songs taped from the radio, Lopez and his pals threw some of the first underground parties in the city. In '88, at the height of the acid-house movement, Lopez landed a residency at Chicago's legendary Smart Bar playing alongside Mark Farina. In '90, he graduated to the Shelter and produced his first release, "The Zig-Zag Remixes," for Trax Records. Lopez maintained his residency for three very successful years until his entire vinyl collection was sold by a drug-addled friend in desperate need of a fix.

Rather than dwelling on his incredible bad luck, Lopez picked himself up and took a full-time seat in the studio. His early tracks were picked up by Moonshine, Radikal Fear, and Cajmere's respected Cajual label. To date, Lopez has recorded for almost every major house label on the planet, including Primal Source, House N Effect, Large, Penetrate, Guidance, Afterhours, 83 West, Pamlemousse, and now, Viva Recordings. He has also performed remixes for the likes of Gloria Estefan, k.d. lang, Mechelle, Tina Arena, and Donna Blakely. In addition to his busy production schedule, Lopez heads the A&R department for Viva Record Co., Viva Recordings' parent company.

"Alta Vista," "Fundamental," and the two mixes of "First Time" (all taken from the Viva Fiasco EP) demonstrate Johnny Fiasco's versatility as a house producer. "Alta Vista" shakes with Latin flavor by way of freeform xylophone and piano lines. "Fundamental" is late '80s acid brought up to date with modern production techniques. "First Time" is modern vocal house with a Chi-town edge. If you're not a Fiasco fan already, you will be after you hear these cuts.

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