Green Velvet, US house/techno giant.
Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Stylishly playful and highly influential late-1960s avant-garde jazz outfit, originally featuring one-time husband-and-wife team trumpeter Lester Bowie and sublime vocalist Fontella Bass (previously signed to Chicago's legendary Chess Records with the 1965 smash Rescue Me, and more recently a guest with Britain's The Cinematic Orchestra).
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
This funky horn-playing band of brothers are the sons of virtuoso trumpeter Phil Cohran. Their self-titled 2009 album (on London-based label Honest Jon's) is worth checking, but they're also a blast on the live festival scene, where their sets include brassy house music meltdowns.
The famous 'godfather of house' and gay icon was resident DJ at Chicago's 1980s Warehouse venue (where fellow Chicagoans Ron Hardy and Marshall Jefferson also played) and honed the soulful house music sound that revolutionised the world. Knuckles remains the DJ most likely to make grown clubbers cry.
Moody alternative rock star, who founded Chicago's Electric Audio studios, and who has worked on the production of numerous records including Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey and The Jesus Lizard. Albini's own bands have included Shellac and the contentiously named Rapeman (which apparently namechecks a Japanese manga comic).
Crazy-haired club maverick Curtis Jones, aka Cajmere (pictured above), specialises in urgently catchy and surreal electro-house tracks. Most recently, he has collaborated with Kid Sister on the wickedly sexy anthem Everybody Wants –
available online now.
A mellow-voiced pioneer of the 'conscious' hip hop movement, Common released his breakthrough album, Like Water For Chocolate, in 2000. He has regularly collaborated with Kanye West, acted in Hollywood films, and channelled his inner 'playa' on his 2008 album Universal Mind Control, including a track about lapdancing.