If you were knocking about San Francisco in the mid-to-late ’90s then you’ll have caught Ellen on the decks, working the faders, the dance floors and that infectiously effervescent personality to the max. The mysterious and charming proprietor of the BPM Records store passed this mix CD to me one fine afternoon and after giving it a spin and wearing out some of the carpet in my modest abode I thought I should give it a review. The BPM store was an institution in San Francisco. You knew it was an institution because you would meet the likes of DJ Buck there. I don’t remember if it had padded walls, however.

I scribbled a review — the proof is below — and Ellen was on every bill that mattered in the years that followed. She would have easily achieved her deck ubiquity without my help, but I’m glad I wrote this. She’s still out there spinning some tunes and has been a huge influence on subsequent generations of Bay Area house DJs. Catch her when you can and in the meantime have a read of this.

Ellen Ferrato
BPM Essentials Volume 3
This eleven-track, flawlessly mixed CD heralds the entrance of Ellen Ferrato into the DJ mixed CD market, and what a way to start. Those who pay attention to the DJs who can really work a floor will not have missed Ms. Ferrato throwing down killer sets in her unique and intoxicatingly enthusiastic fashion. For those of you who have never seen this DJ, where have you been? Under a stone in the Aleutian islands? This locally produced collection is a real indicator that the SF underground is yet to rise and take its rightful place ahead of over-hyped DJs that we are all truly sick and tired of listening to.

Sacrifice a Ministry of Sound comp or a Renaissance CD and buy this instead, it’s bloody good, unpretentious, kicky, driving and often atmospheric, housey housey music. Promoters, the girl’s name is E-L-L-E-N F-E-R-R-A-T-O, do yourself and your clientele a favor and give her a gig. You might have to make the ultimate sacrifice by giving her the slot usually reserved for someone we’ve only seen 897 times, but it’s worth it. Top-notch mix from a DJ we’ll be hearing more of. Chris Orr