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P.J. - Happy Days 12

Happy Days 12" EP
Aquarius - 1996

Michael Panontin
In early 2013 Toronto's Now weekly included 'Happy Days' in its list of the city's 10 best dance tracks of all time...a no-brainer for anyone who spent time on the dance floors during the mid to late nineties when filtered house and disco were all the rage. Back then Toronto boasted one of the most vibrant dance scenes on the continent. With the sort of racial, ethnic and gender mix to support numerous sub-scenes, clubbers had their pick of anything from disco, house and techno all the way to hip-hop, bangra and salsa.

Paul Jacobs, a university student at the time who was deejaying and producing records under his initals P.J., had released a gaggle of jazzy deep house tracks on Canadian labels like Jinxx and Stickman. But by 1996, with French house and disco starting to, uh, filter in from across the pond, he created the track that would put the city on the global map for good. All it took were a few samples spliced from a forgotten disco single, in this case Northend's 1981 hit of the same name (which actually reached #9 on Billboard's Club Play Singles chart) and the rest was history. Issued on New York's quirky Aquarius imprint, 'Happy Days' was the perfect dance record, filling floors the world over and getting re-pressed and remixed numerous times. Jacobs would go on to release scores of tracks under various aliases like Paul Sirkis, Afrodesiac and Soulgrabber, including a follow-up hit on Aquarius, 1996's funky 'Spanish Fly', but it is the wonderful 'Happy Days' and its relentless ebullience for which he will always be remembered

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