An incredibly respected figure of New York’s dance-music underground since the mid-’80s, Brooklyn’s Bobby Konders has been at the forefront of multiple movements, infamous parties, and radio programs that have kept house music alive and kicking. A selector, a label entrepreneur, a producer, a master of the airwaves, and a proponent of the breaking down of racial barriers, Konders’ spot in the dance music Hall of Fame should be reserved well before any ground-breaking ceremony.
Konders first broke out as one of the higher-profile members of a collective that threw down at a series of parties called Wild Pitch, which helped fill the large shoes left empty by the unfortunate exit of the Paradise Garage. This DJ crew included Victor Rosado, Kenny Carpenter, Nicky Jones, John Robinson, David Camacho, DJ Pierre, and Timmy Richardson — just to name a few (not to mention occasional appearances by legends Tony Humphries and Tee Scott). Just as Konders likes to point out that everyone bleeds red, he built his reputation as a DJ and producer on finding the common thread that runs throughout several styles of music: hip-hop, reggae, disco, house. During the late ’80s and early ’90s, Konders issued a series of productions on the Nu Groove label that went down well with the underground. At the height of house music’s flirtation with mainstream appeal, Konders and his Massive Sounds crew landed on Polygram for a self-titled album. Unsurprisingly, the material proved to be too raw and not pop enough to cross over, so Konders and company happily remained outside of the general public’s consciousness.
In the early ’90s, Konders and partner Jabba formed Massive B Sound System, which has served as both a production outlet and as a formidable radio presence, bringing reggae of the dancehall variety to the listeners of New York’s Hot 97.1 FM. Konders and Jabba have also taken their sound system to a number of other continents. In addition to cultivating talent for Massive B, Konders has remixed and produced for artists like Aswad, Shabba Ranks, Ziggy Marley, and Supercat. In 2002, Konders and Massive Sounds’ back catalog of productions was anthologized with A Lost Era in NYC 1987-1992, a disc that focused on the man’s trademark deep house/ reggae hybrids.