DJ/remixer/producer Johnny Vicious (born John Coles) became involved in dance music after dropping his 1980s rock records and following the seductive acid house from Chicago. After DJing in a New York club called Mars, the newcomer made his professional debut at Manhattan's Paladium in 1989. Jeffrey Rodman joined him to found their own independent label called Vicious Musik, issuing an EP titled Liquid Bass soon after.
Johnny Vicious' breakthrough started while remixing the up-tempo club/dance "Ecstasy (Take Your Shirts Off)," featured on the album Webster Hall Presents a Groovilicious Night; the dance/pop "Kiss You All Over" by No Mercy; "Let's Go All the Way" by React; Whitney Houston's "It's Not Right but It's OK"; and the 2001 release of Ministry of Sound: Club Nation America, a 28-track double album. The latter featured one CD mixed by Johnny Vicious and the other mixed by Tall Paul, with tracks by Paul Van Dyk, Moby, and Fatboy Slim, among other prominent numbers in the dance music scene. Johnny Vicious Presents Ultra Dance, Vol. 1 followed in 2002.