Club classics

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Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, before the appearance of countless different house music sub-genres, you’d find clubs that would play a bit of house, soul, the occasional hip hop record and even some techno. And of course there’ve always been bars and generic party nights that mix it up. These are the sort of places we’d often end up in with friends who just wanted a night out rather than an evening trainspotting obscure funk/jazz. Everybody’d know a lot of the tunes, and some of these would even chart.

The mixes below put together a bunch of the records you might hear at such mights, falling somewhere between earlier street soul and house/techno mixes. The first is very much a late-80’s mix. It starts with the B-side to the Lucozade-fuelled hit NRG. Adamski used to just show up at raves, plug in his keyboard and start playing. I wasn’t a big fan of NRG, but there were a couple of good tracks on his first LP — M25 was another. Adeva’s Otis cover got a lot of play, while in the days before digital Alison Limerick’s hit was an expensive 12″ because every DJ wanted a copy —and if you hadn’t bought it first time round, you’d have to shell out (Unfinished Sympathy below was another like that). The Bomb The Bass track is the flip to Megablast (first heard on an Into The Dragon cassette Josef played over and over).  People is an album cut I always thought lost something in the 12″ — pretty much the only decent thing on that eagerly awaited Soul II Soul follow up (I even bought the sweat pants…).

Pacific was another track I heard very early and immediately loved. It then blew up and was everywhere but, unlike many times that happens, it never soured for me (I would have used the original version here but put that in an earlier mix). Strings of Life meanwhile is simply one of the best dance records ever made. Derrick May took a loop from a track a friend of his was working on but never completed and the rest is techno history. Promised Land is memorable both for being an early vocal ‘house’ record and for providing a classic example of a great underground record immediately co-opted for a sanitized pop version (in this case by opportunist Paul Weller).

  1. I Love Technology – Adamski
  2. Respect – Adeva
  3. Where Love Lives (Sound Factory mix) – Alison Limerick
  4. Don’t Make Me Wait – Bomb The Bass
  5. Dance Little Sister – Terence Trent D’Arby
  6. People – Soul II Soul
  7. People Hold On – Coldcut, featuring Lisa Stansfield
  8. Pacific 202 – 808 State
  9. Strings of Life – Rhythim is Rhythim
  10. Promised Land – Joe Smooth

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R-27279-1121872996.jpgNext up is one I did a while ago that spans later into the 90’s. The Hybrid track I first heard Gilles Peterson play as an instrumental called Slow Funk. Never managed to track that down on vinyl so we get the rap here. Groove On is one I always associate with  Po Na Na for some reason (shout out to Nader). Blacker was a Tun-izzia staple further south at The Devonshire. It got a couple of issues; this is the first. I also have two issues of Unfinished Sympathy: the promo is credited to Massive Attack, but the regular issue is by Massive (in the intervening period the gulf war started so the band name seemed inappropriate). Natural Thing for some reason reminds me of Clau (cassette single in the Golf maybe?), while Mental makes me think of Riots around that time (RIP Chris K). Jack Your Body I first heard at the Opera House – probably the first house music I came across and the only one I liked for a long time. It’s based on a loop from Let No Man Put Asunder (heard here). The Fresh Four track was the instrumental to one of Justin’s favorites he, Andy and I danced to that night in Deptford. Revival is another that used to be kinda pricey for a ‘modern’ record — again there’re a couple of issues, both with great, alternate B-sides. Last up is the B-side to an Izit track that I often played as a warm up and is a bit more chilled out than the A-side.

  1. Sinequanon – Hybrid
  2. Groove On (Perfecto Remix) – Yo Yo Honey
  3. Fascinating Rhythm (vocal) – Bassomatic
  4. Fascinating Rhythm (instrumental) – Bassomatic
  5. Unknown w/l – Groove Armada
  6. Blacker – Ballistic Brothers vs Eccentric Afros
  7. Unfinished Sympathy (Paul Oakenfold mix) – Massive Attack
  8. Natural Thing – Innocence
  9. Mental (instrumental) – Manic MCs
  10. Jack Your Body – Steve Silk Hurley
  11. Smoke Filled Thoughts – The Fresh Four
  12. Revival – Martine Girault
  13. Sausalito Calling – Carmelle Hinds
  14. Make Way for the Solos – Izit

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~ by ricardosevere on 10/14/2019.

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