Monday, 27 February 2012
This rather unique track appeared at the end of 1995 on FFRR, and was utterly ubiquitous at the time. Some sixteen years later, the spoken-word vocal may seem a bit naff, but the immensity of the sirens presaging the gargantuan breakdown cannot be denied. This about as unsubtle as they come; it has drama, it has bombast, it has rich orchestration; it is a colossus of a record that stood out at a time when almost every dance music production to receive a commercial release was a bona fide classic. The alternative mix, titled 'Symphonic variations' is twenty minutes long and interposes much more of the female vocal, whilst entirely excising the spoken-word elements. A stalwart of the Essential Mix for a while, I've no idea who is behind 'Are You Out There?' or indeed 'that shroud', but this monster is in need of some well-deserved exposure.
Saturday, 25 February 2012
I'm pretty sure that you'll love this one fella.
It's a big fave of mine and is a fantastic re-working by Tall Paul.
It's just such an immense track.
It builds and builds and then explodes and explodes.
Top class Progressive trance music.
Just wait for that break on 4mins, then it really starts to take off!!
A total monster of a track!!!
Elli Mac - Celebrate
(Tall Paul Mix)
Thursday, 23 February 2012
This stunning, ethereal floaty-trance number surfaced at the beginning of 1997 and received a rather low-key release on Edel. Chicane dons his Disco Citizens guise to deliver a sensational remix, not one of the best known Chicane re-works, but definitely one of the best, and a sorely underrated classic. In return for remixing the track, Luce Drayton provided vocals for the album version of 'Sunstroke' on Chicane's magnum opus 'Far From the Maddening Crowds'.
This trailblazing track was produced by Rollo and Rob Dougan, and, when first released in 1994, largely introduced the world to the booming vocals of Kristine W. Featuring classy mixes from Our Tribe and Junior Vasquez, 'Feel What You Want' became something of a sleeper hit, and its enduring popularity witnessed a re-release in 1997, this time featuring a whole host of re-interpretations from the likes of Victor Imbres and Peter Ries. Though the original remains arguably the best, this epic trance variation from the legendary Richard Dekkard elevates it to a whole new plane. Unfortunately, Champion Records still insist upon re-releasing 'Feel What You Want' every couple of years or so, each successive remix package serving to further debase the enduring 1994 and 1997 mixes.
Sunday, 12 February 2012
A superb remix from Oakey and Osborne with a little help from Terry Farley as well I believe.
This track from 1989 was of huge significance in the dance music/e culture/clubbing scene for many reasons.
1. It kick started the Indie Dance scene.
2. It kick started the Happy Mondays career
3. It kick started Paul Oakenfold's remix career
4. It created the Madchester vibe.
The Mondays took many trips to Spectrum in London, a night run by Paul Oakenfold and along with Shoom the most significant clubs in bringing the Ibizian vibe back to the UK and kick starting the Acid House scene.
Spectrum also had nights at Legends in Manchester on a Monday.
The vital ingredient in all this was "ecstasy" and this became the launch pad for the Madchester scene.
I hope this explains it all (kind of).
If not check the video it was created in Legends in Manchester, I think it explains what was going on!!
About the track, well it's just sensational.
Shaun's poetic sprawling vocals, that fantastic repetitive guitar riff and those big synth drops.
Massive in every way - Madchester vibes in the place indeed.
There's a Vince Clarke remix of this track as well which is good, but IMHO this is "the" mix.
Once you've heard this, there is no other.
Happy Mondays - W.F.L.
(Think About The Future Mix)
Thursday, 9 February 2012
Another understated release, 'Hard Times' was issued on the Top Banana label in 1997. Produced by the legendary Rob Dougan, and with vocals supplied by Sabrina Johnston, 'Hard Times' was one of the best tracks ever to have been emerged from that label. A hardbag-inspired, driving vocal number with insightful, lamenting lyrics (which might be more relevant now than they ever were fifteen years since), 'Hard Times' exemplified the contemporary sound of Rob Dougan and his then-label-mates and co-producers Rollo, Goetz and Sister Bliss.
Rimbaud Featuring Sabrina Johnston - Hard Times (Vocal Mix)
As much as I like Moby, I could never abide his far-too-frequent forays into thrash metal. The awful 'Animal Rights' album is the foremost example of this ill-advised genre-bending, and it was that opus from which 'That's When I Reach For My Revolver' was culled. Barely listenable in its original form - unless you are a fan of Slipknott - the track has been completely deconstructed and remade by those stalwarts of the dance music scene, Rollo & Sister Bliss. A building, hypnotic epic wrought in their own singular style, Rollo & Bliss' production values perfectly complement Moby's introspective vocal. If ever there was an instance of a turd being successfully polished, then this remix is proof of that concept.
November 1997 witnessed the release of 'Mouth' by Rochelle, on the Almighty label. The archetypal remix was provided by the ever-dependable Trouser Enthusiasts who, by teaming up with Channel Islands-based trance producer Skynet, turn in a rip-roaring, Earth-shattering epic which makes excellent use of the fantastic vocals. This probably parallels the greatest TE remixes of the era; the track itself comprising another under-appreciated classic which pretty much sank without trace following its commercial release.
'Saving Mary' was released by Indie-pop ensemble Fused at the end of 2000. I don't really recollect too much in relation to the original version, but this remix by Bob Sinclar is a stonker. Mr Sinclar is at the top of his game here, fashioning a smooth piece of devastatingly catchy French house entirely suited to the quirky vocal. I don't think this was much of a hit upon its release - though, indisputably it deserved to be - and Fused's follow-up single, the double A-sided Cevin Fisher and Lucid-remixed 'Twisted'/'Terror' seemed to make more of an impact upon club consciousness.
Fused - Saving Mary (Bob Sinclar Vocal Mix)
Here is an underrated classic of the highest possible caliber. The lesser-known follow up to 'Maria', 'Nothing Is Real But the Girl' was released at some point in 1999. Danny Tenaglia was commissioned to craft the club-oriented rework, an undertaking he fulfills with some aplomb. DT's version is nothing short of spectacular, translating as a song in its own right, rather than just a remix. It is the work of pure genius, and it has everything - pathos, funk, euphoria, insight, inspiration - definitely and without a shadow of a doubt, a bona fide PCC.
Here's an ostensibly little-known belter from Michael Kilkie's Scottish Limbo/23rd Precinct label. Released at the end of 1996, when the burgeoning 'epic house' movement was in full swing, 'Talk To Me' is the very embodiment of that sound. With its big diva vocals and dreamy instrumentation, 'Talk To Me' is representative of a relatively short-lived sub-genre that was, in its day, utterly huge.
Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Every so often, a track comes along that completely blows your mind and confounds your expectations. Such was the case with 'I'm Ready', an unrelenting hypnotic groove replete with a Barbara Tucker sample chucked in for good measure. It is perhaps the breakdown that makes this track so special, it is absolutely unremitting - almost to the point of giving the impression that it will literally go on forever, prior to eventually exploding and taking the roof with it. This track was issued at the end of 1995, in the wake of the unprecedented chart success of 'Higher State of Consciousness'. 'I'm Ready' was play-listed by Radio 1. I can't imagine tuning into a commercial radio station these days and having my senses assailed by such an underground number. How times have changed; for the worse, in my estimation.
Another classic BBG production. Another typically quality Hi Life release. Featuring West End musical star the late Erin Lordan on vocals, BBG's original mix (which I have somewhere, but cannot seem to locate at present) is a soaring trancer that received an unusual volume of commercial radio play in the weeks leading up to its release. Multiple mixes abound - from Atlas, Paganini Traxx and BBG themselves - but my favourite is this version from Chicane, who dons his Disco Citizens guise to deliver an archetypal lush, laidback epic. Chicane's production is so suited to the original track that it is quite difficult to consider the fact that this is in actual fact a remix. Unfortunately, this was to be one of the last releases on the Hi Life label, until it folded later in '97 - its closure occasioning BBG's follow up single, 'Do Anything', to remain forever unreleased.
'Constantly Waiting' was released on Cheeky in the summer of '96. A lilting, downtempo number in its original guise, the track was overhauled by Cheeky stablemates Rollo & Sister Bliss, who inject an almost unhealthy dose of epic into proceedings. By incorporating a Spanish guitar into the immense breakdown, they imbue the track with a Mediterranean feel, the mood of which perfectly complements Taylor's characteristically insightful vocals. This record was everywhere for several months, then seemed almost to disappear without trace, rendering it something of an overlooked classic.
Monday, 6 February 2012
This is just absolutely immense. I have been a huge fan of John Graham's since first encountering mid-nineties Perfecto tracks such as 'Believe In Me' and 'I Dream', which I would scurry down to my local Our Price to purchase on cassette single as soon as they were available. The 2000-released 'She Does' remains, in my opinion, his finest composition, outmatching even 'Everything's Not You'. Anyone who was once part of the Tilt triumvirate can do absolutely no wrong in my book, and Quivver is one of those rare producers who is a singer-songwriter to boot; very much in the same vein as BT and Moby. This understated epic is wrought in characteristically proggy style, and at once manages to be both hypnotic and massively uplifting.
Mrs Wood Featuring Eve Gallagher - Heartbreak (Vocal Mix)
'Standing Here All Alone' was released on Positiva in May 1996, to relatively little fanfare. Produced by Gems For Jem and remixed by Sharp and Hula, the main mix is a synth-heavy, infectious vocal number showcasing the immense vocals of Michelle Narine, whose lungs also graced the 'Playing With Stones' bootleg mix of 'What You Do' by Big Bass, a couple of years later. This is one of Gems For Jem's best productions, and is definitely a track that would benefit from a little more exposure in order to rightly venerate it as the classic it is.
Mary Kiani was originally the vocalist for Scottish Rave outfit The Time Frequency, who were responsible for some of the higher-octane and screamingly euphoric rave records of the early 1990s. She was eventually signed to the Mercury label as a solo artist, and her debut single, 'When I Call Your Name' was released in August 1995. The track features a variety of remixes in an array of styles, from the likes of Nightcrawlers, Eddy Fingers and Motiv 8. The Hardfloor mix, though, really stands head and shoulders above the rest, being as it is pervaded with their trademark 303 squelch. At once evoking Sourmash and Robert Armani, care has been taken not to diminish the powerhouse vocals.
Mary Kiani When I Call Your Name (Hardfloor Vocal Mix)
Mary Kiani's second single was the double A sided 'I Imagine'/'I Give It All to You'. The Eddy Fingers edit of the former track has been posted previously, and rightly exalted as an absolute classic of the first order. The B side is a bagpipe-dominated dirge in its original form, which was entrusted to Stuart Crichton's Umboza project to reshape. Dispensing almost entirely with the vocal - save for a rather insistent refrain - Umboza delivers a dramatic, hardbag style twist hewn with a tinge of acid. All in all this nicely complements Mary Kiani's extensive remix back catalogue. Indeed, there were so many remixes of her tracks floating about at any one time, that it was often a struggle to keep up.
Mary Kiani - I Give It All to You (Umboza Club Mix)
Sunday, 5 February 2012
This one goes back to 1992 and is another which brings back great memories of the Hac.
A really simple happy piano tune.
I also love the bit when she sings (what sounds like) "How can I make you rub me the right way".
See if you can spot it.
All in all a top notch - piano anthem - just like we love e'm!!
P.S. I'm pretty sure that this track didn't have anything to do with Ms Bourett, but she's easy on the eye, so there you go!!
Caprice - Love Me The Right Way
This monster largely slipped under the radar upon its release at the back end of 1998, arguably the most prolific year for the Trouser Enthusiasts, who were very much in demand to remix artists as diverse as Mansun and the Pet Shop Boys. Not long after this track was released The Trouser Enthusiasts collaborated with JX and Oakenfold to produce one of the best selling vocal trance numbers of all time in the shape of 'Bullet in the Gun'. This release of this latter track coincided with the TE moniker being laid to rest, as the Enthusiasts began recording under the Perfecto-signed guise of Monoboy.
'Funky Love' is one of my favourite TE remixes, and showcases their singular style at its very best in producing a soaring trance soundscape whilst retaining sparse snippets of the original vocal. The photograph is of Kavanagh QC, though it is unlikely that the vocals on this track were supplied by the late John Thaw.
Kavana - Funky Love (Trouser Enthusiasts' Pentagram Deathtrap Mix)
Saturday, 4 February 2012
After running this blog for almost 3 years and posting close to 1,000 tracks it great to have support to keep it going. So big up to you fella's.
However, to provide ongoing support I'll keep adding the odd little gem now and again.
Here's an absolute corker, a beautiful, vibey piano track which just feels so right.
Stonehenge - Free
Thursday, 2 February 2012
This is one of my all time favorite tracks. This tune from 1992 has everything thanks to a little Morales "magic" in this remix.
Shawn Christopher - Don't Lose The Magic (Morales 12"mix)