Archive for the ‘Hardhouse’ Category

RIP Loleatta Holloway
March 22, 2011

Loleatta Holloway

Its a sad sad day for music. We lost one of the truly great female vocalists. In this day of autotune and refined marketability, Holloway continued to find cuts of her vocals in all manner of music, in many cases without any financial compensation. Her voice remains one of the most sampled in the history of music with Love Sensation being one of the most prolific accapella’s of all time.

I grew up with Loleatta Holloway’s voice, from the originals back in the early to mid Eighties to the rise of the sampler and House & Garage tunes from 1987 onwards. From that point on, I dont think ive heard more than 20 different electronic tracks before I find one with a vocal from Holloway. Ive lost the plot with her, i’ve danced around a field with her voice floating across the fields, heard in raves, mixtapes, hardcore, house, drum & bass, commercials, movie trailers, on my ipod about four times a day and i’d hazard a guess that she was playing the day I got married. There are very few artists that I know of that can claim to have been in the collective audio unconscious of sample based music lovers for almost four decades.

She was one of the truly great vocalists of our time and one that will be very sorely missed by me. In an effort to do any kind of justice to this memory, lets get the music underway.

RIP Loleatta Holloway, you were fucking amazing.

…the key to her appeal is that she doesn’t push herself too far to the front. The pleasure of listening to divas like Whitney or Rihanna is that it’s an aspirational experience – women want to be them, men want to be with them. Holloway is a different proposition: a collective experience, of mutual understanding and shared joy. She takes the utopian ideals of clubland – sex, community, abandon – and massively amplifies them back at the dancers, singing to each one of them and the club as a whole. As her voice surges onto and fills the dancefloor, it really does feel like we’re all getting stronger.
Taken from a Great Obituary from the Guardian

Robin S – Show Me Love (Original Extended Mix) [1992]
May 16, 2010

Possibly one of the greatest tracks ever released onto the dancefloor, most people wont confess to loving it but the moment it gets dropped the place WILL go nuts, no exceptions. Ive always preferred the Original Mix but AKA does a great job of doubling the length of the track, keeping it DJ friendly but interesting enough to not get repetetive.

What is it that makes this so legendary? The Korg synth riff is clean, deep and iconic and Ms Stones voice just offsets the synth perfectly. The minute her opening “Aaaaaaaahhh” kicks in your cerebellum lights up and somewhere deep inside you just knows that your about to have a LOT of fun. Its as simple a house track as your ever likely to find but it does everything right, in fact, if I had any criticism, it would be that pathetic 4 beat but since that was par for the course at the time, i’ll let it go!

Since its release in 1992, this track has had multiple additional release cycles usually adding different mixes every time. You’ve got trance, pop, hard house, techno remixes of the accapella but out of all of them, I would say that StoneBridge nails it but best remix.

Robin S – Show Me Love StoneBridge Remix

Westbam – Wizards of the Sonic (Red Jerry Remix) [1995]
April 12, 2010

What a bloody incredible track this is. Heard it first on a Vibes mix from Dreamscape, then about 12 months later in Planet where, if I do recall correctly, my head exploded. Whats not to love? Its a driving tech-trance banger with a fantastic buildup and cracking uplifting synth riff that just knocks it out of the park. I reckon this got dropped at Dreamscape 20 as well, out on the Pyramid stage I think – hell it could have been Vibes again for all I know. All I do know is this probably of of the best floor stormers ive ever had the pleasure to dance too.

House traffic – Every Day Of My Life (Interstrada Mix) [1994]
March 9, 2010

Its been a bit serious round here of late, lots of serious “proper tunes”. So I warn you, we’re hitting cheese-factor seven with this Ital/Euro house belter. You know whats comming the minute that panpipe kicks off. You know where its going. You know that for the next six minutes your going to have your skull bashed by Oberheims, Moogs, Strings pianos and gospel vocals.

Used solely as an end of nighter, the last but last one to get everyone back up off their mullered arses at 6am. The only part of the whole track I cant stand is the disco interlude. But its a minute thirty that never made it into any night I know of – of course you cant quote me on that, 6am is damn late when you havent been to bed.

So put your hands up, gurn a bit cause its a rafter swinging classic.

The equally excelent Highway Mix

Leftfield – Song Of Life (Underworld’s Steppin Razor mix) [1992]
February 9, 2010

This is it. This is the track. One of the greatest remixes of all time, takes the heavy dub of Leftfields original, turns it on its head and coverts the whole track into a seven minute behemoth. The synth is so huge on this track with so much depth that you just get lost in it. Its got a sawtool phaser on it so slight you barely notice it until it begins to growl and fragment half way through the track and then BANG, your back in it. A song designed solely for 100K stadium sized sound system and to be heard floating across the fields early on a Sunday morning with lazers reaching into the sky.

From Discogs
Of all the versions of Leftism’s ‘Song Of Life’ that are out there, Underworld’s Steppin Razor mix would probably get my vote for the best of the bunch. In my opinion, it is the most timeless and progressive sounding of any mix (though, I still love the original mix’s bouncy bassline). Of course, if Sasha & Digweed’s immortal ‘Song Of Life’ medley featured on the Renaissance The Mix Collection were considered a legitimate version, then it’d be a different story. Anytime I listen to the Lemon Interupt or Dub For Life mixes, I feel like something is missing (those familiar with the above mentioned medley and unmixed versions as well will know what I’m talking about).

Skyflyer – Flying Deeper [1993]
January 31, 2010

From the minute you hear the strings you know your in for something special. The break is a mere distraction from the choppy Oberheim that dominates this track. Sadly the only versions you can find online are those treated to the 10% pitch up treatment to make them more “techno set friendly”. I personally prefer the original speed, give more presence to the synth and in a word, im getting old – cant keep up with t’ youngsters!

Blu Peter – Magic (Luxor Remix) [1994]
January 31, 2010

So while we’re talking bangers, you cant overlook the pure unadulterated brilliance of the Luxor remix of Magic by Blu Peter. Instantly recognisable to any mid nineties techno follower as well as absolutely any devotee of Clarkee’s mid nineties techno sets. This is one of the few memories from Dreamscape 20, when Clarkee dropped this on the main stage while the three of us were freezing our asses off. (Loftgroovers Cold as ice being another stand out).

Anyway, despite your preference, trancy number or 45rpm Gabber pounder, a perfect example of the remix being infinitely better than the original. Make sure you have a decent speaker setup, its the growling subbass that makes this more than just a moody synth trance tune!