Archive for the ‘Progressive’ Category

Slacker – Scared (Of Tomorrow) [1996]
October 30, 2014

An absolutely classic slice of Mid-Nineties progressive house from Shem McCauley. A killer driving bassline and an actual percussion track is what really set itself apart from the glub of 4 to the floor House tracks of the time. Couple that with the insanely catchy riff that just relentlessly repeats over the top of that brutal bassline and your in for 6 minutes of pure bliss. Definately one of those tracks that would just drop and have the entire place staring into space, locked into some of the purest house of the time. I cant tell you the number of times ive lost it on the dancefloor to this beast.

Sadly for reasons unknown, Shem McCauley decided to end his own life in Bangkok in January of 2012. Whatever his reasons, he left behind a catalogue of classics with this being his Magnum Opus. RIP man.

Boomshanka – Do You Have The Power (This Side Mix) [1993]
April 21, 2014

Comming from the seminal Cowboy records, I first clocked this track playing on Neil Macey’s Fantazia 92/93 NYE set. In itself, the mix is a classic as far as I am concerned, a real showcase of what the UK was doing with House music at a time when the whole dance music scene was fracturing into what we know now.

This track is easily one of those tracks that transcends genre’s though, a bonafide dancefloor destroyer. Its got everything that made that time so exciting like the exceptional electronic production and brilliant sample work. This track never feels overlong, just a relentless pounder thats got you locked into a deep ass sound on the dancefloor. Well, for about 5 minutes it does, it lulls you into thinking its another well produced Progressive banger. Them around the 5 minute mark, you suddenly notice the track beginning to build up, with glorious sweeping synth strings swirly around you and that stacatto vocal hook. All culminating in a fade that makes you think the track is over. But its not, nope, your about to get smashed in the face by a piano riff so uplifting that you and thousands of others will find yourselves swinging from the rafters, going harder, smiling wider than you have ever done before. What a fucking tune this is.

From Discogs
This record was one of my most wanted for years until I managed to get it ID. A very simply prog house tune with one of the most uplifting piano’s I have ever heard with the stuttering vocal sample “Do you have the power”. Was played out a lot by sasha early 1993.

PSI – Inner Understanding [1993]
November 11, 2013

What a tune this is, taken from the excellent album Twice as Nice from Fantazia and its an album that really showcases where Fantazia were taking themselves back at the beginning of 1993. Leaning heavily on more progressive house sounds than the jungle that was emerging around the same time, this album has such a fantastic range of sounds that showcase just how the scene was fragmenting at the time.

This track is a real bridge tune with big piano’s evoking the arm waving tracks of the past 12 months along with a really quite ambient through to progressive synth and bass arrangement that sounds more like the tracks you would start hearing in the later months of ’93 at clubs all over the uk under the moniker of “Progressive House and Trance”.

For me, the intro is lifted straight out of an FSOL or Orb track and if I could criticize the track in any way, it would be because there’s not enough of this broken up ambient led intro.

PSI was formed by Simon Kemmett from Cheltenham, who wrote and produced all the tracks. The vocals were performed by Caroline O’Shea. PSI played at many event during the rave years but were manly known for playing at the big Fantazia parties as well as for their signature tunes on the Fantazia albums The First Taste & Twice as Nice, including the classics Feel It – Fantazia, No Way & Forever.

Transformer 2 – Pacific Symphony (Italian Smooth Remix) [1992]
July 15, 2012

Just wow, one of the very best early progressive house tunes with a string section thats like a warm cup of ovaltine and a furry slippers on the comfort stakes.

Overall its a pretty simple track, almost filler if it wasnt for the strings and the vocal stab that just evokes a feeling of summer evenings surrounded by a thousand gurning ravers!

Liberation – Liberation [1992]
July 14, 2012

From the minute you hear that choppy intro riff, you know exactly where you are and whats comming. A track that found itself everywhere from house mixes to techno sets, its a cracking snapshot of that time. Quite why it throws that piano riff from JT Company’s, Dont Deal With Us, im not sure but hey, its a classic one in its own right and a welcome addition!

From Discogs
Last tune played by Mr Weatherall at the end of a Primal Scream gig at the Hacienda…may be dated now but still a snapshot of the feeling at that time….pure euphoria!

Gus Gus vs T-World – Theme [1998]
June 27, 2012

Possibly the very definition of lushness, this is a fantastic downtempo classic from the fantastic album from Gus Gus, Gus Gus & T-World. While their output is generally known for its eccentric funky house compositions and off the wall trip-hop, this is an atmospheric, down blanket of awesome deep houseness. Plus, it has bongo’s, a long overlooked companion to a cracking house tune. Be honest now, bongo’s make everything better.

From Discogs
This album was brought to my attention from the Anthem track being included on the Pi soundtrack. I was really expecting alot from this album and when I finally got the chance to listen to it, I was happy to find it lived up to expectations. All the tracks on this album hit me in the right spot but it’s the “classic” sounding songs like Anthem, Northern Lights, Purple, and Esja that really blew me away. Ever since I heard it, I’ve always considered these songs to be of the highest caliber of techno, and hearing them dropped in a mix or at a gathering always puts a smile on my face. Emotional techno for your soul.

Sunscreem – Perfect Motion (Boys Own Mix) [1992]
March 26, 2012

Oh god what a track this is. An absolutely timeless piece of electronic house music that always seems to be over too soon despite its hefty length. Despite it not being a hard pounding track, its an all encompassing, fuzzy cashmere blanket type of Progressive House tune. In fact, I cant think of many other tracks that despite their tame sensibility can pack a dancefloor like this one. It might have something to do with the marginally more interesting beat, steering away from solely 4/4 bass drums and adding some interesting snare programming. Perhaps its that moog, twanging along for the entire track. What am I talking about, of course its the Moog slap bassline. An 8 bar riff that just bloody nails its relationship to that bassdrum. You could probably strip out the vocals and the strings and people would still loose their shit to this track. Yet another masterpiece from Farley & Heller.

From Discogs
This track was a UK chart hit for Sunscreem in 1992, but it’s The Boy’s Own mix that is one of my favourite vocal house tracks and a Renaissance classic that featured on the seminal Sasha & Digweed mix collection. The central hook of the track was taken from the much-plundered “Theme For Great Cities” by Simple Minds, a record many other acts have since sampled. Heller and Farley’s brilliant mix joins the dots between progressive and mainstream house with a bassline to die for and production that still stands up today. If you’re into that classic house sound of the early 90s, there are few better examples.

What a tune! Terry Farley & Pete Heller’s (Boy’s Own) finest contribution to House music and a record that I can simply never ever tire of. Electronic House music that takes the breath away with it’s beauty and emotional power. Music to transport you to heaven, ecstacy and the best trip you’ve ever had. An epic, anthemic record that moves the soul like only the finest House music can. ALL TIME CLASSIC.

Shapeshifters – Lola’s Theme (Main Mix) [2004]
February 29, 2012

Love it or loathe it you cant deny that Lola’s Theme is a master-stroke of house production. Its literally draws upon 20 years of experience to craft a track so damn slick it will be heard for years to come. It has enough disco-y house to please the bunnies, the bass line is chunky enough to satisfy even the most devoted Prog house fan. The four to the floor is crispy and interesting and the vocal is absolutely perfect for the tune, synthy guitar business keep the tech heads happy and wrapping it up is that cracking build up smack bang in the middle. Guaranteed to lay waste to any dancefloor it comes into contact with. What a release this is.

Its another one of those tracks that have been remixed to all hell, there’s a lot of great ones out there but for me its either the Main Mix (a dub version of the Extended Vocal) or the afforementioned “Extended Vocal Mix”. Both, original and absolute perfection.

From Discogs
The Main Mix is simply a dubbed version of the Extended Vocal Mix. The track simply starts with a progressing introduction, with an all round solid kick and bassline. Soon enough, we are greeted with a more uplifting synth, and the track starts to take a more funky turn with some quality strings, and a superb catchy house melody. As we approach the breakdown, the vocals are heard. The vocals are quite fitting to the vibe that the track gives out, and the cut vocals make this a mix much better than the full vocal mix in my opinion. The breakdown just builds and builds before exploding into a crescending array of synths, instruments and basslines. The melody so funky, and catchy, will no doubt make this one of ‘the’ summer tunes of the year for 2004!

Pamela Fernandez – Kickin’ In The Beat (Extended Mix) [1992]
February 27, 2012

I reckon its about time we paid our repects to the excellent Pamela Fernandez and the seminal classic that is “Kickin’ In The Beat”. Yeah, that accapella has been caned within an inch of its life, found predominantly listed as remixes of this tune but often just snippets of the whole. You’ll find a bunch of those tracks listed on here but the highlights for me have to be Sublime’s The Theme and the Club For Life track from Chris & James. Fernandez’ voice is tailor made for house music and the Todd Terry remix of this just brings it all together with a funky but chunky house arrangement and the vocals stomping all over the track like Godzilla. There’s a bunch of other decent remixes out there, some house heavy tracks, some more progressive. Lets see if we cant list some of the better ones eh?

Tommy Musto Remix – Glam House from 1994

Standard Issue Dancing Diva’s mayhem from 1994

Deeper Alex Party remix, also 1994!

The cracking Sub-Urban Kickin’ Mix from……. 1994!

The inexplicably popular AIM Dub mix, choppy raveyness/bouncy houseness in here… 1992

Finally and most importantly, the original accapella;

Chris & James – Club For Life (The New Skool Balearic Mix) [1994]
February 21, 2012

What a huge gurner of a track this one is, another classic from Stress Records. Its a guaranteed dance floor destroyer with that Piano riff just tearing the roof off when it drops. The accapella is a chopped up version of the fantastic Pamela Fernadez’ Kickin’ In The Beat, a guaranteed crowd pleaser however its used. The rest of the track is a progressive tinged arm-waving marathon. Yes, there’s panpipes for extra cheese but we can let that one go, it was 93 after all. Cracking!