Archive for the ‘Techno’ Category

Kraze – The Party (Tunnel Mix) [1988]
January 9, 2014

There’s a riff, that I often find myself humming. On those rare occasions when I get a quiet moment, its a good chance that this riff will be there, floating around in the background. You might even say, its a riff that haunts me. That riff is the bassline to Kraze’s “The Party”. Its so damn perfect in its execution, its as if the sequence of notes were always meant to be played next to each other in this way. Like there really is no other way for them to be woven together.

Now that might sound a bit off the wall but stick with me. This came out in 1988, I was beginning to listen to House music, moving away from the hip hop and soul I had been listening to. There’s a good chance that I probably heard this, like so many others on a John Peel show on a Sunday night. But, like a handful of other tunes, this has a riff that has just stayed with me since that day. Its so simple, so iconic that its not hard to see why its such a beloved track by so many. Sure, the vocals can grate a little but you know you have a wry smile in the corner of your mouth when you head “Y’all want this party start right? Somebody Scream!”. Its a snapshot of everything that made these dance music releases so damn brilliant. Its got a huge slab of Detroit Techno in its veins with a bucketload of NY House sass thrown in for good measure. Its a song who’s sole purpose is to make you dance. At home, at work, on the bus, in a club, in a field, at your desk. Consider my Party well and truly started.

Quench – Dreams [1993]
July 1, 2013

How on Gods green Earth could I have forgotten to do a write up for this. Easily one of the defining early trance tracks that is well deserved of its legendary status. Its got pretty much everything you want in a dance track, a relentless synth bassline rumbling under a cracking kick drum and that filthy low-fi high hat. Cue the bells, oh the bells. Merely a harbinger of the destruction soon to be wrought by this banger. Because just as soon as the main riff kicks in, that sawtooth synth that just rips across a crowd like wildfire, you’ll see a place erupt like no other.

I never saw anything else from Quench, not of note anyway, Dreams just left too much destruction in its wake. An absolute masterpiece.

Kevin Saunderson/Inner City – Till We Meet Again (Carl Craig Remix) [2010]
February 1, 2013

Now this is an absolute masterstroke of genius from Carl Craig, turning one of the great Inner City classic’s into a pounding techno monster that gives the amazing “Bladerunner” remix a run for its money. This feels like a real return to the source, pure driving techno beats and a ridiculously catchy synth riff interspersed with snippets of Paris Grey’s amazing vocal. Time for me to revisit Mr Craigs catalogue I reckon!

Underground Resistance – Kamikaze [1992]
January 10, 2013

Today’s slice of banging techno comes to you from a good mate of mine, John. Unfamiliar with this track prior to about 20 minutes ago, its hard not to wack a great big grin on your face with the bleepy goodness of this belter. The beginning is a cracking onslaught of the senses but the real fun comes about 2 mins in when the track lays down and strips itself bare before slowly reintroducing all the elements that made up the beginning assault. As you know by now, im a huge fan of really superbly layered electronic tunes and this belter is no exception, top dollar techno tune.

From Discogs
The introduction by Monte Markham, whose speech is taken from the series of documentaries Air Combat, aired on NBC in the early 1990s, gives way to the screaming sound of a crashing plane that sets the mood. Then, it is rave terror ahead, with a gentle Acid line, techno beats and a roaring hoover. The result sounds a little dated, really and is perhaps only worthwhile for nostalgia value. Yet the break at the end of the second third brings in deep, lush strings that only Mad Mike could have produced.

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Original Don Mix) [1992]
August 22, 2012

Oh My Gosh! A total stormer from the Family Foundation with a break so filthy it should come with a health warning. Chucked onto that is a ton of crowd pleasing synth riffs and the prerequisite female vocalist, making this yet another beloved hardcore classic.

The release itself is a cracker, with four excellent remixes featured on the vinyl and CD releases, all with their own slight twist on the original. But to be honest, nothing comes close to this version, no wonder its the Original Don Mix, it towers over the others! The very definition of a classic this one!

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Ragga Rave Mix)

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Extended Vocal Mix)

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Jungle Techno Mix)

DTOX – The Trancer [1995]
July 27, 2012

Oh my god yes, this takes me back to loosing the Pyramid Stage of Dreamscape 20. Middle of the night, absolutely exhausted and Clarkee comes on and just rockets the entire place into orbit opening this this banger from DTOX. As hardcore techno tracks go, its got everything you could possibly need; the ferocious synth driving the entire track, a boomnig bassdrum and some string sections so you dont have a heart attack and die. I strongly recommend NOT listening to this in the car, you may find yourself over 100 before your halfway into the track. If your going to go Hardcore Techno, you could do a lot worse than starting here.

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!

Ratpack – Rat Pack- Looking Through My Window [1992]
April 17, 2012

Taken from the truly excellent “First Taste” album from Fantazia and what a classic this wound up being. Starting slowly, almost understated with some whistful lyrics before the bassline and piano kick in and its all vintage Ratpack from that point on. The boys caught a lot of flack for surfing the line between mainstream and underground but I dont know many that managed it so well. Sure, there’s a light whiff of cheddar in every track but I dont reckon you could call it Ratpack if it took itself too seriously. Awesome.

Jem 77 – Never Felt This Way (Hyper Mix) [1992]
March 1, 2012

Another one of those huge tunes from back in the day. I dont think I actually ever heard the original, instead hearing the Hyper Mix get caned everywhere and by everyone. Its without a doubt one of the better late hardcore tracks, the cheese is less weighty than most releases, keeping most of the interest on that ferocious breakbeat that hammers the song from the get go. Couple that with some great strings and the punchy vocal and a genius use of a Guns & Roses guitar riff and you have yourself a winner. Total classic.

D.O.M. – Acid war [1995]
February 28, 2012

From one end of the spectrum to the other, this Acid Techno masterpiece from D.O.M rarely attracts anything but unapologetic joy and for good reason. This doesn’t destroy dance floors, this track obliterates them with extreme prejudice. Thats driving acid riff does not stop for the entire track, pulsing through you like a techno body snatcher from another world. There is no let up, no break, once it drops your in it for the duration. Your entire world is now nothing but possessed acid riffs, pounding bass drums and raw acid baselines. I cant adequately explain in words really just how incredible a track this is when heard live, surrounded by a sea of bodies but the reaction is just electric. An absolute masterpiece.

However, if this track is unbelievably not hard enough on the acid for you, there is a remix that may just fit the bill. Wah Wah’s Acid Intensifier Remix does exactly what it says in the title, it kicks the entire track up to 11 for seven minutes of the hardest acid bedlam your ever likely to hear. For me, its too much, the simplicity of the original is what makes it stand out for me, however I know many folks who ‘kin love the Wah Wah remix.

From Discogs
OK now, the original might come in handy every now and then, or serve for the odd occassion, but this whole release is all about the remixes, actually. For a change, yeah, the remixers really did elevate the original to whole new heights.

First off, Wah Wah’s remix is a blasting, who-can-count-that-fast-to-count-the-BPM-rate acid trancecore monster, with a hardcore touch moving at incredible velocity, with jarring and steel hammer hard acid riffs. Completely wild and off the hook. Definitely something to play during the peak of the night. No pauses, no breaks and no climaxes – just torrents of wild acid dropped for around five minutes after a brief intro and the initial build up.
Then comes Chris Liberator with one of his career calling cards. To my knowledge this is the first remix he’s ever done, and what a treat it is. Rolling, 4/4 percussion, with a funky as hell bassline as the sounds and acid leads slowly but steadily gain in loudness and intensity as they progress. By the time that final break comes, prior to the last stand-off, this track is already a wicked mental hospital, then for the last two minutes or so Chris goes completely mad, twists and tweaks with these insane acid melodies and plays a dozen tricks on your mind. Fun, danceable, funky and banging, and inclined to smack an ear to ear smile across your face – isn’t that what techno is all about? Absolutely essential for all lovers of London’s underground acid techno scene.