Sphinx feat Sabrina Johnston – What Hope Have I (Our Tribe Mix) [1995]
February 6, 2013

Get in! Is there anything better than hearing Sabrina Johnston opening her pipes and belting out a face tearing vocal for 6 minutes? The rest of the track is a pretty laid back house bouncer that as per usual gets trounced by Johnstons amazing voice. One of many a vocal house tune released in 1995 but often overlooked for the bigger crowd pleasers. Junior Vasquez gave this a more banging workout with his Junior Factory Dub/Mix but for me, as with most of Johnston’s tracks, its all filler. Let Sabrina do what she does best and give it a bass drum!

Michael Jackson – Rock With You (Frankie Knuckles Favourite Club Mix) [1995]
November 29, 2012

For the record, I pretty much adore Michael Jackon’s first 3 Albums, Off The Wall being my favourite by a long way with Bad and then Thriller. Dont care about the eccentricities, accusations or any of that shit, the music stands bigger than the man.

Now, I have no idea what Frankie Knuckles was smoking when he wrote the intro to this remix since it deviates so far from the original disco/funk classic it hard to believe its even related to the original. But this is the intro I think every artist wishes his tracks remix would have. Its a full force emotional buildup of biblical proportions with a piano riff so inspired it just steamrolls the listener into submission. Soon as the drop comes, your back in Frankie Knuckles familiar housey territory and its a pretty happy bouncer for the remaining 5 mins but you’ll find yourself constantly yearning for that intro.

On a side note, after MJ passed away, a guy with the online handle of Technics2000 did a kind of tribute mix featuring tracks from his entire back catalogue in their best remix format. Its an amazing mix that I strongly recommend you go grab and give the guy some love. Its been on constant repeat this week on my 14 hr days and im yet to get bored! There’s lots of links online, just run a search for “Technics2000 Michael Jackson”

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.

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.

Intense – Prophesy [1995]
February 14, 2012

Another cracker from Rugged Records, this was the A side of the excellent “Chronicles of Intense Vol 1”. Nothing but solid rolling amens and dark basslines in this one, even if the beginning leads you to believe otherwise. In fact the track kicks off with some really great string atmospherics and a cheeky little breakbeat before the drop kicks in and off you go. A genuinely perfect Jungle tune. The amen work is absolutely flawless from start to finish, successfully managing to be choppy without being irritating. What a tune.

Earl Grey – The Lick [1995]
February 14, 2012

What a corker this track is. I had it on “Future Funk” (Its still in the Garage Dad!) a bloody excellent album of DnB and downtempo classics amongst other things. This is most definitely one of the stand out tracks on there, one of a core few really top shelf jazzy “Intelligent” Drum & Bass tunes. The track didnt really see a whole lot of club play, I think I heard it a few times in the chill out lounge at Goodbye Cruel World but for the most part, this is a track for the car or your lounge at 1am. The bass is pure and the break is clean and absence of any over the top synth work just make this a minimalist classic for me. Fantastic, The Lick indeed!

Earl Grey – Untitled [1995]
November 28, 2011

Corking Intelligent DnB tune from Earl Grey aka Paul Clarke and Ron Wells. While they released a stack of other decent releases, it is this first offering on Rugged Vinyl that will be their lasting legacy. It an absolute beast of a tune, jazzy enough not to become tedious but light enough that it can fit into almost any DnB set. Its got some great bassline work and the breaks are top drawer. Blissful slice of classic DnB.

The Charlatans – Nine Acre Dust (Chemical Brothers Rmx) [1995]
November 14, 2011

What a belter from The Charlatans and The Chemical Brothers. Back in ’95 the Chem’s were at the top of their game, their singles from Exit Planet Dust were epic in their own right but their remixes were untouchable. This being one of the very best as well, its “Big Beat” without the cheddar. Keeping the bulk of the Charlatans vocal samples but cutting them up with a brutally catchy breakbeat. But for me its the bassline on this beauty, its a low rumbling monster of a bassline, the kind that comes to get you on the dancefloor and drag you all over the club with a massive grin on your face. ‘kin Classic!

Pendulum – I Need You [1995]
August 9, 2011

First off, my apologies, its been pretty crazy all round and ive been more concerned with goings on in Blighty than to update this fella. But lets get some banging tracks back on the play, starting with this progressive house classic from Pendulum. No thats not Pendulum of Hold Your Color fame but some guy, on his own. Pendulum put out a handful of tracks in the early nineties. Nothing is known about him and he vanished after releasing this stormer. Taking the vocal from Loleatta Holloways, Crash Goes Love and mixing it up with some heavy progressive beats and a synth riff that can melt your face, Mr Pendulum went out with a bang!

Castle Trancelott – Indoctrinate [1995]
July 8, 2011

Belting trance number from Mr Patrick Prins, as the title track for the fantastic Indoctrinate EP. Its a dark unrelenting tune with some cracking sweeping strings that just soars over your head. Whether packed into a club or in a field, its just one of those tracks that sweeps you up and carries you for miles. All the time, trying to not look down because the evil bassline beneath you is just waiting to eat you alive!

From Discogs
Patrick Prins was responsible for this masterpiece, as well as most of the quality underground house at the time. ‘Indoctrinate’ is quite possibly the greatest house record ever made. Everytime I listen to it I get chills up my spine… The word ‘atmospheric’ really doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Ignore the remixes that have come since, track down the original mix and sit back and soak it all in! Perfect!

A top class release from Mr Prins himself, the Way Out West mix takes the original Indoctrinate into a different league with a phat, plodding bassline which underpin’s the entire track. It continues to swirl and chug along until the mosterous acidic break down 2/3rd’s of the way though. A real grit your teeth and go for it moment, this tune turned dancefloors to pulp and had dozens of spotters leaning over the booth, trying to pick the name up. Side B was even stronger, with the almighty ‘Gloom’ which went on to feature on the seminal Sasha & Digweed ‘Northern Exposure’ mix CD. It is a seriously dark and brooding beast that drives along with an energy level that’s hard to beat. The break down offers spooky FX, haunting chants, and a bass line lower than a snakes belly. The off beat claps of thunder sound enormous on a big system, and the kick is absoultely nailed to the mutha fckin ground. Tunes like this will sound amazing in another 10 years time, let alone today. If your a DJ, next time you have a sweaty club with a low ceiling and a good sound system, play the Gloom and engrave your set in to the memory of the punters for the rest of their lives.