Lionrock – Packet of Peace (12″ Mix) [1993]
April 25, 2011

Absolutely pivotal release from Lionrock, a great early Progressive House classic that was absolutely rinsed by just about everyone. For good reason too, its got those great conscious lyrics mixed up tightly into a driving kick drum and relentless bassline. Lots of strings sprinkles over the top with that great acid riff chopping in and out of the track give Packet of Peace all the layers you could ever want. Simple and farkin’ amazing.

“I’ll leave my mind beneath the mat, so you can let yourself in. If you can stand the mess then stay but im not entertaining”

From Discogs
Used to spin the original version of this track in 1993, a beautiful progressive/house track with a nice bassline, a prophetic lyric riding over the top and a touch of acid throughout. Then 1994 came and the Chemical Brothers (then known as the “Dust Brothers”) dropped this monster! Sharing almost nothing with the original, this track features a tough, driving breakbeat, some gritty samples and an luscious vocal sample over a massive breakdown. Straight sick!!!!

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Bassheads – Back to the Old School [1991]
September 14, 2010

Absolute corker from the Bassheads. Nothing but uplifting all the way, a faint whiff of cheese but the ’91 badge makes it a bit more legitimate. Quality vocal usage, frankly I wish it was used during most of the track. The middle string breakdown is totally lush before grabbing you by the throat and dragging you kicking and screaming back to the party.

From Discogs
Forget about the fact that they were talking about getting back to the old school when the school had only been going for about 5 years!!

This is a killer, PROPER, old skool breakbeat\piano choon with washy synth intro and teasing bassline, in comes more percussion then a woman urging you to “got to keep movin” whilst the jangly piano riff makes it’s first appearance and then it eventually gives way to the massiiiive old skool house breaks beat (if you like Lost’s – The Gonzo, you’ll fricking love this).

U.S.U.R.A – Open Your Mind [1992]
July 23, 2010

Commercially massive this and with good reason, its got that pounding bassdrum and the a fairly hefty portion of Simple Minds “New Gold Dream”. Chuck in some samples from a huge movie released only 18 months prior and your sorted. This bridged the gap between Italian disco inspired piano house and the then emerging progressive house scene, and in doing so remains relevant and playable.

From Discogs
The ‘Classic Mix’ is the pick of the bunch, using stomping meaty club oriented house beats, percussion that sounds like a high pitched barking dog, and a sustained but modulated tonal synthesizer line running throughout. This is rounded off by the sort of quality bass line that will ensure it still sounds good for many years to come.

Look out for the excellent promo video for this track which just about hints at some sort of political message.

Through the 1990s, Deconstruction released many classics, and this is right up there with the best of them.d. It proved to be a welcome relief from the glut of glowstick and vicks fairground hardcore, with that Simple Minds sample giving the whole track a far more mature sound .

K-Klass- Let Me Show You [1993]
July 12, 2010

Cracking hands in the air belter from the legendary K-Klass. Quality vocals, great pounding bassdrum and that synth/piano riff just knocks it out of the park.

From Discogs
While the A side had some commercial success and a hit in the Ted clubs, for me the ‘B’ side 1,2,3 remix by Sabres of Paradise is the one. This track does it for me, delay, nice synths and pads that flow harmoniously, though starts off quite industrial, then slowly morphs into a beautiful track that’s worth the money that the record is currently going for – The early nineties are without doubt the decade that Weatherall and Kooner produced/remixed their best work.

N-Joi – Malfunction [1990]
April 13, 2010

And then the B-Side of Anthem’s 12″ release featured this complete opposite Euro styled techno behemoth. Its got the lot, driving tech-bass synths, vocal AND acid stabs, sweeps, bloody everything. A proper, unapologetic shape thrower of a tune. Awesome.

From Discogs
Forget about Anthem, Malfunction is is the killer track on this release. Still playable now, a timeless classic from that golden era of real Techno. It takes me right back, an all round, well produced piece of musical madness!!

N-Joi – Anthem [1990]
April 13, 2010

The first 7″ I ever bought and what a cracker it is. Its also 20 years old in what… four weeks (Released beginning of May 1990). What makes this track so downright awesome? Its that drop from the beginning before your hit in the face with pure joy. You’re led in slow until Saffrons vocals kick in with the piano and catapult you into bliss. Its a track that is beloved by just about everyone I know and for good reason, N-Joi nailed the early 90’s party scene with their blend of uplifting vocals and heavy techno productions. I still have this 7″ too, in mint condition, back at the folks. 20 years and still getting used in mixes, not a bad legacy eh?

To celebrate 20 years of Anthem Brixton Jamm are throwing a monster party in Brixton I truly wish I was attending. Link here :
From DiscogsNjoi – 20yrs of Anthem

This is the 1991 re-release of Anthem, which found it’s way into the UK top ten thanks to its uplifting vocals courtesy of Saffron and a sample of Gwen Guthrie.
Of all N-Joi releases, this is probably the one which is best known commercially, however, it hugely benefits from a couple of decent remixes and the inclusion of the mighty Malfunction on side B.

K-Klass – Rhythm is a Mystery [1991]
April 13, 2010

Whats to say? Channeling the Ital-House piano stormers around at the same time the Welsh/Northern England guys dropped this uplifting belter in 1991. Caned by just about everyone, its definately a track that hasnt done badly on the aged front. Likely due to the lack of any cheese heavy synth riffs, opting instead for that driving piano, acid sweep and strings. The vocal is known by everyone, sing along, sweep your feel and let go – classic dance tune.

From Discogs
This is one of those classic records with other tracks on it that have been totally dwarfed by the lead track, even though that lead track was famous for its remix on a different record!

So skipping the formalities, you should head straight for track B2.
Manchester’s Creed and FRO were well known for bringing over Euro Techno tracks so there can be no surprise when they bring up new talent like K Klass, who develop a similar sound. The track mentioned is a wonderfully atmospheric gasp, nodding politely to the Orb and taking in samples off vaguely familiar adverts, this belies a subtle aggression which pins down the Euro House sound of the time and elevates it to something quite beautiful.

Hysterix – Talk To Me (Sasha’s Full Music Master Mix) [1994]
January 26, 2010

We’ve been a bit light on Sasha of late and frankly its criminal. This is another massive remix of his, its another classic slice of progressive house found on the Renaissance Volume One album. Its a cracking arms in the air stormer, feel that foot tap!

From Discogs
Sasha’s version of “Talk To Me” has a repeating sample that always eluded me in the past when I first heard this track. The sample I am referring to comes from Big Audio Dynamite II’s classic 1991 track “The Globe”. Its a wonderful sample used in combination with the overlaying breakbeat. The female vocals have been vocaded with the right amount and slowly begins to filter back to the original. A wonderful masterpiece!

Im a big Sasha fan although Im the first to admit that during the early 90’s he must have accepted every single remix he was offered!!. Hence a good proportion of them are fairly average. This outstanding mix of Hysterix is by far one of Sasha’s best ever remixes, I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking how fresh and uplifting it sounded. With a great break, some great cords, the original vocal stuttered up to fuck, this was one of the highlights of Sasha & Digweeds Renaissance Mix and IMO one of the best tunes from the mid 1990’s.

N-Joi – Adrenaline [1991]
November 12, 2009

Uncompromising stormer from N-Joi, another relentless arm thrower – driving bassline, 4 to the floor and PLENTY of acid.

From Discogs
N-Joi formed in 1990 when Nigel Champion and Mark Franklin (2) AKA Marc Kulak were 20 years old. They were later joined by Samantha Sprackling AKA Saffron. Initially playing illegal underground warehouse parties, they subsequently had quite some chart success. Adding Saffron’s vocal performance to the “underground” sound brought N-Joi to a wider audience and they became one of the more successful dance acts of the early 1990’s. They were the first Techno act to appear on UK’s “Top Of The Pops” and took their live performances around the world, touring the USA, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.