Desired State – Dance The Dream [1991]
August 29, 2011

I cant believe its taken me this long to get this posted. Probably because there’s not really any way im going to be able to actual do it justice. It is, without a doubt one of my all time favourite tracks, solely because of how Mad P introduced the Top Buzz set that kicks off with this track. Up until that point, i’d not heard a Top Buzz set, didnt really know all that much about them. I was heavily into my Sasha, Tong and other uplifting house DJ’s. I liked a lot of breakbeat but found myself far more familiar with the few more high profile releases. I dont know who gave me this tape, it had to have been about 4 – 5 months after the night, around the middle of summer 1992 and it blew me away. It remains still one of my all time favourite hardcore mixes of all time. Trying to describe it is pointless, give it a listen;

You know that mix, the only mix where you know every single line uttered by the MC? Yeah, thats this mix for me. But I am not alone in this, hell the set is so good, they played it almost song for song at Fantazia Westpoint ON.THE.SAME.NIGHT. If ever there was a mix that cemented Top Buzz in the hearts of Ravers, I think this might be the one. It certainly did me.

So back to the track? What makes Dance the Dream so great? Well, its got that pitch perfect piano break, starts with a no-nonsense buildup and mashes it together with a monster break and bassline. The synth riff is Straight Outa Romford, cheesy shape-throwing awesome but not overused. Its all about the piano in this track and what a piano riff it is. This version sounds great as it is, better pitched up about 10% as it is from Top Buzz.

Pretty much exactly what they did for this remix to be honest 🙂

So there you go. Probably one of the first tracks that ever truly blew me away, in no small part to Mc Mad P and the Buzz.

Venom – Ive Never Felt This Way Before [1991]
May 27, 2011

The second track on the B side of the epic Total Recall EP from Venom. Just another perfectly crafted hardcore banger. The vocal sample used is spot on, couple that with that rocking subbase and the moogy bass riffs and your laughing. Best use? Likely the Big Bad Head/Raindance set from Top Buzz, still to this day one of the best hardcore sets ever. Absolutely classic.

From Discogs
I remember being at Central Park in Portsmouth when Carl Cox played all three of the tracks on this EP during the night, I think he may have had two copies and mixed them into each other. I can’t quite remember it was a messy night!

Venom – I Need Your Love [1991]
May 18, 2011

Right then! Back to the Hardcore! Taken from Venom’s “Total Recall” 12″ and without a doubt the best damn track on it by a mile. Probably some of the purest hardcore riffs, a whole slew of them too, not just the same one repeated. Heavy on the piano business too, what the hell is there not to love in here? A track that hits its peak echoing over a crowd of thousands, blasting out of a 50K system. Right now, ive gotta settle for a set of Sennheiser’s but rest assured, its louder than it should be.

“Oh wow, what a rush”

From Discogs
‘I need your love’ track is the reason you should buy this record. The sound, structure and vocals are so crisp and well produced, even though it’s 20 years old! This one is a definite addition to any collection and would rock a dance floor anywhere in the world…….
I remember being at Central Park in Portsmouth when Carl Cox played all three of the tracks on this EP during the night, I think he may have had two copies and mixed them into each other. I can’t quite remember it was a messy night!

Blast – Higher Degree [1991]
March 18, 2011

Big. Bad. Head. What I wouldn’t give to go back to that Top Buzz set, its so absolutely legendary. Another classic selection from that set by Jason Jay. This track is the AA side of the Hysteria / Blast AA 12″ with both tracks being strong but Blast getting the airplay at Raindance/Head. Heavy on the Belgian techno slant but abounding with a cracking breakbeat and rolling bassline. The very definition of hardcore.

Tic Tac Toe – Ephemerol [1992]
January 8, 2010

Bloody impossible to find white label that is so iconic a track, im surprised it was never generally released. Another Top Buzz classic but to be honest, you could chuck this on repeat for 12 hours and I dont think i’d get bored. Really quality breakbeat layering, a sub bass that rolls under the surface and that synth riff. You could destroy whole city blocks with that badboy, absolutely MONSTER hardcore track.

From Discogs
Quite simply my favourite tune from this era. Arguably (and there are many arguments over this!) the tune that started d&b. I remember hearing Bukem playing it and it stood out a mile, head and shoulders above all the other tunes, even though he was playing classy tunes.

Both sides are great. Ephemerol is the most popular one but my preferance is for 456 which is the tune I’m referencing in the above. Ephemorol is quality *QUALITY* hardcore of the finest type. But 456 is genre creating. Snappy Amen beat with that lovely little flick using the off beat crack of the snare and a simple but fantastic bassline all underpinned with dubby fx galore (although subtle). I think that’s why this tune is so magic; it’s quite understated in many ways. I want this tune’s babies and no mistake. If you see it buy it…the remix (which you see for sale a lot, which I also own) is nowhere near the greatness of this.
Bit of crappy trivia: Written by Simon Ratcliffe who went on to be half of Basement Jaxx.

Another bit of (useless) info: you usually see this tune filed under the artist name Tic Tac Toe as that’s all that printed on the white label, but subsequent releases show that this was actually the name of the record label so it’s not clear what’s what

Nasty Habits – Lets Go (Cold Remix) [1992]
January 4, 2010

Speaking of the Buzz, here’s a monster slice of darkness from Doc Scott aka Nasty Habits. A seriously deep roller this one.

Leo Anibaldi – Bassbar [1991]
November 10, 2009

Taken from Anibaldi’s absolutely groundbreakingly awesome Noise Generation EP. Then immortalised by Top Buzz at the legendary 91/92 NYE sets of Big Bad Head/Raindance & Fantazia Westpoint, this is simply an epic acid hardcore stormer. Leo Anibaldi is a genius. Period.

From Discogs
Leo Anibaldi is one of the few real talented and gifted producers in the electronic scene, perhaps – I dare to say – on the same level of Richard D. James (because of his different approach of music and gear in general). Not only Mister Anibaldi really knows how to use his analogue gear, he’s also able to create a unique sound or universe with it, a twisted, bizarre and even holocaustic atmosphere.
A lot of rumours were spread about the personal situation of Mister Anibaldi (drugs, he would live in Amsterdam etc.), I don’t know if these rumours are to be taken seriously. The fact is that between 1991 and 1995 Anibaldi released about 15 absolutely genius and groundbreaking EP’s or LP’s, and aside from one promo in 2002, he hasn’t released one single record ever since. Weird, but I guess it’s all part of the Anibaldi-mystery. Truly a top class artist!

Brooker on Discogs
Four of the tracks on this EP are fairly non-descript in my opinion, and then there’s Bassbar. Two words – absolutely awesome. The way the synth riff builds and ocillates over the sub, combined with the break make this almost perfect, and well ahead of it’s time. Proof that simple is often best – an absolute classic.