i’ve spoken about this before. unbelievable as it may sound now, seventeen years ago people were on a mission to be nicer to each other and connect more. sound alien? well that’s because it didn’t quite work out.
after the summer of love (1988), when people took lots of drugs and decided that everyone wasn’t so bad after all. we bought into the idea of a caring, sharing nineties. we all rushed out and bought a crystal – well, i wasn’t allowed one so I sulked. clearly i had this new age thing on lock….
the fashion…hmm. well i’m getting to that sorry age where certain fashions have started to come back to haunt me. leggings, pixie boots, batwing jumpers and jelly shoes all formed part of my childhood. i can always say that i didn’t exactly choose to wear them the first time round, since no one but my mum was there to witness umpteen tantrums over not being allowed a puffball skirt. i don’t envisage needing to explain away the fact that i chose to wear paisley shirts, pasties and global hypercolour t-shirts in 1990. they ain’t coming back, there will be no second round.
so suddenly, after 80s excess, came social conscience. other good buzzwords for 1990 – unity, collective, family. the soul music of 1990 was so far away from the flash and swagger of today’s r&b its actually surprising its not more than 17 years. the daisy age was really a de la soul movement, but their influence and the new age influence of the time filtered through everything and sat alongside rave, new jack swing and indie.
twelve huggy classics – download here
bassomatic – fascinating rhythm
is it rave? is it soul? is it house? i miss music of indeterminate genre such as this. it was good, you liked it, you danced to it – it didn’t matter.
beats international – won’t talk about it
much was made of the fact that vocalist lindy layton was once in grange hill. now, every british celebrity has been in grange hill or eastenders, usually both, then they either make it big or end up in the bill.
chimes – still haven’t found what i’m looking for
this is a rare example of the cover version being so much better than the original. plodding guitar dirge from pious irish rockers or tinkly, shifting grooves from cool acid jazz band? no contest.
de la soul – the magic number
sesame street inspired rap from the original hip hop hippies. as cute and colourful as the boys themselves.
dream warriors – my definition of a boombastic jazz style
jazz hiphop. what a fantastic concept. it sounds as fresh and as alien now as it did back then.
family stand – ghetto heaven
unique, moody soul. about a hooker, no less. i can’t track down any of their other material but if memory serves it was nothing like this track.
innocence – a matter of fact
great soul group that sat between r&b and ambient. the aural equivalent of sitting in a spring garden surrounded by dewy flowers.
jt and the big family – moments in soul
sampled art of noise’s ‘moments in love’ to great effect. another one of indeterminate genre.
movement 98 – joy and heartbreak
chillout soul at its best, but another casualty of the 90s trend for faceless one hit wonders.
neneh cherry – kisses on the wind
immensely likeable in a jordin sparks kind of way, but a lot more street. neneh was the first woman to go on tv and perform whilst heavily, and therefore obviously, pregnant.
seal – crazy
probably the most commerical of the conscious soul contingent, but success was a sitting duck after ‘killer’ with adamski.
soul ii soul – back to life
i post this track in its 12 inch glory for my friend who dragged me round countless record stores looking for it, just after it became unavailable.