dirty martini

old music for new people

digital reality May 4, 2008

fractals were big in 90s clubland. low budgets meant artists and record labels needed to be creative in order to get their videos on totp. there are countless low budget clips of djs, producers and random girls swaying awkwardly behind a keyboard.

others, notably the progressive house community, opted for computer-generated fractals. clubs picked up on the trend and installed big screens for wide eyed clubbers to fixate on as they danced.

progressive house was a hybrid of house and trance that built incrementally, hence the name. it was especially popular oop north but the south did hold its own with clubs like final frontier at club uk and whoop it up at the velvet rooms and gardening club.

mtv used to show those x-mix videos in full late at night back then and back from my underage drinking sessions, i would sit fixated for hours until my mum yelled at me to turn it off and get to bed.

download here

react 2 rhythm – intoxication – leftfield remix

slam – eterna

dig the new breed – whose no1

cool jack – just come

g.o.d. – inside your mind

gipsy – i trance you

andronicus – make you whole

phuture – rise from your grave

ramirez – hablando

gat decor – passion

leftfield – song of life

last rhythm – last rhythm

underground resistance – jupiter jazz

dj tools – ooh yeah

bedrock – for what you dream of

jaydee – plastic dreams

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original sin November 17, 2007

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 how annoying was it when your parents pointed out that your new favourite mc hammer tune was in fact a total ripoff?

well, there are so many tracks that i thought were originals and found out later that they were in fact mere updates. some are terrible – notably any of liberty x’s many cover versions – and some are actually just different as per some of the list below.

i think i must be getting old as i get furious when i hear updates of 90s house music on kiss fm that doesn’t sound better than the original – what’s the point in that?

download here

bootsy collins – i’d rather be with you

hands up who thought beyonce’s ‘be with you’ was a welcome respite from the screechy ballads that populated the rest of ‘dangerously in love’? how many spotted that she’d totally ripped off this track? that girl just does not learn.

cool notes – i should have loved ya

popularised by narada michael walden, this was actually a demo by brit lovers rockers turned jheri curled soulsters, the cool notes.  i prefer this version.

george benson and al jarreau – nothing’s gonna change my love for you

this is a ballad, a slushy one at that. but what mr benson and mr jarreau must have been thinking when they saw bouffant hawaiian glenn medeiros strolling alongside crashing waves crooning their song all the way into the top ten cheesiest records of all time, is anyone’s guess.

gloria jones – tainted love

it was easy to assume the all conquering soft cell version was the original. but with many of the early 80s classics, there was a reggae, or in this case, a northern soul classic lurking in the shadows. i bet that writer got paid.

otis clay – the only way is up

thank god for this northern soul classic. the horrific acid-pop-rave of yazz is now put into perspective as the irritating and unnecessary cover version it really was.

patti labelle – if you asked me to

patti’s belting vocals are relatively calm on this track, and a million miles and some light years better than frozen featured freak celine dion’s.

ready for the world – tonight

as appropriated by twista for girl tonight. i stumbled upon this by chance.

side effect – always there

well, i love the david morales remix of the incognito version and i had no idea there was a disco era original, but it makes sense. i have both on my ipod – i usually plump for originals but the incognito version is amazing. i’d even go so far as to say that i prefer their cover of stevie wonder’s ‘don’t you worry ’bout a thing’ and i LOVE stevie.

siedah garrett – do you want it right now

this really is the track that won’t die. right now we have a remix of the degrees of motion version, which at the time of release in 1992 i thought was the original. in the mid 90s there was a bootleg-gone-legit version blending it with get decor’s passion’. then i discovered a taylor dayne version from the late 80s and now this which i think predates it. degrees of motion provided the soundtrack to a happy summer for me – 1992 – and had the balls to record the video for ‘shine on’ at the same shoot at this one.

silk – freak me

you would have had to really watch a lot of mtv europe in the early 90s to spot this one as r&b did not feature heavily in the mainstream video playlists. when another level released this in 1998 many people thought it was their song. those that knew thought ‘ damn, fat little dane bowers sounds just like that guy from silk.’

sos band – just be good to me

to be fair, many of you are probably thinking i’ve gone mad with this one. but, in the uk, the main target audience of beats international’s ‘dub be good to me’ had no idea that this existed. so different, and both are cool. although this version is severely lacking a ‘tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty, you’re listening to the boy from the big bad city, this is jaaam hot.’

valentine brothers – money’s too tight to mention

not too far from the simply red classic we all know and, if not love, well, it wasn’t bad. it’s just that after hearing this original you wonder what the point was. but you can’t fault the flame haired one for trying to bring soul music to the masses.

 

trouser enthusiasts August 8, 2007

 

i used to be really into clubbing. when i first moved to london i took the opportunity to abandon the cheesy townie clubs of my hometown. after several years of rectangular bouncers, snakebite and black and guest appearances by aussie soap stars desperately seeking that panto contract, london’s thriving 1994 club scene was an eye opener.

no carpeted walls to be found, these clubs were either impossibly cool in a hacienda, minimalist fashion or impossibly glitzy, like malibu stacey. then there was megatripolis.

as students forever seeking a bargain night out, we would arrive at heaven on a thursday and enter a different planet. megatripolis was not so much a club as an experience. you could use the internet, which was a revelation in 1994.

i have absolutely no idea which dj’s i heard there, it was all you could do to find the dancefloor via the labyrinth of chillout rooms, bars and market stalls. megatripolis was more than a club – there were fortune tellers, poets and the soundtrack was early trance.

early trance was nothing like the genre most people love to hate, gatecrasher-style hands-perpetually-in-the-air trance. it wasn’t too fast, too cheesy or too produced,  it was minimal, rhythmic and experimental. i loved early trance but i remember danny rampling playing a trance set in 1996 at the leisure lounge that killed the vibe and it was all over for me beyond that point. it had become a wall of noise, a characteristic of the music I loathe, such as rock and metal. 

him indoors loves all trance, he doesn’t seem to mind (or realise) that he can’t dance to it cos its too fast, and forgives the cheesy ‘i’m an angel, flying higher’ lyrics and tiresome 80s covers. so I made him this mix to remind him of the good old days sucking on lollipops and buying complicated bongs down under the arches…

proper trancedownload here

slam  – eterna

gipsy – i trance you

leftfield – song of life

gat decor – passion

hardfloor – acperience

rising high collective – fever called love – hardfloor mix

robert armani – circus bells – hardfloor mix

bedrock – for what you dream of

klatsch – god save the queer

mory kante – yeke yeke – hardfloor mix

jaydee- plastic dreams

leftfield – open up

robotman -do da doo

felix – don’t you want me – mars plastic remix

ramirez – hablando

poltergeist – vicious circles

age of love – age of love

jam and spoon – stella

grace – not over yet

man with no name – paint a picture

dance 2 trance – power of american natives

quench – dreams

pete lazonby – sacred cycles

jam and spoon – follow me

art of trance – prana

westbam – wizards of the sonic

pete lazonby – sacred cycles

jens – loops and tings