dirty martini

old music for new people

garage city: masters at work June 25, 2008

by 1993 it was clear that us heavyweights david morales and masters at work would define the 90s garage scene. david went for the house crowd with vocal club bangers and the big money remixes. masters at work retained their latin flavour and took on leftfielders like jamiroquai and brand new heavies.

i made my first trip to the ministry of sound that year and was almost perplexed by the alcohol free bar and bizarre location. a million miles from the clubs up and down the country who were rocking the hell out of ‘oh carolina’ and ‘mr vain’ and peddling test tube cocktails.

how different my 17th birthday could have been if I had lived in London and able to frequent the ministry more often…instead of technicolour vomit and fat djs I could have been shaking it to a legend.

download 1993 mix

bizarre inc – took my love

hardrive – deep inside

sound of one – as i am – fire island mix

jamiroquai – emergency on planet earth – danny tengalia remix

shara nelson – down that road – def classic mix

mariah carey – dreamlover – def club mix

dajae – u got me up – danny tenaglia mix

ten city – fantasy – masters at work mix

janet jackson – if – brothers in rhythm mix

joe roberts – lover – k-klass klub mix

judy cheeks – so in love – west end in love club mix

martha wash – give it to you – maurice’s underground playground mix

aftershock – slave to the vibe – club mix

black sheep – strobelight honey – def mix

house of virginism – i’ll be there for you – stone’s club mix

masters at work – i can’t get no sleep – her fantasy mix

reese project – so deep – k.o.k club mix

incognito – givin’ it up – uplifting club mix

garage city 1992

garage city 1991

 

neo soul pioneers October 25, 2007

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 it would be easy to assume that neo-soul artists started to emerge in retaliation to the commercial and ostentatious r&b scene we’ve had since the late 90s.

 in fact, neo soul’s inception was much earlier, sometime in the early 90s. suddenly there were artists who weren’t new jack swing, they weren’t 8os, and they didn’t really complement the g funk scene. their closest contemporaries were the jazzhiphop and daisy age movement, but this sound was based on a classic soul sound updated for the new decade.

polished, note perfect vocals and overproduced instrumentals were replaced with more organic sounds and melancholy vocals. one of the things i really love about neo-soul is that whilst the lyrics are generally more intelligent and so better crafted than most r&b, there is an honesty and accessibility that speaks directly to you.

download here

d’angelo – brown sugar

one of the few comnmercially successful neo-soul artists. the naked image on his second album didn’t hurt.

des’ree – feel so high

default brit nominee des’ree started her career with this track in 1992, and has bubbled under ever since. last year she took on beyonce after she rerecorded ‘kissing you’ without permission. can’t wait to see how that one turns out…

jazzyfatnastees – unconventional ways

girl duo formed in 1992, originally with four member but now going strong as a duo supporting the likes of jill scott and alicia keys.

jhelisa – friendly pressure

didn’t receive that much attention on release but was revived a few laters with popular uk garage mixes by sunship.

lauryn hill – ex-factor

who knew the girl hailed as the saviour of soul would end up looking and acting like a circus freak? she had everything going for her, maybe the pressure to deliver another ‘miseducation’ was just too great?

lynden david hall – the jimmy lee story

sadly departed, and i’m glad he had that cameo in love actually or he might have been forgotten in a decade’s time. criminally underrated.

me’shell ndegeocello – if that’s your boyfriend

as difficult to categorise as pronounce, i heard of me’shell years ago but never quite got round to hearing her music until recently.

oleta adams – rhythm of life

best known for ‘get here’ but this was actually her first single in 1990.

omar – something real

a later track from omar lye-fook, who all but invented neo-soul with ‘there’s nothing like this’.

rahsaan patterson – crush on you

later reworked by lil kim and biggie. rahsaan has been a consistent figure since the early 90s.

seal – future love paradise

i never did get why seal rereleased ‘killer’ a year after adamski’s original version with him on vocals. i still think of ‘killer’ as an adamski track and cetainly this track and ‘crazy’ were a millions miles from the rave scene.

shara nelson – one goodbye in ten

not sure what happened to shara. after rising to fame with massive attack, she had commercial success with her first album in 1993, then promptly disappeared.