Take it back to the old school
There has been a "going back to our roots" vibe happening currently happening in dance music culture. Now it's really a question of age when actually discussing what it is we are all supposed to be getting misty eyed about if I am going to get technical about pinpointing this particular retro-ism. So for the sake of this post let's remember a time called the early Nineties. If you are in your mid-thirties and looking back on things that never happened the way you remember them or trying to catch up on something you missed out on the first time around then you are in luck, interest levels have never been higher in this era of dance music. Partly I blame the infrastructure of the music industry and the label/management game- with nothing left to develop the A&R vultures are slowly returning to give electronic music "another try". But let's not discount the significant impact that rave culture had in America during the last decade and it's certainly well-worth the time and effort to have a look back right about now and figure out what the hell happened. In usual 24 Hour Party People style I will let the music do the talking.
I think the whole recent craze began with the GU10 ten year retrospective from Global Underground back in 2006. Disk three of the three disk set took a rare step back for the label and looked at the tracks that dominated a different era-the acid house era (1987-1995). The results were shockingly modern. Have a look at the tracklisting yourself:
Global Underground tried the old school thang again in 2007 with GU33, which actually has to do more with Layo & Bushwacka!, who did the mix, than GU. These two wear their influences on their sleeves and disk one of their installment of the long-running series sounded like it stepped right out of 1990. Too bad disk two was pretty generic new stuff in comparison otherwise I'd give this one a hearty endorsement.
We certainly can't forget this double disk gem from (W)eird (A)nd (R)adical (P)rojects if for nothing else the inclusion of Bang Bang You're Mine by Bang The Party, which still levels dancefloors twenty years later.
But if you want to hear a real DJ doing it just like they did it back in the day I strongly suggest the latest mix from Louie Vega of Masters At Work on NRK. Disk one accurately recreates the Night At The Roxbury vibe of early to mid 90s commercial house warts and all while disk two takes us to a wild night out at the twilight days of the Paradise Garage. NRK has promised more mixes like this in their brand new Back In The Box series and as of yet I haven't found any commercial mixes that capture the vibe more authentically than the latest from "Little" Louie.
The beauty of the internet age is that everything once thought lost has been found again and that means a slew of previously unavailable commerical and live mixes from historic DJs (or simply the resurrection of those classic old tracks by a new generation) giving us music historians more access to more information than ever thought possible.
If iPods and downloads are what you are looking for there are some great vintage classics out there but first you gotta start here:
With literally hundreds of obscure mixes from big names like Mancuso, Knuckles, Hardy, Heard, and many more this is one place I never get tired of visiting.
The lads from Tape put together a real dandy recently which is a powerful indicator that the agents of change who launched this revolution way back when have not found their message falling on deaf ears when discovered by subsequent generations.
And who can forget the surfacing of two crucial early 90s mixtapes from the Ministry Of Sound in London-one from Pal Joey and the other from Victor Rosado and the late Larry Levan thanks to our friends at Trackwerk? They both appeared on 24 Hour Party People because that's the kind of stuff that this blog is all about. We still need your help identifying some of the tracks so please download both of these, bear with the poor sound quality, and help us record some DJ history.
Larry Levan/Victor Rosado Mix
Pal Joey Mix
Lastly I want to mention a real doozy from my record trading buddy Evan back in NYC. Evan has taste in music, like real sophisticated taste in funky music. A guy who appreciates those old tracks from Ed The Red on Bottom Line as much as I do so a mix recommendation from him comes with great anticipation. This whole topic of retro actually started in an email discussion in regards to the Pal Joey mix I posted and made mention of a long lost Steve Loria mixtape which Evan assured me wasn't the crappy prog house that Loria became known for later in the decade but vintage house from the early 90s that struck a blow for Cali in the international dance community. Well keeping true to the internet tradition the mix was located online and Evan sent it to me back before Xmas in the hopes that I would enjoy and share but most of all help him identify some of those long lost tracks. With that in mind (and after much delay) I present side one and two two of Steve Loria's long lost mixtape Deep Disco House Inferno along with a tracklisting from Evan along with notes that may help.
1) ??? (brief tribal intro)
2) code 718 - equinox (total eclipse of the dub) [strictly rhythm]
3) dreamer G - I got that feelin’ [big beat]
4) ??? (saxophone track, not very good)
5) funky green dogs – reach for me [murk]
7) house of gypsies – samba [freeze records]
8) nature boy – tabago [black label]
9) ??? (samples rahni harris – six million steps) please help me find this!!!
11) ??? (has an unintelligible female vocal sample)
12) drew sky – razzmatazz [Chicago underground]
13) ralphi rosario – you used to hold me [trax records]
14) groove committee II –just play the music (nu groove records)
1) groove committee II – just play the music (continued)
2) ??? (has another unintelligible vocal sample)
3) ??? (samples dc la rue - cathedrals) I need this!!
4) ?? sensory elements – something 4 U [azuli]
5) a dose of paradise – door 2 my house [black label]
6) ?? (vocal sample: "you can do right…")
8) black science orchestra – where were you? [junior boys’ own]
9) ? not sure, possibly Renee Thomas – I’m so in love with you [emotive]
10)??? (something with bobby konders style synth-flute)
11) cajmere – brighter days [cajual records]
12) ?? not sure, perhaps it's Station Q – that special melody [e legal]
13) earth people – dance [apexton]--might be something else, a friend in college mentioned that the track was from a bootleg off the label "JPR records"...know of any 1992 pal joey-esque records that also sample "Dance, Dance, Dance" by Chic?? or is this one of the additional mixes found on the original earth people release???