Some feelgood house music for Thursday. Alex Omar Smith was clever enough to let the piano do the talking on ‘The Shit Baby’. The Detroit producer was able to create something both modern and nostalgic in 2013.
It was Todd Terry who nicknamed the remix team of “Little” Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez as the Masters At Work. As house music flourished during the early 90s, the NYC duo MAW stood out for their heady mix of latin rhythms and deep soul. ‘The Buff Dance’ features on the aptly named ‘The Album’ from 1993. They were flying high. Have a great weekend.
Good morning! Before a fire destroyed most of their recording equipment, Andy Williams, Jez Williams and Jimi Goodwin had been producing dance floor hits as Sub Sub. They broke the UK dance scene in 1993 with the ubiquitous single ‘Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)’. The track lifts its hook from Revelation’s little known 1979 disco track ‘Good Morning Starshine’; it was a great find. The success and subsequent studio fire was a case of creative destruction; it spurred the trio to start afresh as the Doves.
Change of scene… deep house. Round Two’s ‘A New Day’ is a classic of the genre with moody vocals to suit. A sometime backup singer for Yazz and Tears for Fears, Andy Caine delivers the soul against a backdrop of synths and drums. But this sound was not emanating from Motor City; this was Berlin’s Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus in 1995.
Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus for the festive season. As is my way, I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2018. They are in no particular order. Merry Christmas, have a great holiday and see you in the New Year, when I will whittle 12 to 9. (Done!)
Honourable mentions also go to: Childish Gambino for ‘This Is America‘; Phum Viphurit for ‘Lover Boy‘; Fake Shark for ‘Wake Up‘; Phosphorescent for ‘New Birth in New England‘; Bodega for ‘Jack In Titanic‘; MorMor for ‘Heaven’s Only Wishful‘; Kanye West & Kid Cudi for ‘Reborn‘; Christine and the Queens for ‘Damn, dis-moi‘; Lana Del Rey for ‘Mariners Apartment Complex‘; The Voidz for ‘Leave It In My Dreams‘; Nilüfer Yanya for ‘Thanks 4 Nothing‘ and DJ Koze for ‘Pick Up‘.
As we approach the end of another year and the greatest hits that follow, I give you a compilation of sounds from 24 years ago. Britop was at its zenith, but the angelic voice of a Californian rose above all ….
Honourable mentions also go to: Portishead for ‘Roads‘; Mazzy Star for ‘Fade Into You‘; Plush for ‘Found A Little Baby‘, Johnny Cash for ‘Drive On’, Jeff Buckley for ‘Grace‘; Blur for ‘End Of A Century‘; Nas for ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’; Green Day for ‘Basket Case’; The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion for ‘Bellbottoms‘
A quarter of a century before Bicep were shaking up house music, Ashley Beedle, Rocky & Diesel were changing the sound of the dance floor both sides of the pond. X-Press 2 was another classic musical project on Junior Boy’s Own production, building on the success of Heller & Farley’s Fire Island in the same year. ‘Muzik Xpress’ is a big-room barnstormer.
Ooops… premature post (such is the excitement about this track). As I have shown through much scientific testing, 1992 was the annus mirabilis for house music. Away from the techno, ambient and progressive standouts, the likes of Doc Livingstone, Joey Negro and DJ Nature were shaping the sound of the the disco/house crossover half a decade before the French Touch. DJ Nature (AKA Milo Johnson) was a founding member of Bristol’s legendary Wild Bunch soundsystem that generated Massive Attack. In 1989, Milo moved to New York to get closer to the work of Larry Levan, Louie Vega and Tony Humphries. His early productions were under the Natureboy moniker on his own Ruff Disco Records. On ‘Tobago’, he deconstructs disco into something punchier and darker. This pearl features on his compilation Ruff Disco Volume One.
Good morning folks. The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that my usual daily rigour has taken a tumble this week. It’s clear that I’m having trouble in the heat. And so, I will set aside the blog posts this weekend for a summer hiatus.
I have been featuring the sounds and sounds of 1996 in the last few posts and today is no different. Chicane is/was an alias for British producer Nick Bracegirdle. In 1996, he struck ambient gold with ‘Offshore’. It was the sound of Ibiza in 1996. The signature piano reminded of Chris Rea. Have a great summer all… I’ll be back in September.
A compilation for the weekend. My favourite 9 sounds of 1996, the year before OK Computer, The Fat of the Land and Homework were released, wiping the sound slate clean.
Honourable mentions also go to: Super Furry Animals for ‘If You Don’t Want Me To Destroy You‘ and ‘Hometown Unicorn‘; Primitive Radio Gods for ‘Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand‘; Eels for ‘Novocaine For The Soul‘; Mazzy Star for ‘Look On Down From The Bridge‘; Beck for ‘Where It’s At‘; and The Prodigy for ‘Breathe‘.
It’s late on Wednesday and so it’s time for a call to arms. Eddie Amador’s ‘House Music’ was released in 1997 to a rapturous reception from dancefloors looking for their roots. “Not everyone understands house music. It’s a spiritual thing, a body thing, a soul thing.”