This record defined the dancefloor in 1989. The creation of Chicago house producer Marvin (Lil) Louis Burns, ‘French Kiss’ was raw, unrelenting and a little bit rude. The zeitgeist.
Today, Phoenix are all mainstream; but back in 1999, they were part of a distinct but influential movement of French house music. Phoenix guitarist Laurent Brancowitz had played alongside Bangalter and De Homem-Christo in their pre-Daft Punk band Darlin’. Phoenix also recorded for Source, a label eternally associated to the French touch genre due to releases by Air and Étienne de Crécy. ‘Heatwave’ was the the band’s second single and there’s no mistaking the filter disco in this one. Today, the track’s chicken-scratch guitar, tight bass and drums are best known as the basis for DB Boulevard’s 2002 single ‘Point of View’.
A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1998 in no particular order:
Honourable mentions also go to: Air for ‘La Femme D’Argent‘; Elliott Smith for ‘Waltz#2‘; Eels for ‘Last Stop: This Town‘; People Under The Stairs for ‘San Francisco Nights‘: The Beta Band for ‘Dry The Rain‘; and Massive Attack for ‘Teardrop‘.
Geoff Hibbert had been producing dance music since 1988 under various guises. In 1991, he released this house banger as Rhythm On The Loose. I am tempted to label ‘Break Of Dawn’ as progressive house, but really this was a slice of breakbeat techno that was so prevalent in 1991. What made this track so ubiquitous on dance floors was Hibbert’s sampling of classic Salsoul. The Shep Pettibone mix of First Choice’s ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ is cleverly blended.
Unlike me, Honey Dijon was a witness to the birth of Chicago house. (Location rather than age.) And so, ‘808 State of Mind’ is a nostalgic journey into early house music. ‘Pacific State’ is the obvious musical reference, but this tribute travels through the ballrooms of New York to the beaches of Ibiza via the warehouses of Chicago.
The young Australian star Jordon Alexander (also known as Mall Grab) nailed the sampling of Alicia Keys (‘Feeling U, Feeling Me Interlude’) on 2016’s deep house track ‘Can’t’. Released on South London’s Church records, the single had impact. Mall Grab’s release was the number one selling house and techno record amongst the discerning customers of Discogs in 2016.
A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:
One of the original Chicago house-music labels,D.J. International Records releases included Joe Smooth’s ‘Promised Land’, Fast Eddie’s “Acid Thunder’ and Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk’s ‘Love Can’t Turn Around’. In 1987, Sterling Void’s Duane Pelt released this soulful house track with Paris Brightledge on vocals. Uplifting, groovy and dated, this was late 1980s’ houseland.
Dusky’s Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell do something that Londoners have been good at for some time. They make house music. Off an EP with the same name, ‘Cold Heart’ is unadulterated trance that borrows from the cavernous dance floors of the 1990s. The Hardrive-sounding sample is in fact Naked Music NYC’s ‘I’ll Take You to Love’ from 1996. The synthesised hi-hats, the simple bassline and the euphoria all sound eye-wateringly familiar.
After some success with After Hours‘ ‘Waterfalls/Feel It’, Andrew Richardson teamed up with Sound Waves’ Gijo Rosario and created another deep house classic. Like the best of deep house from that time, the track’s simplicity (organ, vocal loop, hi hats) is what makes it still sound so timeless. The Strictly Rhythm label was on fire.