Tag Archives: 1993

9 of the best – sounds of 1993

A compilation treat for the May Day holiday. Looking back at 1993, the world of popular music was a-changing… Björk was doing her own thing at the crossroads, house music had grown up a little less exciting, and hip hop was showing temporary signs of sophistication…

Björk – Venus As A Boy

Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II

The Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm

U2 – Lemon (Perfecto Mix)

Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy

David Bowie – The Wedding

Blur – For Tomorrow

Tindersticks – Marbles

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Honourable mentions also go to: Jeru The Damaja for ‘Come Clean‘; Masters At Work for ‘The Buff Dance‘; George Morel for ‘Let’s Groove‘; A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Electric Relaxation‘ and not too much else. A quarter of a century after the annus mirabilis that was 1968, thin pickings were abound in 1993. That’s crossroads for you.

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Masters At Work – The Buff Dance (1993)

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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.

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A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation (1993)

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A Tribe Called Quest had nothing to prove by the time they released Midnight Marauders, their third studio album. But still, they continued to produce the superlative. To bookend the week with a classic slice of hip hop, I choose ‘Electric Relaxation’ and its memorable sample of ‘Mystic Brew’ by Ronnie Foster.

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Sting – Fields Of Gold (1993)

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From the same year that RZA and crew broke onto the scene, but a very different proposition. In 1993, Sting released Ten Summoner’s Tales. It features the eminently hummable tales ‘Shape Of My Heart’, ‘Seven Days’ and ‘Fields Of Gold’. I choose the latter. The new wave had all but disappeared from Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner; it had been replaced by introspective rock with much softness.

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Sub Sub feat. Melanie Williams – Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use) (1993)

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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.

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Stone Temple Pilots – Creep (1993)

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Now to an even darker place. The Stone Temple Pilots’ ‘Creep’ featured on their 1992 album Core, but came to the fore a year later as a single. It tackles the issue of being an adolescent, a youth, at some age between being a kid and becoming a young man. With Nirvana flying high at the time, the grungy sound was the zeitgeist.

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Yo La Tengo – Nowhere Near (1993)

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After the hope, the despair. England lose in the semis. ‘Nowhere Near’ features on Yo La Tengo’s 1993 album Painful.

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Jeru The Damaja – Come Clean (1993)

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‘Come Clean’ is the first (and only) single from Jeru The Damaja’s debut album The Sun Rises In The East. The long player is up there with Nas’ Illmatic as a quintessential East Coast records. Like Illmatic, both the album and the single feature the production touches of DJ Premier. The percussion sample from Shelly Manne is genius.

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Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy (1993)

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Why weren’t Grant Lee Buffalo more successful? Listening to the title track of their 1993 debut album Fuzzy, one can only rejoice Grant Lee Phillips’ vocals and his bandmates’ glorious melodies. “I would have like to/Now I’m fuzzy/Fuzzy now!”

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The Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock (1993)

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The notion of records that kick off with swagger has got me thinking… a few years earlier,  The Smashing Pumpkins’ released their 1993 album Siamese Dream.  ‘Cherub Rock’ opens the LP with drum-rolls, a grungy guitar riffs, fuzz and Billy Corgan’s lamenting vocals. They were destined for the rock pantheon from that moment on.

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Björk – Venus As A Boy (1993)

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‘Venus As A Boy’ was one of the last songs Björk recorded for her Debut album. It was 1993, and the song offered a touch of Kate Bush, when the latter wouldn’t. It wasn’t just the vocals, the experimental use of synthesisers, strings and sitahs were not out of place. Björk was her own woman, but I am sure she would forgive me the musical reference.

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LaTour – Blue (Nush Me Club Mix) (1993)

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Wlliam LaTour

William LaTour was better known for his stage name LaTour and his deep house composition ‘Blue’ – it featured in the movie Basic Instinct. But he was also a founding member of the cult punk band The Squids. That type of dexterity was a draw and in 1993, the in-demand producers Danny Harrison and Danny Matlock gave ‘Blue’ a complete makeover. The result was dance floor magic.

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Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm (1993)

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Crash Test Dummies

Like much of the rest of 1991’s God Shuffled His Feet, the Dummies treatment of ‘Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm’ has a sense of dark humour despite the lyrics. The song features great piano, harmonica and guitar arrangements, but all is dominated Brad Roberts’ particularly singular crooning. Have a great week.

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Oasis – Columbia (1993)

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Oasis 1993

And while all that was going on, Oasis were releasing their first pressing ‘Columbia’ – a single that would eventually feature on their acclaimed debut LP Definitely Maybe. It clearly reveals how they started out as a continuation of the Madchester scene; The Stone Roses groove is evident. Menacing and self confident, Oasis had their label Creation Records betting big on their success. You can understand why.

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Hardrive – Deep Inside (1993)

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Little Louie Vega

First released on the Strictly Rhythm label, Hardrive’s ‘Deep Inside’ was in fact written and produced by the one and only Luis Fernando Vager, aka “Little” Louie Vega. Deep, dark and broody, I can almost smell the sweat of the dance floor. As Hardrive, Vega had created a club staple, with a little help from Barbara Tucker on vocals. This was 1993, but the track would be remixed countless times in the years that followed.

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