Thursday 9 September 2021

Flash Back

Another quickie post, another one that has had to be all YT players - some because there is no official stream that I'd like and works for everyone, some because they're frankly a bit more obscure - they are all at least from legit sources though, so with any luck should survive, I'll be namedropping them anyway just in case some great filter wipes them out. Theme of today is basically me taking a little dip back to the 90's, roundabout smack dab in the middle as all tracks today are from '95-'96 Let's go.
Enrico Prampolini - Landscape (1918)

Starting off with more proper vintage Moby. Taking a rare trip to the pre-Play era this time with a bit from Everything Is Wrong - even before Play he was a pretty big name, to the point where you'll probably recognise some bits on here from the sound alone even if you don't know the name.

At one point I considered doing a Retro Review of it but I ended up shelving it, it's a very odd album in terms of sound - almost as if Moby can't decide which direction he wants to take: you have ambient tracks that flirt with what would become his signature style on Play like the opening track Hymn, rubbing shoulders with speedy garage rock tracks where Moby pretends to be a punk like All I Need Is To Be Loved. They're not absolutely awful or anything but it's a baffling choice to say the least. Nestled between those two is my choice for this time, the surprisingly hard Feeling So Real, which if all you know of Moby is Natural Blues might come as a bit of a surprise. These euphoric 'ardcore cuts are by far and away the highlights of the album for me, and I wish there'd have been more. All I could find on the official front is the incredibly 90's video for it, so apologies in advance for the shirtless Moby.

A little dip back into the world of trance next with Mystery Land from Y-Traxx. Mystery Land has a bunch of mixes of it (and even some modern ones on a re-release EP), but there are two always competing for the top spot for me: first we have the cult classic Sickboy's Courtyard Remix - which is admittedly overplayed (but at the same time rightfully so), it does fall into the classic Trance pitfall of essentially being one big buildup to a massive payoff, but everything about that second half is heavenly. The other is the Original Mix, it doesn't spend a massive amount of time getting to the meat of the tune unlike the other mix, but doesn't skimp on the lush euphoric bits neither. It's a little bit different from the usual brand of Trance I post - more subdued than the belting anthems of the later 90's, but listen close and you can still catch some familiar elements here and there. Proof positive you don't have to be a full on dancefloor chugger to be an amazing tune.

Jumping back to the very early days of DJ Hell's International Deejay Gigolos label - back when they still used pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger on their labels and comps, without permission naturally, there's a distinct punk DIY aesthetic to the label. Gigolos was home to tons of electro and techno of the era, I'm personally more familiar with their stint in the Electroclash world circa the early 00's - a genre that perfectly aligned with their visual branding and overall vibe.

But I'm here today to talk about Jeff Mills' EP Shifty Disco. It should come as no surprise that Gigolos saw many big names pop up on the label over the years: folks like Vitalic, DMX Krew, Kittin & The Hacker and even Zombie Nation circa the Kernkraft 400 blow up in '99 were all Gigolo records. But what is surprising is pulling a massive name out so early in the labels history - Shifty Disco is the second ever release on the label, and what an impression it makes. The Sun is my pick of the lot because it just doesn't waste any time, as soon as you drop the needle you are taken straight to what I think is a perfect intro to the EP, and a great demonstrator of what International Deejay Gigolos was all about (and still is to an extent, they do come out with things every now and then). It's very short, but I think it does all it needs to in that time, though I wouldn't say no to an extended cut of this one if I was still mixing like I used to do. Brilliant stuff.

And that'll be all for this slightly shorter post. I'm getting more used to the idea of using alternate embeds, recently had a spanner thrown in one of the long posts I'm working on as an artist featured has since wiped their Bandcamp, nothing that will delay it by much but still. That is still in the works by the way, I've just been trying to keep stuff coming out short-form in the meantime - it's just easier for me at the minute as IRL stuff starts happening again. I'll cut it short here but until next time - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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