Mike Dunn occasionally has moments of musical genius. This moment from 1993 is one of those. Those three electric piano chords play on repeat throughout the record – apart from one brief section towards the end of the song.
But when you take a listen to the subject matter being discussed in the lyrics for this song, you suddenly start to realise Candy J is talking about her experiences of domestic abuse at the hands of a dangerous, manipulative and frankly evil man. I’ve yet to come across another record which tackles the subject so directly as this.
The short breakdown in the middle where things go down to just vocals and those three repetitive chords are just as hypnotising as they are haunting…
From time to time, a song comes along which everyone else seems to like, but I absolutely hate. This happened back in 2004 when Junior Jack released a song called “Stupidisco”. The original version was on the radio and nearly all the compilations at the time.
There was just one problem. I couldn’t bear it. So when I was browsing online and saw a DJ set with this song in the tracklist, my interest was piqued by the words “Hott 22 Main Vocal Mix”. Hott 22 were Chris Malinchak and Gregory Bahary at the time and were known for the disco flavours in their songs.
This remix didn’t disapppoint. Far from it. I just wondered why the hell this wasn’t all over the airwaves instead…
This week, the column goes back to those heady days of 2000. This one first appeared as a very limited edition promo at the back end of 1999 – infact, it made Ministry’s edition of Clubbers Guide to 2000. The original was a typical disco-sampling, big male vocal kind of track from its time.
Which is precisely why I wasn’t particularly keen on the original version. At the time, however, the man of the moment was Timo Maas – his genre transcending mix of “Dooms Night” by Azzido Da Bass had been circulating for months and he was becoming hugely in-demand.
And he provided a remix of this song. Almost all of the vocal was dropped, and I’m not sure whether Maas even used the original sample on his version. Instead, he creates a track which takes a little time to build up, but it’s worth it, trust me…
This column is occasionally accused of having a lack of variety – it’s all soulful or vocal tunes, they say. And to be fair, they have a point. I do aim to feature a bigger variety of genres from the dance music world in this column as time goes on, so today – time for something on the techno side!
Back in 2001, one of the big tracks of the summer was “Come Home” by Lil Devious. They were a duo consisting of Mark Baker and Gary Little – the original was a cheesy but decent enough sample house record. Now, in those days, remixes were usually commissioned to broaden the appeal of a song.
And broaden it is what Dave Clarke certainly did. The first half of his mix is on the harder techno side. When the vocals leave us for the first time, the techno brashness continues for a little longer, until the vocal returns. At which point, things become quite interesting – with that cut-up disco sample making for a very pleasant contrast to the first half of the remix.
Yes, I know this is a series which features on the blog tomorrow – and fear not, you will still get your regular Monday edition – but my blog, my rules and all that. I thought I’d commemorate Halloween by referencing this old record.
These days, Armand Van Helden seems to make a rather nice living out of playing the sort of music which wouldn’t be out of place on a Ministry of Sound classics compilation. And not much else.
But there was a time when his records were quite innovative. Whilst the word danced in 1999 to “You Don’t Know Me” – featuring Duane Harden on vocals and a sample from 1979 release “Dance With You” by Carrie Lucas – this one came out somewhat under the radar on his own label.
I first heard this song on October 30th, 1999 – like 2021, Halloween also fell on a Sunday that year. And I haven’t forgotten it since. It starts off quite weird – but once that funky bassline kicks in, everything starts to make sense. If you’ve never heard this before, get ready for a surprise…
Here’s One They Made Earlier returns to its normal slot tomorrow – Monday at 9pm UK time.
For this week’s edition of the series, I’m going all the way back to the year 2001. For me, this was the year I was doing my GCSEs, so music’s importance to me started to really increase around this time. It gave me a nice bit of escapism at a time when exams and starting A-Levels at college were all the focus.
Sometime during the summer of this year, I bought a compilation called MTV Ibiza 2001. These albums certainly had some commercial stuff on them, but they did occasionally turn up with some lovely underground nuggets. Switching on the second disc, it started with “2 People” by Jean-Jacques Smoothie – a massive record that year.
But then this record called “Dive Into You” by Hefner and Cosmos came into the mix. It was this deeper, yet quite soulful record. You didn’t hear it on compilations like this one very often – but to the credit of whoever mixed this, he let a good portion of the track play before bringing in the next record.
For this week’s column, I start with a confession. There was a rave track called “The Anthem” by N-Joi which came out in 1990. I hated it at the time, and I still don’t especially like it now. I find it completely overplayed and I found those chords rather uninspired. New mixes came along in 1998, 2006 and at various intervals since and I can’t say I’ve particularly liked any of them.
Until I heard this one a couple of years ago. This actually appeared on the original release in 1990. It was the Distant Run mix – with none other than Kerri Chandler behind it. He ditches those plastic piano chords, only letting them in for 15 seconds in the second half of the track. And he ditches almost everything else too – only a few vocal snippets remain. He adds in a bassline that makes you want to move from the off, complimented with drums which were already showing the character Chandler is familiar for.
Things chug along nicely until around 80 seconds into the track, when some vinyl noise stops the music and briefly interrupts proceedings. When the song continues playing, the drums have got a bit more life in them than before and these lovely deep chords start playing in the background – I personally think they should be a little higher in the mix, but that’s strictly a personal preference.
It’s hearing stuff like this that (almost) makes me want to get back into making some tracks…
Believe it or not, but there was once an artist called Joey Negro. When I first learnt that the word “negro” had racist connotations, I found it utterly bizarre that no one ever batted an eyelid at the name. Especially when you consider it was used by a white man whose real name is Dave Lee. The name remained in use until sometime last year.
Anyway, Joey, much like Dave, was partial to a bit of disco. Which is just as well, because in the late 90s and early 2000s, much of the world was partial to it too. A well-chosen disco sample on a record would probably make it a hit – and sometimes a less well-chosen sample would do it too.
Which reminds me of this – the aforementioned Joey’s dub of “Soul Sound” by the Sugababes…
This tune is one of my guilty pleasures. I shouldn’t like it. It gives off the same vibe as when they try to create a dance version of an already bad theme tune for a game show on TV. It was also a remix of Sugababes at a time when they already had a reputation for being utterly naff.
But for some reason, there’s something about it I like, and there still is. Maybe it’s the escapism it helped provide at a stressful time in life that did it for me…