Basics Discography

Original post here Music Factory Years 91-94 part one by ralphlawson

Marshall Jefferson presents Truth – Open Your Eyes

I decided to start this series of mixes celebrating 20 years of Back to Basics with the first ever record played at the club – Marshall Jefferson presents Truth – ‘Open Your Eyes’. Why did I chose this particular track to play first on November 23rd 1991?  Well, back then I could only beatmix and struggled to mix anything that had an intro starting with keys or bass.  I had learnt to DJ through understanding rhythms.  I had been playing kit drums from the age of 13 so I picked up mixing beats fairly easily but struggled mixing keys and basslines for a long time. So this record gets the hallowed title of, ‘first ever record played at Basics’ by default – I could play it first track without having to mix it.  Of course the vocals give a cool message and the atmosphere is perfect for a warm up track but I have to admit it was the former reason that was the real push to play it first.  There are far more famous tracks by Marshall of course, this one is a lesser played gem.

Sandee – Notice Me

The ‘Notice the House mix’ is the cut on my mix.  It’s one of the greatest house music dub mixes ever.  If you look closely at the label you find out why – it’s an early Clivilles & Cole production.  They later became C&C Music Factory who had several more hits at our Music Factory under that name and also with The Cover Girls, Seduction and Liz Torres.  Their trademark snare sound is recognizable from one hit at a hundred paces.  If you don’t know it then one listen to ‘Notice Me’ will fill you in.  What’s even more amazing for me about this dub is that C&C take it so far away from the original, which is a typically non-descript 80s electropop song. They have taken odd vocal lines and unused out-takes and dubbed them up with long feedback delays to devastating effect while the beats stays solid. At this stage house music certainly took inspiration from ‘real’ dub music coming out of Jamaica.  Robert Clivilles family were originally from the Caribbean but Puerto Rico not Jamaica.  He grew up in New York which was a hot bed for Jamaican artists.  I’m not sure if he was exposed to dub as a kid but it sounds like it to me.  My 12″ copy was totally scratched so I went looking for a new one.  I happened to find a rare original pressing CD of ‘Notice me’ which is basically like finding the master copy.  It cost me 50e but it was worth it.

Coco, Steel & Lovebomb – Feel It

Chris Coco was better known by us during the early years of Basics as the editor of DJ magazine.  We would meet him in Miami for Winter Music Conference with his partner Helene Stokes and at the beginning they really supported the club.  We sat on top of the best club chart in DJ mag for weeks on end in 1992.  He was also a DJ and producer who very early on in his career made this exceptional record. It is the only bleep classic to come out on Warp by a producer from the South of England.  ‘Feel It’ has a housier edge than it’s contemporaries such as The Forgemasters, LFO and Sweet Exorcist who all came from Leeds or Sheffield.  It’s use of percussion loops and vocal samples rather than a more purist use of machines, most notably the Roland TR909, make it stand out on Warp’s catalogue. The record first appeared on Instant records (as above) before being signed by Warp.  Of course, as always, it’s the original pressing you want.

No Smoke – Koro Koro

Warriors Dance was a London based label with it’s own style.  It was very different from the great northern labels Warp and Network . In it’s all too brief history it put out some great moments from Bang The Party, Addis Posse and of course No Smoke as well as Juan Atkins’ Cybertron. Warriors Dance was run out of West London by Tony Thorpe but it was DJ Kid Batchelor who was their ambassador in the clubs.  Kid Batchelor was one of the biggest DJs in London in 1990, best remembered for his residency at Confusion.  At this time the crowds were much more mixed at house clubs than now and the Warriors crew represented what was called ‘black music’ at the time.  Kid Batchelor was a superb DJ, I checked him a few times in London and we invited him to Basics probably 3-4 times. I remember nervously playing him ‘Space Groover’ (2020Vision 001) at a friends flat.  I waited for his reaction,”where’s the vocal?’ was all he said.   I didn’t take offence – I thought it was funny, although I don’t know why.  Kid was one of the first UK DJs to travel internationally.  He got really big in Italy early on. The Warriors sound was picked up on in NYC by Francois K, who also included ‘Koro Koro’ in his collection of classics for Azuli.  They put out a great selection of tracks in rapid succession from 1988-1992.

Flow – Another Time

There’s no way I can claim ‘Flow’ to be a record I broke at Basics as my best mate will come on here and slaughter me. Huggy was the best record store salesman I ever saw.  Whether you’re sitting at home clicking through pages of Beatport releases or buying records online from a store like Juno, Phonica or Picadilly you are missing one thing – Huggy.  We’d travel over from Leeds to Manchester not just at night for the Hacienda but also by day for Eastern Bloc records.  I’d get there at 10am as the new shipments arrived and Huggy would already be holding court in the shop.  There were other sales staff instore but no one would get close to operating the deck if Huggy was in.  He’d have a pile of new records by his side, place one on the platter, then turn around to the whole store and shout, “check this bastard owt!!!”, in his broad Yorkshire accent.  Instantly 10 hands would shoot out, “I’ll have one of those mate!”.  He would walk along the counter flipping out records from the box like frisbees. Eastern Bloc in it’s day could sell 500 copies of a single title in one shop with no internet sales.  This is now roughly total worlwide vinyl sales on a good release.  Flow – ‘Another Time’ was a Huggy tune, I’d never claim it as my own, but as he’s one of my true best friends and I’ve also been playing it over the years so I’m sure he’ll let me off.

Bhundu Boys – Bye Bye Stembi / Teque Nick

The Bhundu Boys – ‘Bye Bye Stembi’ says one thing to me – Slam.  Stuart Macmillan was one of the first guests at back to basics and he left an indelible impression on the club.  At the time he had long hair, wore leather jackets and had a thick Glaswegian accent.  He’s still got the accent at least.  He was also an amazing DJ.  Well before any of us could truly mix in Leeds there were probably 10 DJs from Glasgow that could.  DJ Harri and the Slam boys had already been DJing at the Subclub since 1986 and 1988 respectively, there were also new DJs coming through like Lars Funk D’Void, Domenic Cappello, Oscar, Michael Kilkie and the first DJ I ever saw in Glasgow – Nick Peacock.  Slam actually remixed ‘Bye Bye Stembi’ for DMC who used to put out a DJ only series that you could only receive through subscription.  It’s not as good as the original though as I’m sure they would both agree.  I keep mentioning Slam in the plural, that’s because there are two of them.  Orde Meikle is the taller of the two by about three feet and at Basics he was by far the more unfortunate. Stuart played for Slam at first as we couldn’t afford two train tickets.  He was having so much fun in Leeds he never let Orde come down until finally the big man got his chance.  On that very night in February 1994 the West Yorkshire Police raided the club and detained Orde, along with myself and Dave over night in the Bridewells (cells).  Gotta laugh haven’t you.

How II House – Time to Feel The Rhythm

‘Time To Feel The Rhythm’ is another record that I can’t claim to have broken at Basics.  It was a truly huge track at The Hacienda club in Manchester.  I am the first to admit we were inspired by visits to The Hacienda. Of course we were, who wasn’t ?  We were sick of driving over to Manchester to go to a house music club and by the end of 1990 the Hac was on it’s way down anyway.  It had grown victim of it’s own success and attracted undesirables (to say the least).  There were shootings both inside and outside the venue and Britain’s first ever ecstasy death, Claire Leighton, happened inside it’s doors.  In early 1991 the club was forced to close due to police objections to it’s license.  It re-opened in 1992 but was never the same force it had been and closed for ever in 1997.  Basics took over from The Hac as the best club in the North of England.  I do think that the Hac’s demise significantly boosted Basics numbers.  The Trans Pennine Express started to take more passengers the other way.

Neal Howard – Indulge

The first memory that comes into my head listening to ‘Indulge’ is an image of Domenic Cappello DJing with me at the Sub Club in Glasgow for the very first time in late 1992.  Dom was brought up on house music at the Subclub.  I’d never been before.  There were 500 Glaswegian nutters going ballistic in the club and they really knew their music.  Dom was so nervous he had to take a trainquilizer before he could play.  You’re expecting me to tell you he then dropped this record, he didn’t, but that’s still the first memory that springs to mind. Isn’t it weird how the brain works ? However, it is indeed a record I relate to Dom.  He is another DJ I owe many records and good times to and I’m sure I am way down on reciprocating.  Domenic first played at Basics in September 1992.  He was staggeringly good back then and even better now.  I have found over the years that being well known as a DJ is not directly dependent on ability.  There are many DJs far worse than you that are far more famous and there are many that no one knows who are better.  A lot to do with it is the character of the DJ and their ambition.  To get really big you have to guest all around the world but why travel when you have the best club on your doorstep ?  I think both Dom and myself shared this experience over the years, but he’s a far better DJ of course.

DJs Rule – Get Into The Music

‘Get Into The Music’ reminds me of my brother George.   He was living over in Manchester when Basics started and we would meet up in Leeds or across the other side.  We also had some mates from London who came up to visit, as back then they had a far better night ‘ap Norf’.  George always had the funk and liked a good vocal in a track.  With it’s infectious, catchy hook, ‘Get into the music – it will set you free’, repeated over tight drum programming this was a great track to pick up any floor.  It got really big at Basics. We would all meet back and play tracks at my flat after the club and George brought a mate called Jake Purdey over from Manchester who would spin tunes far better than me at the time.  Another great DJ that as far as I know no longer plays out.

Landlord – I Like It

Another Big Shot record and another Hacienda classic that we carried on at Basics.  I won’t repeat my story about The Hacienda but I will add an embellishment.  When you walked into the Hacienda after paying you would walk through a curtain of plastic strips.  It cut just enough sound out, that, when you walked through you would instantly be hit with the throb of the kick drum – Boom Boom Boom Boom !  Anyone on their first trip to the Hacienda would have this baptism by beats and be profoundly effected.  Then as you walked further in you would see the bodies gyrating and jacking everwhere you looked.  Straight in front of you on the floor, up on the stage to your right and above you on the balcony to your left.  The sound at The Hacienda was actually not good at all but it had character. It sounded like a warehouse.  The speakers were flown from the wall above the stage.  I played there once and it was a horrible system to play on.  For todays clubbers brought up on Function One it would be shocking.  I don’t think they’d mind though as there is nowhere around now that has that atmosphere.  Anyway, a record had to be really well produced to sound good in the Hac and Landlord – ‘I Like It’ sounded immense in there.  The Music Factory also had a very average system.  Maybe todays obession with sound isn’t everything ?

The Party – In My Dreams

The Party – In My Dreams (instrumental) is the kind of record every DJ loves to find.   Finding an amazing instrumental or dub of a truly awful record with a horrendous cover is gold dust as it means most DJs have overlooked it.  I remember DJ Harvey pulling me out an appalling looking Modern Romance record called ‘Tear the Roof off The Moose’, at Record and Tape Exchange only to find it was a secret weapon. I even remember some DJs in the shop sniggering – who’s laughing now fools ?  I have lost count of the amount of great house records that are dubs of terrible tracks.  I would always go straight for the dub.  This was a bona fide Basics classic that I lay total claim to.  I found it, I broke it, I rocked the floor with it for years – so there.

DSK – What Would We Do ?

When I was searching for records for this mix I struggled with how dated many now sound.  I needed to make sure it was a realistic representation of what was played at the club but some of the tracks from the period sound embarrassing now.  One production team whose work still shines and whose music was heavily played at the time are Terry Farley and Pete Heller.  Best known as Fire Island the duo were inspired by trips, as we were, to see Junior Vasquez play at The Sound Factory in New York.  We were all blown away by our experiences at The Sound Factory.  Junior would play all night to 2000 mainly gay clubbers.  This was the heart of house in America and a very different scene from what was happening in the UK.  We had just about mastered beat matching two records but Junior was coming from a long line of New York DJs that knew how to program and peform. He was working the records not just playing them.  Dubs would introduce a theme, an acapella would be thrown in the mix through a delay unit until finally later in the night – boom, there’s the full vocal version.  The first night I ever went there was with Terry alongside Boys Own label mates Rocky & Diesel and Ashley Beedle aka X-Press 2. Junior knew they were in the house and busted the intro to X-Press 2 – ‘Muzik Express’ for about 15 minutes until he finally dropped the full track after the break.  We had never seen anything like it and it was a record made by our lot.  DSK was also getting hammered by Junior but also the New Jersey Garage great Tony Humphries.

4th Measure Men – 4 You

MK appears twice on this mix and will appear again on future mixes.  The MK story is interesting and best told through an excellent interview on Juno.   He disappeared from making underground House Music in 1997 and you could presume he fell on hard times, as many other great US House producers did, when hip hop took hold of America (again).  In fact he was producing pop records for Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Will Smith and many more.  Pure talent has on occassion swept briefly through house music to bless the scene with classic productions – for example I have been trying to find out what happened to Neal Howard who made ‘Indulge’ (above) and ‘To Be Or Not To Be‘ before dissapearing in 1990.  ‘4 You’ has recently been re-issued by Defected along with a double CD of MK music and you’ve got to admire their timing.  ‘4 You’ sits happily alongside brand new productions by hot new producers such as Maya Jane Coles and Julio Bashmore who were toddlers when it first came out.  This summer at DC10 I heard Jamie Jones, Dyed Soundorom and Kerri Chandler all drop MK. The ‘4 You’ bassline could be from a dubstep record and the cut up style he used on vocals ensure there are never any embarrassing cheesy songs. MK is probably unique, being a solo producer who managed to be both a darling of the underground and a high rolling pop producer.  You could argue daft punk and Basement Jaxx managed it as bands.

Gypsymen – Hear The Music

Another all time great producer Todd Terry was behind the Gypsymen – ‘Hear the Music’.   He has over 1100 tracks listed on Beatport and been responsible for so many Basics hits I’ve lost count.  So many we chose him to guest at the 20th birthday party anyway.  I remember reading an interview with Todd in 1989, one line stood out for me. When asked about how he produced records he replied,”man, I just put the drums real loud!”.  And you can be sure that you always know a Todd Terry beat.  Todd Terry joints that would fill the floor at Basics came thick and fast ; from ‘Bango’ to ‘Make That Move’ to ‘CLS – Can You Feel It’ to Sound Design ‘Bounce to the Beat’  and Sax – ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On Me‘.  Looking back on them now that simple formula of putting the drums right up high in the mix coupled with well used samples from disco classics is the key to their success.  On ‘Hear The Music’ the sample comes courtesy of Unlimited Touch.  Another thing I notice is how the beats sound in the mix.  On this cut he gets them sounding like you are in a warehouse or at The Hacienda even if listening on small speakers in your home.  The kicks are pushed nearly to distortion and those hats have got very heavy decay.

Rio Rhythm Band – Carnival da Casa

The man behind this record was Ian Loveday who unfortunately died in 2009.  I didn’t know he had passed away when I made the mix so it made me pleased I included it when I found out.  In his career he worked with Baby Ford and under the alias of Minimal Man.  The first memory I have of this record is playing it on the middle floor of The Music Factory when Terry Farley was the guest.  Terry was also playing it and I got talking to him. He put in a good word for me down in London which helped get me get a gig at Full Circle.   Full Circle was at various venues, the best known was The Greyhound in Colnbrook near Slough.  It was run by DJ Phil Perry and his partner Fiona.  It was the first and best Sunday party for the Acid House generation.  It was the center of the whole London Balearic scene as most of them came from out that way.  On any Sunday you would find Weatherall, Farley, Darren Emerson, Fabi Parras, Charlie Chester and Rocky & Diesel down there. The Basics crew went down one time with loads of plastic sheep, due to Charlie Chester joking that we were all ‘sheep shaggers from oop north’.  They loved Dave especially and we formed a close link with them as people and DJs.  It was an important introduction for Basics in London and the ‘Balearic network’ expanding.

Jump – Funkatarium 

Funkatarium is not a highly sought after classic record.  In fact you can currently pick up an original copy for 99 pence on Discogs.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not good.  I am sometimes amazed at what sells for huge amounts on Discogs and what goes for nowt.  Obviously it can be down to rarity and deletion but it’s also down to current trends and elitism.  A house record made by a UK producer on average is instantly worth less than one made in the USA.  I know the music originally came from the states but there are some great contributions from our shores.  There are some truly terrible records on Trax with horrible mastering pressed on poor vinyl, for example, but you can throw a lot of money at original pressings.  I’m not saying Funkatarium is a ground breaking moment in electronic music but it has a distinct UK edge and rocked Basics dancefloor every time I played it.  I see ‘Funkatarium’ as a pre-cursor to the wave of ‘nu disco’ music that came out of the UK nearly ten years later from artists like Chicken Lips, The Revenge and Toby Tobias.  Apologies for using the term ‘nu disco’ as it’s generally not liked but I know of no other.

Rozlyne Clarke – Dancing is Like Making Love

Another record that won’t break the bank to pick up and also another entry in the ‘great dub – awful cover’ club.  The FX noises on ‘DILML’ used to cut through a system and sound amazing.  I suppose it’s a record that could be filed under ‘progressive house’ but I never associated it as such.  For a brief time there were some great records that didn’t fit into the house or techno category.  Guerilla records was the label most identified as being ‘progressive’ and there are some great tracks to find on that imprint by Bassomatic, React to Rhythm and DOP.  We certainly played them at Basics so I can’t ignore the fact that we did contribute to the music heading in 1993/4 towards ‘progressive house’.  However it was very shortlived at Basics and we didn’t book the genres most famous exponents Sasha & Digweed or follow where they took it. That’s my disclaimer anyway and I still love this record whatever genre you want to place it in.

Djum Djum – Difference 

Outer Rhythm was a highly respected label with links to Warp.  In fact the first six Warp records all carry the inscription,’in association with Outer Rhythm’. They also had a licensing agreement with R&S records to distribute their catalogue in the UK.  So Djum Djum’s stable mates included Moby, Ital Rockers and Leftfield. The writer on ‘Difference’ is listed as Neil Cole.  The only biog I could find for him is on Last FM which quotes that he is the son of Professor Stanley Unwin who was a South African born comedian most famous for inventing his own language of Unwinese.  Mr Cole is also said to have been a rapper from 1976 and originator of Jum Jum which is the sound you make while chewing an elastic band.  After 1995 he mysteriously vanishes. Either he has one of the most unusual life stories ever or he is the imaginary alter ego of Neil Barnes from Leftfield.  A further search of Stanley Baldwin’s life revelas his children’s names to be Marion, Lewis and John.No Neil is mentioned.  The plot thickens.

Dee Pattern – Who’s The Badman

This is Dave Beer‘s favourite ever Basics record.  I didn’t just include it on the first mix because of that but it certainly reminds me of him every time I hear it.  It also has a Leftfield connection as they licensed it to Hard Hands.  Before it came out on Hard Hands it was circulating as a white label for ages which I was lucky enough to pick up in 1992.  I did see one of these recently on Discogs for £40 but that has now gone.  You can get it cheaply and easily on Hard Hands still but beware of the many remixes which are all bad.  ‘Who’s The Badman’ resolutely refuses to be placed in a genre.  It uses the Incredible Bongo Band’s – ‘Apache’ break (more famously used by West Street Mob) over a four four kick but it’s the sub bass that really propells it to a different place. A precursor of both drum n’ bass and dubstep the only similar sounds of the time came from Shut Up and Dance.

Primal Scream – Don’t Fight It, Feel It

I’m not quite sure what I can say about Andrew Weatherall that hasn’t already been said a million times before. I listened to his remix of Primal Scream’s – ‘Don’t Fight it Feel It’ and his mix of My Bloody Valentine – ‘Glider’ to include on mixes for the blog.  It was just as humbling an experience in 2011 as it was in 1991. Both records are in a league of their own.  Try putting on the original of ‘Glider’ and then flip it over for the remix. It is just astounding how the remix came from the original. Of course ‘Loaded’ was the biggest hit out of all the Weatherall remixes and we did use to play that on all floors of The Music Factory but for me it’s these two which will remain in my box ’till the day I die’.

TC 1991 – Berry

Samples have always been an issue in house music but for some reason sampling by Italian producers in the late 80s / early 90s was more extreme than elsewhere.  When TC 1991 came out I thought it was just a total rip off of Mr Fingers.  Listening back to it now I actually think it was more probably a case of the producers finding the classic Fingers Inc sound on a Juno 106 and replaying it.  I must admit I did get over my initial concern quickly and it became a huge record at Basics. TC were actually FPI Project in disguise.  FPI famously had a club hit with ‘Rich in Paradise / Going Back To My Roots’, which is an Odyssey cover. So maybe it’s a case of good producers who couldn’t actually write an original song ?  They followed up the TC series every year, they were always full of samples.  Incidently the odd names on each track title of TC 1991 are the band members names ‘Berry, Fratty, Intrallazzi and Presti’.  Whatever the samples or integrity of TC 1991 it deserves it’s place in the mix as a Music Factory bomb.

Nightcrawlers – Push This Feeling On

I’ve already written about MK above. This track is obviously far better known than ‘4 You’.  I suppose I am throwing my underground credentials out of the window by including it on this mix but I have to be honest about what I played at the time at Basics.  Besides that, I still love this record and play it regularly at the end of a night, most recently on my birthday at We Love Space in September 2011.   If you don’t feel it I think you’re probably dead.  It actually ended up at number 3 in the UK charts but then again Steve Silk Hurley – ‘Jack Your Body’ made number 1 and Lil Louis – ‘French Kiss’ and LFO – ‘LFO’ also went top 20.  House was selling big amounts of records back then.

Inner City – Pennies From Heaven

Inner City are an artist who need no introduction.  What I found interesting however when researching this blog was how many of the artists link. Chez Damier, who I will introduce in future mixes, was Kevin Saunderson‘s A/R man at KMS.  Chez was the first A/R man to find MK when he was 17 in Detroit.  A small number of people in Detroit made a huge impact on house music.  Everyone knows ‘Good Life’ and it’s a fantastic record but that had already been and gone by the time we started Basics in ’91.  You will notice that I don’t play a huge number of vocal records. It was a real division throughout the 90s whether you played vocals or not. I just don’t like that many full vocal records but when I find one I love it forever.  I like pain, soul and hope to come through in a house record in equal measures.  Robert Owens always had those characteristics in abundance but then so did Paris Grey from Inner City.  When she’s singing ‘Big Fun’ you feel like she deserves it because she’s had no fun at all through the week.  ‘Pennies From Heaven’ is Gospel inspired but its insistent, ‘We Need Some Love’ message can be understood on a dancefloor by any non-believer.  Kevin drafted in his future wife Ann Saunderson (nee Nanton) and Members of the House to add backing vocals and created a truly awesome vocal arrangement.

M-I-Cara – Casa Beat

I first heard M-I-Cara – ‘Casa Beat’ at a Tonka party in a warehouse in Vauxhall played by DJ Harvey.  I get goosebumps as soon as the snare fill introduces the full theme and flashbacks as the piano line goes up an octave everytime. The record itself is a mystery, there is no information on the label at all.  There is a lead that it was made by Sanny X, but listening to his later work I am still dubious.  What we do know is that you hardly ever see a copy for sale and if you do it will be a bargain if you pay less than £75.  I have been arguing with Huggy for years over who owns ‘our’ copy.  He still firmly believes it’s his.  I’ve heard of mates falling out over girls but over a record ?  It would have to be insanely good, oh it is…..

Fluke – Philly

Fluke were instant Balearic heroes with their first release ‘Thumper’ which is a slowed down chugger that worked perfectly as a last record.  Philly was their second release and it became an anthem at Basics. Everyone liked it.  Fluke were producing their records in a ‘real’ fully equipped studio rather than in their bedrooms and it really shows.  They understood the value of live performace and albums long before many dance acts and their ‘Techo Rose of Blighty LP’ still sounds huge.  If they were slightly luckier you would be seeing them on stage alongside the Chemical Brothers at Glastonbury.  Instead they disbanded. Probably just another act rinsed and dried by the music industry.  ‘Philly’ still lives on as a unique record for me.

Mike Perras – Beginning Of Life

I’m going to be repeating myself if I start mentioning The Sub Club again but ‘Beginning Of Life’ reminds me of DJ Harri.  The intro has the best use of strings in a house record apart from ‘Strings Of Life’. The snares snap the beat in like a military band sounding an attack and the kick drums demand you to dance.  DJ Harri has almost as good a dub collection as he does house music.   He has been playing at the subclub since 1986 and mixing beats there as consistently as a metronome.  In a pack of DJ Top Trumps he would be the card that won the hand with highest appearances.  If this blog does nothing else but introduce a few new people to DJ Harri then it would have been worth the long hours it has taken me.  ‘Oh’ and yes,’Beginning of life’, was a great end of the night track at back to basics.

Baffa – Piano On

Stefano Secchi and Max Baffa were behind this record.  Secchi had already had a huge Italo Piano screamer called ‘I Say Yeah’ but ‘Piano On’ is a different kettle of fish and not nearly uplifting enough to have been a piano house hit.  Pianos have a mixed history in house music.  They have been used to great effect, such as in Marshall Jefferson’s – ‘The House Music Anthem’ itself but the instrument became so overused by the mid 90s that discerning producers stopped using them . What piano lines can be credited with is injecting energy into a dancefloor. At the same time Basics was going off in 1992-4 there was a club in Nottingham called Venus. Venus had two floors and Paul Wain and Christian Woodyatt as residents.  It featured more progressive sounds downstairs while the top floor played piano screamers.  The clubs were going crazy at the time.  They had more a ‘hands in the air’ atmosphere rather than the cooler ‘heads down’ vibe you have on so many of todays dancefloors. I had to sell a good number of my copies a few years ago as they made me cringe but there are still some piano house tracks I can handle such as Smallage – ‘Together’, Soft House Company – ‘What You Need’ and SLD – ‘Getting Out‘.  ‘Piano On’ is one that stands out still as unique for me.

Hoomba Hoomba – Voice of Africa

We’d never finish on a house record at Basics. We liked to send people home happy with an uplifting Balearic moment.  Voice Of Africa – ‘Hoomba Hoomba’ definitely did the job but so did The Weatherall mix of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Glider’, Moodswings – ‘Spiritual High’,  Future Sound of London – ‘Papua New Guinea or even more Balearic moments such as The Stone Roses – ‘Fools Gold’,  Fleetwood Mac – ‘Big Love’ or even The Thompson Twins – ‘ You Take Me Up’.

As important to me as the records above is the mix itself.  I have always loved the art of mixing and putting records together and have spent years practicing different ways to do it.  This project is a labour of love and very personal.  I hope you enjoy it and continue to follow as it progresses.

Basics Discography

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