Mixes on Cd

We love live mixes here at 88to98

We love live mixes here at 88to98. See this thread about our very favourites XXX. There’s something about the odd rough mix, possibly an MC shouting over the top or even some crowd effects that makes us prefer them to studio mixes. 

However there are also some fantastic studio mixes out there which are well worth getting hold of, especially as they can be very cheap on eBay.  Many of them were mixed by studio engineers using software to ensure a clean mix, which you can view as a positive or negative. But people bought then in their hundreds of thousands. The money really rolled in. All of the super clubs had mix series at one stage – Cream, Gatecrasher and the embarrassment of the Ministry of Sound series being some of the most profitable. Rave organisers sold tape packs, house super clubs were fortunate to catch the CD boom at just the right moment. 

If you have any other suggestions then post them in comments and we can add them to the list

Fantazia House Collection

Released in 1996, and on the commercial side, this mix still have some great tunes on it. Mixed by Brandon Block, LuvDup and Mike Cosford . Also available as triple unmixed vinyl (this is much more expensive as it’s DJ friendly, not a great press but usable). We’d be amazed if you never heard one of the Fantastazi House Collection mix CDs at some point.   

We’d go as far as to say that this mix played a big part in the resurgence of interest in the early 90s house tunes that it champions.  There is some really inventive mixing on this, as well as the odd clanger. But this CD opened the floodgates for what came after.  Very well presented this was a huge hit for Fantazia selling XX copies. We listened to it enough to still be able to remember most of the mixes.  Certainly did no harm to Brandon Blocks career, and he’s still going strong today.  LuvDup continue to play out on the oldskool circuit. Mike C – known for the first time on this CD as Mike Cosford never seemed to be a massive draw in clubs, but definitely played out and about throughout the 90s. 

The naming conventions for the series got confusing as it progressed, and the various strands of the series seemed to overlap but generally the quality was high and the packaging strong. Fantazia had really taken a back seat on live events by the mid 90s, bar the infamous Gmex event in 1997. The mix CDs kept them in the spotlight throughout the period until they really made a proper comeback in the 2010s. 


Also don’t miss our post about Renaissance The Mix Collection – Sasha and Pigweed


A London institution Trade got in on the act with official mix CDs fairly early, We’d go so far to say that the official Trade CDs, mixed by the likes of Pete Wardman, Tony De Vit, Ian M and Tall Paul were instrumental in setting Britain on the course to a serious period of hard house in the mid to late 1990s. To actually go to Trade meant getting to London, dressing specifically for the night, being up all night and most importantly being gay friendly.  None of these things were specific only to Trade, but Trade was different.  Trade was full on, Trade could be intimidating until you had cracked the code. Then it was the most accepting place in the world. But it wasn’t;t clubbing for beginners.  You had to earn your spurs.  So the Trade mix CD series was a smooth entry point (!!) to the world of Trade.  Unlike some mix CDs from the period (looking at you early Ministry of Sound) the mixing on these was generally excellent.  The tunes were bangers but underground. Sadly there weren’t any unmixed CD versions that we know many DJs would have appreciated. The packaging was very colourful, all in all a quality product. You could tell that the people behind these CDs really cared. 

Hotel Des Costes

A bit of a departure as these are “lounge” music, but these mix CDs are excellent.  They work equally well for an after the after party occasion, having dinner occasion or background music. Incredibly wide selection tunes, all beautifully mixed by Stephan poumpagnac.XX 

United Dance 

One of the biggest raves in the UK, known for happy hardcore in particular, were early movers and shakers in the mix CD world. United Dance’s primary based was the Stevenage Arts and Leisure centre, just north of London. United Dance was a rave. Not a club night, with a younger up for it crowd wearing full on rave gear.  Bucket hats, whistles and UV vests were very much the fashion at United Dance.

Watching the development of the packaging over the course of the series you can see how more developed a product it became.  Very indicative of the mid 90s happy hardcore boom, United Dance tried various concepts.  There were straight mix CDs, B2B mix CDs, unmixed tunes, double packs, triple packs, soft cases, hard cases, you name it.  DJs such as Slipmatt, Douglas, Seduction and Vibes were the happy hardcore scenes mega stars and all contributed mixes.  

United Dance also featured drum and bass DJs, so they naturally also released a drum and bass mix CD, known as the Designer Collection. Would be interested to see the comparative sales figures of the two sides of rave. 


We’ve posted about Rez many timed beforeXX.  Rezerection was undoubtedly the biggest thing in Scotland in the mid-90s. It has been revived recently, but the original events closed in 1998. By this time you had very young people in attendance, and the music had merged with the English happy hardcore sound, taking away what had mad Rez unique. Rez was known for promoting the uniquely Scottish style of bouncy techno, and the DJs and PAs that came with it.  In the early days The Prodigy, SS, Carl Cox and others played at Rez, but by 1993 it was The Rhythmic State, Q-Tex, Ultimate Buzz and Ultra-Sonic that came to define what Rez is still known for today. This style of fast, hard and uplifting 4/4 hardcore was THE sound of mid-90s Scotland.  While England was much more breakout lead, especially in the midlands and London, Scotland was in love with the pounding kick drum. There was a crossover with the Dutch Gabba scene, and some DJs such as Loftgroover played really hard at Rez.  So when Rez moved in the mix CD market it was never really in doubt what style they would put out. The curious thing about the Rez mix CD series is that the numbering of the series was a little all over the place 

The Awakening – Came as unmixed Dj vinyl (although with short tracks and poor mastering) or a mix CDE by Scott Brown. To us this is the essential Rezerection mix CD. The sound is uniquely Rez, huge kick drums, massive breaks and not a lot of vocals. By the 2nd side Scott Brown has gone into really hard territory with Genaside and in particular XX, but it is a cohesive selection and is one of our most played CDs ever. Track it down 


Dreamscape was the biggest English rave promoter throughout the mid to late 1990s. So if too moved into CDs, after all its mix tapes had been hugely popular and are still all over the internet now. However by trying to cover so many bases, the Dreamscape mix CDs never caught the imagination as much as its rave rivals Fantazia did.  Dreamscape was known for giving as much coverage at jungle as hardcore, and also had techno DJs such as Clarkee and Producer as key parts of their line ups. SO their mix CDs trie duo replicate this.  

XXX see’s as the happy mix, XX as the jungle mix

The Equinox – Mixed by Scott Brown this CD comes as 1 track with no marker points.

6 – The Tom Wilson CD isn’t brilliantly mixed, but has a couple of stand out tunes on it such as The Point by XX.  The Dougal mix CD was controversial at the time. Despite the English DJs playing their version of happy hardcore at Rez by this time, many of the crowd felt it was too light and commercial, and some even argued it was the beginning of the end using Dougal instead of a more Scottish Dj 

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