Thanks to the magic of p2p, I have managed to find clean (as in not DJ mixed) copies of some of my favorite old dance records. I would eagerly buy these on CD if they weren’t long out of print and fetching stupid money when they showed up on eBay, but that’s me being fiscally responsible or something(!!) instead of the trainspotter I was for years. As I owned most of them on vinyl, I feel not completely awful about getting copies off the hard drives of people spread over our planet. Besides, if the record companies wanted my money on these tracks, they’d put them back in print. Hint. Hint.
First up, the jump up / jungle batch:
When you hear that someone has snatched a simulacrum of “Moonlight Sonata,” thrown a bunch of beats under it that clatter and roar at a fair clip and included a bassline that eats babies, you suspect it’s going to be crap. DJ SS’s “The Sound Of The Future” (Lighter VIP Mix) does that and is not crap at all. The melodic line he sets up with the bass is incredible and when it pauses, you catch your breath to dive further into the dense, claustrophobic layers. Class.
DJ Hype’s “Fugees Or Not” never got a proper release – I imagine the record label would have extorted a ransom out of him for the deft use of “Ready Or Not” by the now-defunct titular act. Rolling a fair clip and building before everything goes quiet and Lauren Hill’s gorgeous voice runs through the chorus once before his trademark jump-up beats pound under her and the bass pops you in the mouth, this is a record you’d hear two or three times in a night and never get sick of back in “the day.”
“The S the U the P the E the R the S the H the A the R the P the S the H the O the O the T the E the R.” Yes, “Super Sharp Shooter” by The Ganja Kru really raises the level for lyricism in dance music with the Sesame Street style intro and that cheap, nasty synth melody doesn’t really endear itself to you, but…then it happens. The tightly controlled beats suck you in and you’re being kicked in the ass by the bassline while samples give your forebrain something to focus on. This one holds up brilliantly.
Now, The Cheese Handbag Fun Batch:
Ah, Stretch & Vern. “I’m Alive” is so, so, so, so wrong but with its high-ended clipped piano line and the goofball samples, you can’t help yourelf. It’s the Jim Carrey movie you shouldn’t laugh at. It’s the sex with a Malaysian hooker you shouldn’t have sex with. It’s a bad idea. It’s pure 1995, complete with builds out of the secret dance manual that was passed around to producers then. It’s either genius or shit, depending on how off your tits you are. Pet Shop Boys fans may well recognize this as the inspiration for the “New Version” of “Discoteca.”
“Fox Force Five” by Chris and James is an “Oh my god, I like this and I feel like I should report to the RNC headquarters for further programming” record. It’s not very clever at all – taking cues from about a million other progressive records, it starts with strings, builds with the usual pace, the beats push things right along in a purely functional manner, but then…you hear the voice of Samuel L Jackson. It’s a cheap tactic, sampling Pulp Fiction, but it works. Not very good for listening with your headphones while reading, but I bet it sounds great on a summer day.
Anyone else using P2P to not pirate current hot stuff, but grab out of print records like me?