DJ Nori – Happy Sunday (Maurice Fulton Mix)
Anyone who’s been involved in the club scene for the last 6 years will likely have heard this one at some point. Dance music is somewhat functional, and as a result, formulaic, but it plays on some weird innate thing in our brains that just works. House music just had to happen; a four to the floor kick, a snare on every second and fourth beat, an open hi-hat on the offbeat and a big fat bassline, about as simple as you can get but fuck me, it gets people on their feet.
With this in mind, I think this Maurice Fulton remix absolutely nails it. It has groove, it has tension and it has release. There are some brilliant keys in there which sound like they’ve come straight out of a 70s funk track with this simple, experimental bassline which playfully adds something new to the diaspora that is house, something every great track should do in my eyes, be that sonically or emotionally.
Omar S – Set It Out
The Detroit breed of artists in both house & techno really made the genres their own. How one city of only 700,000 people can dominate some of the finest productions in a genre is totally baffling.
Omar S is a total stalwart of the Detroit house scene, and has consistently put out seminal productions year in year out. This is one of his biggest tracks (for very good reason) and has a very special place in my kick drum receptors…
Set It Out is a perfect example of everything a great house track can be, simple rhythmic workouts on a drum machine; a perpetually fruitful groove and some vocals that put you totally under their spell. A true classic!
Gil Scott-Heron – Willing
What a voice. For me, Willing typifies what made Gil such a remarkable artist. A combination of hip shaking grooves with deep emotionally rich melodies and harmonies, with Gil typically delivering poetic lyrics that reach out and grab me round the ears and give them a good shaking.
The lyrics communicate how difficult it is to keep our lives constant, to not allow ourselves to compromise on our goals. Sometimes the hardest battle is our own self doubt, and it takes a great deal of energy to keep that voice at bay, even at what might be the best of times. Gil’s usual husky delivery suggests hope and despair all at the same time.
Brian Jackson’s instrumental arrangement complements those emotions with a combination of such uplifting and yet sombre parts that make me want to dance around ecstatically whilst thinking about what it means to be alive.
Sun Palace – Rude Movements
This track simply blows me away every time I play it out, which is a lot. It isn’t just that it contains this absolutely bonkers hypnotic rhythm. That it makes such a simple groove seem so complex and replayable. Or that it transports the room it’s played in to some dreamscape alien world where everything your experiencing is new and exciting. It’s the fact it was recorded in London in 1981. That might not be that exciting news for most, but for a dance music collector like myself, it is baffling how ahead of their time it can be.
Rude Movements is so spectacular, that guitar, synth part and drum loop keep you completely transfixed with their repetition but over the top this absolutely awe inspiring collaboration of abrasive and unexpected synths is building to a crescendo that makes you totally lose your emotional centre. It takes you places you didn’t ever see coming.