Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cabeza de Vaca: P017 - Classic house

This week on Cabeza de Vaca  our search for classic house cuts takes us all the way back in time to 2012! Just kidding. We go back in time to the mid 80s and up to the mid 90s, cherry picking the best tracks from some of the recent house compilations that came out in 2012, although some date from a little bit before. It was arguably Gene Hunt’s reel-to-reel treasure chest of unreleased tracks on Rush Hour that opened the door, but certainly the flood of historical interest has well and truly been unleashed. It would seem that somewhere around the 20 year mark it almost becomes mandatory to start scouring again the origins of scenes, bands and labels. Maybe it is the generational leap? Suddenly the world is full of kids born in the 90s to whom the origins of house are not factual, but mythical, swirled into the mists of time and increasingly foggy with each passing day as truth gets lost and primary sources dry up.

Strut Records has also been in on the act of late, and although a lot of the emphasis has been on house, there is still plenty more to mine. Where, for example, are the compilations of hardcore or Balearic? Has anyone got the balls to try and overview and contextualize Gabba, for example? Time will tell.

Some brief additional notes:

Aaron Carl’s track is not from a compilation as I mention, but both “Wallshaker” and “Crucified” were re-released by Millons of Moments who have also snuck out the odd house track on their many compilations, like the fantastic “Styrax special A” with Ron Trent and Larry Heard. The original of “Wallshaker” was released in 1997, almost a dcade after Fingers Inc’s (Robert Owens') classic “Bring down the walls”, released on Chicago’s Trax in 1986, and one wonders if it is a little homage? The catch cry of “Can you feel it?” seems so universal, but one cannot also forget that Owens also had a track by this name.


Elbee Bad’s track “I like to move (solid mixx)” was also a curious one to track down. The original mix, as well as several others, came out on a 12” in 1996 on the Red Heat Label under the L. B. Bad name, but the only mention of the “solid mix” (sic) comes from the French label House Music Records, where the remix is credited to DJ Deep, a French DJ and producer. However, the truth is that it appears to have been unreleased until 2005 when it came out on Cricklewood’s BBE (Barely Breaking Even) label compilation CD (not on the vinyl) “City to city” which appears to be a pretty rich trove of house treasure. I used to live in Cricklewood which is why I highlight this otherwise meaningless fact. The actual “solid mixx” with a double “xx” is probably just a way of distinguishing it for some reason. Incidentally, “True history of house music” was a name Rush Hour appropriated from a 1999 Elbee Bad 12” that came out on the famed International Deejay Gigolo Records. The name of the track is not ironic, but literal by the way:


The original mix of Nexus 21’s “Still life” is much more indebted to the classic house and the early rave sound than the more techno-styled remix, although both are simmering and still wonderful.

Finally, Gemini’s “Le fusion” ultimately won out as the best track off the Strut compilation collecting Cajmere and Cajual label stuff for its unashamed proximity to real jazz. One interesting aside of Green Velvet was the recent remixes of the track “Feeling kinda high” featuring the vocals of Terence F. M. that appeared on Chris Liebing’s CLR 10th anniversary singles. Here though, it received a German translation to become “Auf Und Ab Und Kinda High” by Dustin Zahn.


NOTE: when I have time I will re-load all the old programs as well so that they will be available for anyone who is interested.

As always, send promos, emails, comments to floatinghead9[at] and keep the peace.

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