Boomkat Product Review:
Acid house veteran and deep digger Richard “Bronx Dogs” Sen navigates a golden, fecund phase of UK techno via trax by Bandulu, Epoch 90, As One, Dream Frequency and more
Issued by contemporary acid house hub, Ransom Note, ‘Dream The Dream (UK techno, breakbeat and house 1990-1994)’ gathers 10 tracks primed for swaying and rolling eyes in back of skulls at 4am in warehouses and sweaty basements. It particularly taps into a sound that is increasingly lost in translation by so many new dance music producers who perhaps don’t even realise they’re sloshing out the baby with the bathwater. At the very least these cuts may help remind of what’s been omitted over the years, and even prompt some to re-inject a much needed sensuality in their productions.
The set spies Uk techno when it was still in flux between prevailing, imported Chicago/Detroit/NYC vibes on one hand, and a wealth of influence from UK and European synth music, industrial, and Afro-Caribbean flavours on the other. In practically every cut the synth arrangements are as important as the groove, as characterised everywhere from the air-stepping luxuriations of ‘Tokyo’ by Centuras to UVX’s scalp-tingling ‘Elevator (Trancefloor Transporter)’, to Bandulu’s kick-less flight ‘Amaranth - Loves Lies Bleeding’, which uses the same sample of My Mine’s Italo gem ‘Hypnotic Tango’ as Carl Craig’s 69 bomb ‘Rushed’.
Of course, some are biased below the belt, as with Strontium 90’s ‘Rave On the Congo’, and the thrumming momentum of live-sampled breaks and bass momentum in Mind Over Rhythm’s ‘Kubital Footstorm (Global Beatrix)’, but still they’re gilded and spaced out in a ay that doesn’t feel like modern dance’s tunnel vision. factor in the jazz-spiced bleep ’n bass pressure of ‘Orr-Some’s ‘We Can Make It’, and the heart-in-mouth magic of NAD aka Mustafa Ali’s lush ‘V.L.S.I. Heaven (Zone Mix)’ as Epoch 90, and the sophisticate melancholy of Kirk DeGirogio’s As One masterwork ‘aster’, and you may be able to clearly hear a sort of love and sensuality that’s missing from today’s ‘floors.