Daisy Glow - Give It All (Warm, 2020)
Perhaps one of this years most essential reissues, as the Warm imprint shines a light on one of the 90s most iconic and timeless EPs, that sounds as invigorating and mesmerising as it did back in 1992.
Heaps of music comes out every week, and has done so since time began it seems, so trawling through to find that one record to reissue can be tricky. However, it certainly helps when you know what kind of sound and feel you're looking for, and indeed the era in which you wish to narrow your search down to. The early 90s are a hot bed of timeless pieces of dance music, with all manner of treasure troves to be found in relation to groundbreaking compositions or simply music that to this day stands proudly amongst the highest quality releases this current generation has to offer. In many ways, reissues of electronic orientated records has become more relevant and necessary as ever, as a whole crop of producers are so heavily inspired by the sounds of progressive house, dream house, techno, breakbeat and trance, it feels appropriate to offer up tracks from back in the day that act as a catalyst to it all. It makes the contemporary musical landscape all the bit more compelling and dynamic, with steps to and fro in time becoming more frequent, but it allows us to build further bridges into what could begin to act as inspiration. As mentioned before, the 90s contained immeasurable amounts of labels who pushed high quality dance music, with each label seemingly content in exploring its own idealised journey to achieve sonic perfection, so if you dig deep enough, you often find that vein of gold you have been searching for perhaps for your entire life. House in particular has a number of gems that remain very much within their time frame, a fleeting representation of their context and influences all bought together in a small discography that speaks volumes of the talents behind it all. So often you find that the most forward thinking or ground breaking releases got lost within a sea of commercialism, their impact and star factor making an enormous impact on those who had the pleasure of listening to it, but perhaps faded into time. These records scream out for a new life, a reflection of the goodness contained within and how this music can be re contextualised for a contemporary setting, and for those records that remain as memorable then as they do now, we start to see the dots being connected more than ever before. The web of musical intrigue becomes that bit more evident and signficent, where boundary pushing and influences are pushed into the spotlight via the reissuing of significant records that would sound peerless in any era, a sound that is intrinsically brilliant and never held back by its contents, only putting itself out there to be praised indefinitely. Now more than ever, the reissuing of timeless electronic music remains relevant and important to the umbrella genre's development, as we continually search for ways in which we can push boundaries and experiences in this new day and age.
In many ways, the short but beautiful discography of Daisy Glow represents much of all that was wonderful about the early 90s sound. The duo, consisting of producers Mouse and Kelix Williams, were integral members and contributors to the San Fransisco sound that swirled around the city during the rave era, where hypnotic and intensely dynamic genre blending music was doing the rounds, and where many aspiring musicians felt compelled to craft something of their own as a reflection of all the goodness which flowed around them. The music found within the Daisy Glow discography, and indeed their other group Tasti Box, is as pure and enriching as any other house records going at the time, with a deft blend of dream house, deep house, and even subtle hints to the emerging tech house genre, with a real emphasis on the craft and evolving nature that only the best tracks of these genres can pull off. There is a wonderful balance between progression and melody, with the duo showing real awareness in demonstrating as full and wide a spectrum as possible when it comes to conjuring up mood and tone. When you listen to a Daisy Glow record, you would very much expect to saunter through a genre blending environment filled with all kinds of wonderment and invigorating soundscapes, with the tonal environments imaging taking you right back to a time and place where worries and cares felt a million miles away. But in that instance, the music feels much more than just an ode to the era in which it was conceived, and that is due to the tracks having such vision injected into them, as the blended nature of the records being so profound and well considered we can immediately relate to it looking back now. Mouse and Williams nurtured a very special identity within their music, something which remains completely theirs, and demostrates an appreciation for the environment that they resided within but also a view to so much that was occurring around the world in relation to house music. Its this understanding that allows their music to be continually appreciated and praised, even nearly 30 years after its original release. As mentioned previously, their discography is short but very sweet indeed, with the 'Daisin' The Glow EP' from 1993 and the 'Right On!' record from 1994 both incredible records and very well worth checking out, with numerous re workings provided on both to help you find that perfect blend for the set. Their sole release as Tasti Box, fittingly entitled 'San Fransisco', was released in 1991 and is much more aligned to the classic rave sound, with flecks of acidic progressions filtering through alongside breakbeat orientated beats and big full chordal movements. All of their records were released originally on the revered ZoëMagik imprint, that acted as a guidebook to the sounds of the San Fransisco dance music scene during the 1990s, which is also very much worth your time in checking out. All in all, Mouse and Williams did a fantastic job at creating something truly meaningful during their run of releases, music that opens up doors to the past in regards to context and emotion, music that stands the test of time in regards to content, music that was cherished them by those who heard it in the dance and by those now who come across it today. If you wish to see all that is holy about dance music from that era, look no further than Daisy Glow as a starting point for your journey through amazement.
So now we arrive at the reissue of their debut EP as Daisy Glow, 'Give It All', that originally arrived on 1992, with the reissue arriving courtesy of the UK based label Warm. Only the second release on the label, following on from the exceptional 'Voodoo Lady / I Need Your Love' record from earlier this year, that drew a focus to the sounds of NZ funk and AOR bands Dalvanius & the Fascinations and Golden Harvest, the second release is by no means any less compelling and brilliant, as we see come to life once more the excellence of Daisy Glow's debut. A record that contains enough emotiveness to last 3 lifetimes over, the tracks within represent the finest blend of house music imaginable, where rhythmic structures underpin all manner of excellent harmonic blends and progressions, and most importantly a wide spread of feels that gives each track a real sense of identity. Its hard to think of another producer or group who captured such diversity in sound within a EP release, with the music found within such a pure representation of the sounds of the rave era, where freedom and escapism ran rampant, and at time this feeling was captured in a bottle, sent out to sea and then discovered by a whole new generation of music lovers. A truly brilliant piece of music that stands tall with anything that came before or after it, and without further delay, its time to get right into this gem.
Up first comes the title track, and we are greeted with the softest of synth lines leading us into it. The chords have a spaced out quality to them, dipping and diving within the realms of possibility and actuality, their presence calm and smooth to the touch, with their progression through a few lines leading into the soft drumming pattern that emerges underneath. The track move through this sequence a few times, with the vocal line now adding extra narrative elements to proceedings, which then leads into the introduction of the chuggy fast paced bass line that moves to underpin all the goodness happening on top. The vocals and chords fade away in order to give the bass line time to really showcase what its made of, its groove and feel so strong and forceful, before this in turn takes time to move away as the focus is drawn once more to the cosmic chords that gently breeze on top. The vocals once more align themselves within the track, singing true as they resonate in the dancers, and as the bass line swings back in we are greeted with some wonderful cascading and swirling keys that rise up high, permeating through every aspect of the track. The breakdown is where the track turns up the heat a bit, with the vocals adding in some chants to really get the energy moving, with the kicks eventually coming back into play as the track takes on a new form, with the focus drawn much more to the rhythmic intensity that has been built up to so beautifully. The melodic forces once more emerge for one final flourish, as the track smoothly descends into the cool night sky, its breeze forever moving into our hearts and minds. Sheer bliss. 'Sunday In The Park' arrives next, and the introduction for this one reignites the fires in our hearts. The cosmic synths greet us on this one like with the previous cut, but here the focus is less on progressions and more on the dynamics of sound, with the track swinging between two chords that emerge from a singular point to then fill a whole valley, the texture and tone on the chords is something to behold. The track quickly gains traction with the simmering break beat esq drumming pattern that resides underneath, with the bass line permeating through to give the track a sense of pulse and forward momentum. The track is also populated with a delightful key line that floats on top, permeating every now and then to add variety and depth to the melodic aspects of the track. The breakdown soon arrives, and its absolutely killer, with the two chord progression switching up in terms of key, rhythm and dynamics, with the long swell replaced with the more short and sweet, but the switch up is just amazing. A looping vocal line adds further intrigue to proceedings, along with the soft rolling bass line that grooves underneath it all, and just like that we arrive at a melodic less part of the track, before rolling right back into it with such flow and control. The track then moves into yet another breakdown, as the chords are giving much space to breath and showcase all their qualities, as the track takes its time to ease itself out once more into the warmth of the Sunday morning after party. Wherever you might be, this track has you covered. A simmering triumph.
To wrap things up, we have perhaps the crown jewel of the record, 'Theme From Daisy Glow', that sees out the record in such style and purpose. The beats begin us off on this one, with the fast paced hats and cymbals starting the pulse, before long being joined by the softest of kicks, and just like that we are greeted with the bass line, which is truly something to behold. The chords follow soon after, gracefully moving through their four line sequence, filling the room but not taking over completely, but the melody soon does take in all it can via the form of soft stabbing organ like chords that underpin the big room melodic progressions on top. The track graceful moves through the motions with such confidence, as the duo introduce reverberating liquid like keys that add much to the tracks development, as soft key solos add further texture and flavour into the mix. By this point, we are totally involved with what is going on, and what might happen further down the line, as the track keeps on evolving and grooving and moving in time, its nature not allowing us to sit still but to keep up with its internal workings. The liquid keys return, adding real dynamism to the progression, keeping us locked in, as the track continues to move between various plains of existence via its continual quest to provided a layered experience. Its these switches between different tonal structures that allows for maximum engagement, with no hold up in relation to breaks in percussion but simply carrying us along in relation to melodic developments. The breakdown sees the drums continue but the keys fade away, giving greater emphasis to the now more rhythmical and sonically rich drums, but just like that we are right back into the power that is found within the melodic aspects of the track. From this point on, we are carried away by what this track is capable of doing beyond its end, its quest for perfection achieved but you get the feeling this tune has a life outside of us just listening to it. A magical experience, and one that you have to experience to understand. Truly remarkable shit.
There's a lot here to get within and get to know, and that is where the attraction to this record begins. Not only to Daisy Glow have a handle on their musical vision, but they smash out three tracks that tell a slightly different story of that vision each time, bound by their use of keys and drumming patterns but rewoven in order to craft experiences that feel very different each time, providing music that would help to shape around the kind of experience you want to live in your life. In that sense, the tunes found on here remain very much relfective of the context in which they were conceived, but the relevancy remains due to just how well crafted and balanced they were, in that we can appreciate them in relation to the time of release but marvel at how relevant these tracks remain in this day and age. Sublime, never ending, euphoric and smoothing, Daisy Glow here showcase what the 90s were all about, but adding in elements that inspire so many today in relation to how music is made. A record that will forever be at the forefront of everyone's mind, a reissue that remains up there with the years best, and perhaps most importantly, music that is inherently brilliant and thought provoking. We cannot recommend this record enough.
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