Selected Gems  

Ian O'Brien – Tattoo Jazz

From the EP 'Tattoo Jazz', 4th Wave, 1997 

 

A beautiful example of when techno accommodates jazzy undertones. O'Brien had an impressive resume, releasing a slew of EPs in the 90s, but this cut takes it for us. As soft and melodic as it comes, it shows the purer side of techno, with the slick keys cascading on top of the fullest beat going. It also showcaes the genres ability to constantly evolve, never sitting still for one moment as it shifts to new plains. 

Check it out here: 

https://www.discogs.com/Ian-OBrien-Tattoo-Jazz/master/237620

 

Connective Zone – Complete

From the EP ‘All the Ones’, Unexplored Beats, 2002

Lovely slamming early 2000s techno tune, by the man Connective Zone. The tune starts off with a beauty of a drumming sequence, before deep as fuck pads come in and elevate the track beyond the stars. The energy doesn’t drop one bit throughout, its wicked!

Check out his other releases here, all very very good modern day techno cuts: 

 

https://www.discogs.com/artist/7456-Connective-Zone

Sterac – Darkness

From the EP ‘Asphyx’, 100% Pure, 1995

Hmmmmmm. This one is a real thumper, combining the stylings of breakbeat with the depths of trance and techno. It feels like a powerful blend of all the amazing genres and sounds swirling around at the time, with a sick bass line to throw into proceedings (reminiscent of works by Roni Size, to People’s Plus).

The whole EP, to be honest, is superb, and crosses many dimensions on its way to sonic dance perfection. check it! 

 

Check out the rest of his discography here: 

https://www.discogs.com/artist/1174-Sterac

Casey Tucker – BST

From the EP ‘Knoe 2/1’, For Those That Knoe, 2013

This is some proper deep stuff. A lovely combo between the softer techno lines, acid house, and the deep chords of Detroit Techno early release. Tucker delivers it all with supreme confidence and ability, a superb blend of all these good things into a well rounded tune and a fantastic ep to boot!

Check out his discography here:

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_JPgiTHk9Y

Tons Of Tones – Sheherezade
(Funk D’Void Remix)

(from the EP ‘Sisteron’, Urban Sound of Amsterdam, 1997)

coooooor. Techno never felt so deep. The charming beats move away to give space to deep as hell pads, that swell from the underworld with such a force they punch ya right in the temples. The layering and sequencing then takes it to another level, as the jam progresses in full force. Pure techno power! a workout for the heart and the feet.

 

Check out the rest of Tons of tones discography here:

https://www.discogs.com/artist/21679-Tons-Of-Tones

North / Clybourn – O Ban 1 (Radio Edit)

(from North / Clybourn’s ‘O Ban 1’ EP, Gherkin Records, 1989)

cooer! this one could move mountains. Proper flavours from Chicago, during the later years of the original house movement that occurred here. A looping synth that runs through the heart of the tune, on top of light yet jackin drums, are tied together but a beautiful series of vocals that drive deep and soar high. Released on the superb Gherkin imprint, that served up the goods for dance floors around the globe. Feel good aint even the word! its otherworldly! dance!

check out the rest of the Gherkin back catalogue here:

https://www.discogs.com/label/5805-Gherkin-Records

Ross 154 - Sun 

(From the LP 'Strike', Delsin, NWAQ, 2004 

On this most exploratory of sonic expansiveness, Jochem Peteri aka Newworldaquarium shows us the goods on this epic techno belter. The whole record explores every neurone on its journey to heavenly scenes, where we are transported to the outer reaches of dance music. The hazy dubby nature of the melodies is counter acted with the deep kick, a beating heart that propels us perpetually forward. Pure bliss.

For fans of Traumprinz, Giegling and the like. This is some deep shit! check out all of this guys work here:

https://www.discogs.com/artist/3399-Ross-154

The 4th Wave – Electroluv

(From the EP 'Touched', Planet E, 1995) 

What can you consistently expect from Carl Craig's Planet E label? second wave Detroit techno and electro excellence, of course. It is testament to Craig that the label has remained so enduring throughout its near 30 year history, and its tracks like this from the 4th Wave that make it so. A beautiful, emotive techno track sent from above, the tune starts from the ominous bass line that just sees things really kick off from there. The evolving drum track sees deep deep pads come in around the back, and it just soars from there. The evolution within this cut is superb, moving from one plain of existence to the next, as we are taken away to depths of the galaxy and our own existence. Stellar techno of the highest order.

 

Check out the Planet E discography here, and check out the rest of the EP too, its a classic!:

https://www.discogs.com/The-4th-Wave-Touched/master/34592

R.E.M  Computer Communication

(From the EP 'Computer Communication', Xanadu, 1983) 

Proper spread out Italo on this number. Italo disco was well known for its long, drawn out compositions, but nothing compares to this. Clocking in at a mammoth 10 minutes, this epic of instrumental Italo has all the moves. The steady beat that keeps everything in time, the little chip tune lines, deep pads, chiming and beating strong. It has all the ingredients, and with no lyrics, it allows the music to the do the talking. Serious heat here!

 

check out the rest of the Xanadu discography here:

https://www.discogs.com/label/26314-Xanadu

A Factor – Make Me Feel (Aarons Jazzy Dub 2) 

(From the EP 'Make Me Feel' feat Lisa Arias, Dub-A-Records, 1994) 

what a mover! proper swinging beat over all those 90s chord stabs, gently working underneath the looping vocal work of Arias. This jazzy edit just stands above the rest of the EP, as when it breaks down the dub is so very strong. Transports you right back to 94, this one. A prime example of the new style of jackin', a pure garage house Classique.

 

check out the rest of Dub-A-Records discography here:

https://www.discogs.com/label/13800-Dub-A-Recordshttps://www.discogs.com/label/13800-Dub-A-Records

Beat 4 Life – Your Life (Deep Bonus Mix)  

(From the EP 'Lifetime E.P', Free Zone, 1992) 

Beautiful little groover from the fantastic Free Zone label, that operated out of Italy during the early 90s. Smooth pads operate on so many levels here, from the intro progression to the additional ones through in later, it all amounts to a sublime 90s cut of dreamy house. One for the late nights, hot afternoons and everything inbetween, its a groover if we ever found one!

 

Check out the rest of the Free Zone discography here:

https://www.discogs.com/label/7892-Free-Zone

Shape Navigator – Solar II  

(From the EP 'Solar/Jupiter, Guerilla, 1994) 

Some proper edge of your seat progressiveness from the Shapes, aka Peter Coyle, who released a series of EPS in the 90s. This one covers many bases, with two versions of Solar and Jupiter on both sides, but this cut takes the biscuit in terms of its marvellous balance between trance, house and deep deepness. What begins as a deep house track with a real kick to it, then descends into a very lengthy and energetic as fuck journey through the cosmos. Defo worth the trip!

Check out the rest of Coyle's discography here:

 

https://www.discogs.com/artist/29756-Shape-Navigator

Seofon – YIem  

(From the EP 'Access', Visible Records, 1994) 

What a blinder of a track! Seofon was widely known for his expressive and boundless take on trance and ambient, and this one pairs of the best of both worlds together for a sonically excellent trip through to galaxies of unknown origin. The layering and sequencing of sound provides an enriching and nourishing experience, music that washes over the listener through wave after wave of tonal genius, with the elements blending together to create atmospheres like no other. BIG OLD TIP!

Check out the rest of Seofon's discography here:

 

https://www.discogs.com/artist/19669-Seofon

Minimal Vision – Night of Love  

(From the EP 'Minimal Vision', Vibraphone, 1992) 

If you want a trip through some of the best 90s house on offer, then Vibraphone is the label for you. An absolute treasure trove of some incredible Italo dream house, the dive keeps getting deeper and deeper the more you go. None more so than this gem by Minimal Vision, that goes towards the more high octane side of things. The synth work is brilliant, layered between reverbed deepness, solid stabs and deep bass keys. It all works effortlessly around a absolute stomper of a beat, with chord styles that ring true with many a contemporary producer. TIPP!!!

Check out the label here:

https://www.discogs.com/label/10403-Vibraphone-Records

 

Bumforhire – Club 2000  

(From the EP 'I Need a B--ch/Saturday/Club 2000', Cutting Trax, 1994

Ahhhhh, Mood II Swing. The duo came up with some of the most iconic and revered house music from the 90s, set apart from the rest for their tunes abilities to blend the club with the home, delving deep into the art of properly refined house music. Here, under their alias of Bumforhire, they switch the mood up slightly, with the emphasis on the drawn out riddims rather than the deep deep chordal deepness we know them for. But when that moment happens, on the cut 'Club 2000', oh jesus does it hit hard. The beautiful rhythmic chordal patterns do their part, creating a sound that is as hypnotic as it is infectious. This one will live on in your mind for a long, long time.

Check the rest of Mood II Swing's discography here:

https://www.discogs.com/Mood-II-Swing-Presents-Bumforhire-I-Need-A-B-ch-Saturday-Club-2000/release/60024

 

Maas – Fallen Arches 

(From the compilation album '00-50', Soma Recordings, 1997) 

Soma might be one of the 90s most enduring techno labels, and with tracks like this one, its hard to argue. The label, founded by Dave Clarke and legendary Glasgow duo Slam, released some serious shit, and continue to do so today, the meaning and weight of the music fuelled by the high octane artistry behind it and its context within the iconic Glasgow scene of the 1990s. This cut resides on one of their many compilations, and takes our pick as the stand out, a hard hitting track with beautiful pad arrangement and techno key lines at all the right times, its near perfection. Defo top tip!

Check out the rest of the labels discography here:

https://www.discogs.com/label/18-Soma-Quality-Recordings

 

Symbols & Instruments – Mood (Metaphysical Mix) 

(From the EP 'Mood', KMS, 1994)  

Well now, this is the one. A transcendent and mystical slab of techno, the very highest order of what the genre is capable of. The trio, consisting of Chris Nazuka, Derrick Carter and Mark Farina, only made one record together, but does it hit the mind on so many levels. This cut showcases the spiritual side of the track, beautiful sliding pads interplay with wonderful vocal samples. It gives over so much life, the enriching emphasis that all old school techno strives for, but is only achieved in such gloriousness on occasion, like this track. fuck yes!

check out the rest of the EP here:

 

https://www.discogs.com/Symbols-Instruments-Mood/master/31772

Paul Johnson - A Little Suntin Suntin

(From the EP 'Various - 4 Jazz Techno Classics', Sharivari Records, 2013) 

A masterpiece right here from a deep house don. Johnson is well known for his sublime and groovy take on house, which we see hit new heights here. Delightful, fast paced and complete with a breakdown that brings the moments to get down, its a slammer in every sense of the word. The ep its on ain't too bad either, defo worth checking out for jazzy takes on house and techno! 

check out the rest of the EP here:

 

https://www.discogs.com/Various-4-Jazz-Techno-Classics/release/4746430

Kyoko Koizumi – Fade Out (Moody Strings Mix) 

(From the LP 'Koizumix Production Ⅳ 88-99 Vinyl Collection', Victor, 1998) 

An absolute peach of a house track right here, off a wonderful compilation of dance music from Japan. The track combines all the feel good beauty of 80s house stylings, the big and bountiful synths combining with the always moving drumming patterns, the vocal lines, gaaah its all just so damn good. Check out immediately! 

check out the rest of the LP here:

 

https://www.discogs.com/Kyoko-Koizumi-Koizumix-Production-88-99-Vinyl-Collection/release/4154059

DJ Edge – CIr Sky 

(From the EP '*1', Edge Records)  

Some proper emotive action going on with this glorious early 90s UK techno track. The soaring synths rise high and wide above a bed of constantly evolving bass lines and percussive elements, giving over an experience of such majesty and beauty. From the mind of DJ Edge, who founded Edge Records, which is an outstanding 90s label - check it out!!!

Check out the rest of the EP here:

https://www.discogs.com/DJ-Edge-1/master/103995

Shi-Take - (In The Age Of) Perfect Virtue (Full Moon Over Maduri Club Mix) 

 

(From the EP '(In the Age of) Perfect Virtue', Zoom Records, 1992 

Some serious 90s progressions found within this gem. Combining all the carefree sensibilities of rave, with the careful yet powerful transitions only really found within the early 90s, this track moves through the motions with grace and a real sense of ease. The bouncing bass lines really hit hard, as they swing in and out of view, always round the corner to knock you off your feet! 

Check out the rest of the EP here:

https://www.discogs.com/Shi-Take-In-The-Age-Of-Perfect-Virtue/release/54474

Kingdom Come - Groovy Baby 

 

(From the EP 'Groovy Baby/Jungle Bliss', Strobe Records, 1992 

Cooooooor. If you ever wanted to hear the epitome of high quality, timeless early 90s deep house, then look no further than this absolute slice of gold. Ron Allen really did flex some brilliance via his various alias, but this Ep just about edges the rest. This cut in particular, a sublime fluid journey through gorgeous repeating key lines, sombre chord progressions and smooth as fuck drumming patterns. Its all hear, music for the heart and the soul. 

Check out the rest of the EP here:

https://www.discogs.com/Kingdom-Come-Groovy-Baby-Jungle-Bliss/release/37242

Hot Lizard - The Theme (Love From San Fransisco Mix) 

 

(From the EP 'The Theme', Pacific Records, 1995)  

A deep house tune with bags of heart, bags of soul, and bags of quality. At 12 minutes long, its a hefty slab, but the wait is well worth it, as a drawn out drumming sequence then descends into euphoria with the intro of the most beautiful chord progressions going. As house cuts go, this one is very high on the list. Check the wicked Carl Craig remix of it as well, its all very good! 

Check out the rest of the EP here:

https://www.discogs.com/Hot-Lizard-The-Theme/release/20029

Unit 93 - Trust No One (Full Length Mix)  

 

(From the EP 'Trust No One', Bassic Records, 1990) 

A prime ​example of early UK techno right here, a stunning track that provides such a mood and a groove to proceedings. The fast paced drumming pattern are interwoven with gorgeous chordal progressions, crafting this wonderful vibe that you can get lost in so easily. A beauty, nothing less. If you wanna check out a wonderful label to dive into, you can't go much wrong with Bassic, with each release a real classic. Big! 

Check out the rest of the EP here:

https://www.discogs.com/Unit-93-Trust-No-One/master/84664

Keep Moving Ahead - Always Searching (Uhura Mix)  

 

(From the EP 'Come Together', Backbeat Records, 1991) 

K Street and Richard Payton may have only released one record together as Keep Moving Ahead, but its a house record that will last into the new age and beyond. This cut in particular is a timeless blend of beautifully considered piano and keys, all bound within a rhythm that makes you want to move and feel in equal measure. One for the spiritual dance music enthusiasts out there, this one is absolutely mega. Big old tip. 

Check out the rest of the EP here:

https://www.discogs.com/Keep-Moving-Ahead-Come-Together/master/849250