Airport 89

January 2, 2015

Track: Airport 89

Artist: Wood Allen

Year: 1989

Label: Out

Airport 89 is an acid house classic from the Italian production team that achieved greater acclaim under the Black Box alias. The track's standout feature is it's instantly recognizable synth riff combined with a highly effective airplane bassline. The track also cleverly samples Alvin Cash's Ali Shuffle - a playful tribute to Muhammad Ali from the disco era. Acid house isn't for everyone, but Airport 89 qualifies as a palatable standout from the genre. 

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/Wood-Allen-Airport-89/release/127841

In Spirit (Techno Mix)

August 12, 2014

Track: In Spirit (Techno Mix)

Artist: Dilemma

Year: 1991

Label: X-Energy

While not as euphoric as prototypical Italo house, Dilemma's In Spirit qualifies as an Italo house ballad. Here, Scarlett Wollenmann provides beautiful vocals on a backdrop of synths and strings, directly sampled from Rondò Veneziano. Just a gorgeous track, even if it's better suited for 4am than midnight.

The Boom Boom Mix from the original release features a pounding bassline. Somehow it works for me.

And I also like the Biff 'n' Memphis Mix from 1996 - on par with the original:

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/Dilemma-In-Spirit/master/100417

In The Trees (Original Disco Mix)

August 11, 2014

Track: In The Trees (Original Disco Mix)

Artist: Faze Action

Year: 1996

Label: Nuphonic

In The Trees is tricky to categorize, but it's very deserving of the classic label by virtue of its supremely refined production. This track features swooping and soaring instrumentation, transplanting the listener on a magic carpet ride with immersive strings, bass, drums, the whole works. If you put disco, jazz, and house in a cosmic blender, this would be it. A first-rate orchestral floor filler.

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/Faze-Action-In-The-Trees/release/29376

People Don't Believe (The Nylon Mix)

June 11, 2014

Track: People Don't Believe (The Nylon Mix)

Artist: Lectroluv

Year: 1992/1993

Label: Eightball Records

Fred Jorio (aka Lectroluv) put out a ton of great stuff in the 90s - with the Junior Vasquez mix of Dream Drums probably being the most widely played. Under the alias Ofunwa, Emanuele Luzzi served up the Nylon Mix of People Don't Believe. This track has just the right balance of tribal elements against a deep house bassline. The vocal refrain is on point too. All in all, an understated classic from the golden era.

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/Lectroluv-Remix-Project/release/42215

Hold Still

May 27, 2014

Track: Hold Still

Artist: Mr. James Barth

Year: 1997

Label: Svek

Hold Still is one of several standout productions from Svek Records - a pioneering Swedish label known for their downbeat tech-house sound. Mr. James Barth is an alias of Cari Lekebusch, an esteemed Swedish DJ and producer (check out his SoundCloud). Hold Still is the penultimate chillout cut, built around the funky riff heard in Grace Jones' Everybody Hold Still (1982) - You can hear the sample here. Lekebusch threw in some clever vocoder vocals and polished up the production to create a classic. If you like this sound, be sure to familiarize yourself with other Svek Records releases (like this and this).

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/Mr-James-Barth-High-Society/release/35587

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ABOUT

This site profiles my favorite classic house tracks. Most selections are from the 80s and 90s with a strong - but not exclusive - deep house, progressive and old school Chicago influence. I could never really warm up to acid house, overly ambient tracks, or anything that bumps >135bpm. Many have asked, but there's no consensus definition of classic house music...however Ishkur has an excellent guide to electronica music that can serve as a primer for anyone interested.  Some of the videos get pulled due to copyright issues - just search on YouTube since most stuff gets re-upped anyway.

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