Push The Feeling On (The Dub Of Doom)

August 12, 2015

Track: Push The Feeling On (The Dub Of Doom)

Artist: Nightcrawlers

Year: 1992

Label: Great Jones

More than any other of the hundreds of previously profiled songs, Marc Kinchen's remix(es) of Nightcrawlers' Push The Feeling On (PTFO), is the quintessential classic house track. Simply put, it's the best house track ever made. Not only does it serve as the gold standard for dubbing and vocal rearrangement, but - more importantly - it perfectly captures the ethos of the club scene during the golden era of house music. For me, it doesn't matter that the track was played to saturation back in the day or that the horn sample will forever be connected to Pitbull's zero-IQ song about a hotel room. PTFO is still the ultimate killer and the backstory of this track is more than worthy of a quick history lesson.

Firstly, Nightcrawlers was the name of Scottish songwriter/DJ/producer John Reid's musical project. He had some real enjoyable tracks, with a couple others also remixed by MK to success. John Reid is very much alive and keeping busy in the industry these days. You can check him out on Twitter if you're inclined.

Directly below is the original Nightcrawlers version of PTFO. Unless you bought this maxi CD, you've probably never heard this. This track is heavily influenced by Creative Source's Pass The Feelin' On, a 1975 soul slow jam - and a pretty darn good one (listen here).

So you're probably thinking: (1) That's a mid-tempo song and (2) The break around the one minute mark sounds most familiar. If you're familiar with some of the other MK mixes of PTFO, you'll recognize some of the other lyrics.

At some point in 1992, Marc Kinchen got the call to provide a dub remix for PTFO. In fact, Nightcrawlers' label insisted upon a dub (MK had made a name for himself as a skilled dubber by this point). Supplied with only the acapella, MK quickly knew the direction he wanted to take with the track and went to work. Exactly how long it took to crank out is unknown, but the whole process took just a matter of days. The 92 remixes were similar, but the Dub of Doom was the standout track:

Just a dope track. Unmistakable Korg M1 organ, the horn, the lyrics chopped to the point of incomprehension! It became an underground classic sometime in 1993 and a DJ staple for a couple years before catching mainstream fire in 1995 with the release of additional remixes. Nobody really knew what words they were hearing, but some nice guy on YouTube did the homework for us:

MK's 95 mixes incorporated more of the original vocals:

Back in the early 00s, I was told that the famous horn sample on PTFO came from a Mexican band and someone emailed me "proof". I lost that email long ago and can't find evidence for this. Whosampled.com lists La Hora de Bailar (made by Sandy y Papo, Dominican guys) sampling the horn in 1996 - so maybe that was what I was sent? Can't remember. Unless proven otherwise, Marc Kinchen is the originator of that horn sample. 

Long live PTFO and check out some of the other MK tracks profiled if your new to this sound.

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/Nightcrawlers-Push-The-Feeling-On/release/24552

Private Idaho (The Grid Remix)

June 23, 2015

Track: Private Idaho (The Grid Remix)

Artist: The B-52's

Year: 1981 / 2007

Label: Out

Private Idaho is my favorite song from The B-52's. The track has a killer bassline, slashing guitar, bobbing melody and a perfect hook. While the original is considered an early new wave hit (albeit one that has aged very well), The Grid cranked out a more updated remix that keeps this track fresh in the modern era. You can't mess with that bassline!

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/B-52s-Wild-Planet-2007-Remix-EP/release/1602354

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

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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.