Best of the Represses Volume 1 – First In An Occasional Series

Sorry for no updates through the week. I’ve been enjoying a few days off and generally ignoring house and techno in exchange for birdsong and silence. It’s been good and it’s afforded me a rare opportunity to think about a couple of things, mainly the modern cult of the rerelease.

According to research done by the University of Made-Up-Facts, nearly 65% of all house and techno releases are either represses of stuff you probably own already, or wish you did. In the same way that TV companies work on the assumption that nobody on earth ever uses Sky+, TIVO or any form of recording device, hence the need to exhaustively rerun shows you probably haven’t even finished watching yet, there seems to be a belief that records and music which are otherwise easily obtainable via Discogs, second hand shops or from countless CD or Digital compilations will always be ignored over fresh copies. Maybe that’s true, and it’s certainly looks like a good deal if you’ve ever seen the prices for some stuff on Discogs. A few labels even go above and beyond the call of duty (and quick buck grabbing), furnishing us with remastered versions that have been pressed onto better wax or by re-releasing stuff that was virtually impossible to get the first time around. This is where it all gets interesting.

Well, if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them. So here, in what is likely to be a very occasional series of bite sized reviews, is a round up of a handful of rereleases that might be of interest to some of you. I haven’t looked through Discogs but I’m assuming that almost all the originals will be available via the marketplace. Some of these will be familliar to you, others maybe not so much. The only thing they have in common is that I like them and think they’re worth having. Here goes….

E-Dancer – Speaker Punishing (KMS)

I’ll just come right out and state this: If you don’t have any E-dancer records in your stack you are a chump. One of several guises belonging to Kevin ‘Master Reese’ Saunderson, E-Dancer represents some of the best music to ever come out of Detroit, and a whole bunch of it have been Glasgow staples since the year dot. Originally released on Incognito Records way back in 1991, it’s brought back here on Saunderson’s own KMS in all its remastered glory. Never as incendiary as Velocity Funk or Pump The Move, Speaker Punishing has a more subtle but still banging flavour that’s heavy with some fine old school ravey break beats and messy with barely restrained big room madness. Backed by two mixes of Feel The Mood (including a killer version by Marty Hardy) this’ll tear strips of some of the young pretenders who are kicking around just now, and it’ll more than tide you over until the all but inevitable Velocity Funk/World of Deep repress lands.

Der Zyklus – Untitled (Frustrated Funk/Clone)

A repress of an earlier repress of cuts taken from a couple of different sources (I think), this is a pretty good primer into the fierce electro funk sounds of former Drexciyan warrior Gerald Donald ahead of the arrival of the remastered version of the Biometry LP which should be arriving any day now on Aqualung. Sure, Donald has had more guises over the years than it’s actually possible to count, but almost each of them has given us stunning music that have constantly revealed another facet of Donald’s utter genius, and this record is no exception. Just go and buy it, and get the album too when it gets here. It might be nearly 15 years since the Drexciyan project came to its end, but their flame of invention and imagination is undiminished.

326 – Falling (Muzique Records)

One of the real, REAL proper, honest to God gems of utter Chicago greatness. Released originally way back in 1989 on the much missed Armando Gallup’s Muzique records Falling is one of those truly jacking tracks that combines grooves, melody and fun with a heads down, get sweaty vibe. Backed with Under The Cherry Tree and Just Like Heaven, themselves almost perfect slabs of Chi-town brilliance, the real keepers here are the mixes of Falling by Mike Dunn and Armando himself. All are excellent but my money is on Mike’s mix on the A side. Jesus, it still burns everything it touches. Buy it and marvel how any tune can be so tight whilst threatening to fall apart with every flick of the hats.

So, sports fans, that’s your lot for today. I actually enjoyed that so volume 2 will definitely be back at some point in the near future. I’ve got a pile more to get through, but I would love to hear any suggestions I might have missed. Let me know and get involved.