Last month’s BOFTR was a bit, well, lacking. I had hopes that a lot of great stuff was waiting for Record Store Day to make it to the shelves but in the end I was pretty disappointed. It’s not that there is a lack of represses again this month – if you’re massively into either Arthur Russel or Trax and don’t yet have every single last scrap of material scooped up from the cutting room floor then there is plenty of fill-yer-boots opportunity – just like every other bloody month over the last couple of years. Elsewhere, and slightly more excitingly, there’s been a continuation of Dance Mania’s limited re-releases (although nothing yet that comes under the category of ‘buy on sight’), a nice Mood II Swing repress of the classic Move Me, a storming repress of UR’s Detroit soul killer Hardlife, and a slew of tasty acid/electro bangers from Bunker which are worth buying in bulk. Beyond that there are probably gangs of disco represses as people seem to have forgotten what year it actually is. Oh well. That’s house music for you. Anyway, here are the winners of Best In Show for this month.
The Chase/Night Drive – Model 500 (Metroplex)
The first pair of Metroplex’s promised re-releases to hit the stores are both fully empowered by law to describe themselves as classics. In fact, its kind of hard to think of many records made under the banner of electronic music that come anywhere close to being as influential as either of these records, both having permanently warped the higher cognitive functions of countless producers over the last 30 odd years. While The Chase is ever so slightly beginning to show its age, you can still see the future unfold within its frequencies. Night Drive, remains a blistering example of shimmering electro, born out of electricity and augmented by shadow. Time Space Transmat, in particular, has never lost an ounce of its fluid funk and continues to approach its singularity at light speed. If you don’t buy these today you are going to have to hand in your techno badge and gun, and endure small children laughing and pointing at you in the street. What’s more, You’ll deserve it.
The Ecstasy Club – Jesus Loves The Acid (Swordfish)
One of the very small handful of decent represses from Record Store Day, this utter, utter classic UK acid house tune now comes remastered to 2016 standards on a very yellow and very swanky 12″ picture disk, and backed with a new mix that has the extra attraction of being pretty good in itself. While there are plenty of people out there who turn their nose up a bit at UK acid, seeing it as some sort of hollow eyed cousin to the original Chicago sound, the fact is that the homegrown scene created a metric tonne of tunes every bit as memorable (if not more so) than anything to come out of the States. They tend to me a bit more mental, a bit more full of life, and far more in tune with that odd mindset that makes the UK scene so daft and enjoyable, and Jesus Love The Acid is up there with the very best. I don’t know whether the big man really does love the acid, but seeing as how it got blasted to bits by bods like Derrick May back in the day I’d say the odds are pretty good. Proving once and for all the devil doesn’t have all the best tunes.
Dopplereffekt – Gesamtkunstwerk (Clone Classic Cuts)
Appearing a couple of weeks ago for what seemed to be a few seconds before vanishing again, I’ve no idea whether this is a proper repress or a warehouse find made up from copies from the last re-release (from 2007, I think) that made its way back into public retail. I don’t care either way to be honest. Starting life as a collection of Dopplereffekt’s hard to find releases from Dopplereffekt’s own Dataphysix label, Gesamtkunstwerk first saw the light of day on DJ Hell’s International DJ Gigolo label back in 1999 before ending up on Clone. What can you say about this one? It’s almost unheard of for a compendium to gain such importance. Almost every tune on this is a masterclass in reductive electro grooves, whether it’s Rocket Scientist, Technics 1200, or Sterilization. Choosing a favourite makes Sophie’s choice look easy. It’s also easy to say they don’t make them like this anymore. Easy but wrong, because the truth is they never made them like this, not really. Nothing else came close, although many tried. It remains just about the purest example possible of what happens when German engineering is married to Detroit funk.