Deee-Lite: A Momentary Lapse of Psychedelia… [August 1990]
There are breakthrough singles, and then there’s Groove Is In The Heart…
Deee-Lite were one of those bands that best encompassed the positivity that pervaded at the start of the 1990s, and their mix of disco loops and psychedelic imagery were infectious.
As singer Lady Miss Kier told Melody Maker‘s Andrew Smith in August 1990 (recorded for posterity on the excellent archives site Rock’s Backpages), “In the early Eighties, people were apathetic about things. By the middle, they were just escapist and into materialistic things. Now we’re in the Nineties, and people have realised that they have to think of some new ideas.
“Part of being in the Nineties is that there’s so many things to be inspired by. That’s one of the reasons our sound is so diverse; all being from different countries and living in New York, we could hardly help it.”
Kier, alongside bandmates Super DJ Dmitry and Jungle DJ Towa Towa, were speaking on the back of the success of the Herbie Hancock-sampling Groove… (as we know now, a high water mark for the band), and on the cusp of the release of World Clique; their first of three albums.
As Kier explains, the band were founded on a platform of optimism – that the years ahead would be bolstered by positive vibes.
“Positivity doesn’t come through passivity — is that a word, passivity? We don’t want to hit anyone over the head with our messages. We’re not politicians or preachers. It can seem escapist… well, it is escapist, but we think it’s valuable.”
The article is also a snapshot of the early days of club culture, with Kier recalling that, “Thee or four years ago, most of the clubs were small. If you got 100 people on a dancefloor, that was great, the best you could do. Now, if you don’t get 1,000 people, you’ve failed. And because the clubs are bigger, you get people from all different areas, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, uniting on one dancefloor.”
[Kudos to Rhino for the upload]