THROWBACK THURSDAY – The Horrorist: One Night in New York City [1996]

Remember Jackanory? The programme where celebrities sat down with a children’s book, and proceeded to read aloud for a TV audience? We’re not sure whether Oliver Chesler, aka The Horrorist, was ever a fan, but with One Night in New York City, first released in 1996, he took storytelling to dark, macabre levels.

Having been just remastered and re-released on Chesler’s own Things to Come Records, One Night… tells the story of a New Jersey-based teen escaping to the big city for a night out in New York’s notorious Limelight.

As for what happens next… well, that would be telling.

As well as having a reputation as one of the Big Apple’s most hedonistic nightspots, the Limelight came to international attention when club kid and party promoter Michael Alig was arrested for the killing and dismemberment of Angel Melendez, a story made famous by the movie Party Monster.

That occurred in 1996, the same year in which One Night… the second release on Things to Come, came out.

As for Chesler’s inspiration? In a 2012 interview with the Red Bull Music Academy, he recalled early 90s parties in New York alongside buddy John Selway, which coupled with his love of new wave and industrial, led to the creation of The Horrorist moniker.

“Somewhere around ’96, I started to really get an itch to return to new wave and industrial,” he said. “There are really good techno producers with a lot of skill. The only way for me to stand out was to use my own voice and tell my own story. I did my first drugs around that time, so I [wrote] stories about drugs.”

It’s not Jackanory, but some 22 years after its first release, One Night in New York City makes for a sobering bedtime story. As one user of Discogs put it, “Like Soft Cell on brown acid…”

[Kudos to Babylon303 for the YouTube upload]

The International DeeJay Gigolos CD back catalogue is a masterclass in electro goodness…

It’s not everyday that you can say that a record label inspired a whole genre, but DJ Hell’s International DeeJay Gigolos imprint was arguably the driving force behind the electroclash scene that emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Featuring artists such as David Caretta, Miss Kittin & The Hacker, DJ Naughty, Mt Sims, Christopher Just, Terence Fixmer and Fischerspooner, and boasting Arnold Schwarzenegger-influenced artwork, the annual International DeeJay Gigolos CD releases were a masterclass in electro goodness.

With that in mind, 909originals wants to offer a hearty THANK YOU to YouTube user Erik RT who has found the time to upload each of the International DeeJay Gigolos CDs to his account – there’s no indication as to how long these will be available, so enjoy them while you can..!

International DeeJay Gigolos CD One

International DeeJay Gigolos CD Two

International DeeJay Gigolos CD Three

International DeeJay Gigolos CD Four (cd1)

International DeeJay Gigolos CD Four (cd2)

International DeeJay Gigolos CD Five (cd1)

International DeeJay Gigolos CD Five (cd2)

International DeeJay Gigolos CD Six (cd1)

More mixes available on Erik RT’s YouTube page. Thanks Erik!

That time Moby wanted to bring farm animals on stage for Top of the Pops… [October 1991]

Having hit the top 20 with his single, Go, in October 1991, Moby was invited to perform the song on Top of the Pops, with the young Richard Melville Hall putting in an energised performance, as you can see below…

But according to this snippet from the Daily Mirror, which was uploaded to the @RavePages Twitter account, Moby reportedly wanted to share the stage with a group of farm animals, with the BBC rejecting the artist’s demands to have a cow, horse and sheep on stage with him.

“I suppose we should be glad he did not want a great white whale also,” a BBC insider is reported to have told the paper.

Whether this is true or not – it is the Mirror after all – it’s certainly somewhat different to a usual artist’s rider…

[Kudos to BluebottleFlyer for the YouTube upload]

Norman Cook lays it all bare… [October 1995]

Just months before the launch of his first record as Fatboy Slim, Better Living Through Chemistry, Norman Cook spoke to MUZIK magazine about his Pizzaman side project alongside Tim Jeffrey and JC Reid.

While much of the discussion revolved around the forthcoming Pizzamania album, which spawned singles such as Happiness and Trippin on Sunshine, the interview is perhaps more notable for Cook’s revelations on how he caught the house music bug, and the various drugs that accompanied this journey.

“I didn’t really like house music at first,” he told interviewer Muff Fitzgerald. “I’d always been into black music and the funk scene, but when house came out it was all that piano-based, poppy stuff. I didn’t go for it much, so I didn’t want to make house records.

“Then, just through going out with my mates and caning lots of drugs, I got exposed to it. Two years later, I found I was really into it. It was basically all down to making a switch from certain drugs to certain other drugs.”

Later in the interview, the former Housemartin discusses legalisation, run ins with the local constabulary in Norway and Northern Ireland, and snorting lines of cocaine from a railway track (seriously).

Better Living Through Chemistry indeed…

[Article taken from MUZIK Magazine, October 1995, article by Muff Fitzgerald, pictures by Raise-A-Head]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: OT Quartet – Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like A Skyscraper Mix) [September 1994]

It’s not often that you can say that the title of a track does exactly what it says on the tin, but when OT Quartet christened this tune the Builds Like A Skyscraper mix, they were bang on the money.

Released in September 1994, Hold That Sucker Down was produced by Rollo Armstrong, who would go on to found Faithless the following year, and Rob Dougan (with Colette on vocals – it’s not clear who the fourth member of this supposed ‘quartet’ was supposed to be).

The ‘OT’ in this instance refers to ‘Our Tribe’ the name under which Rollo and Dougan recorded in the early 90s.

As was previously reported on 909originals, 1994 was arguably the year in which trance hit the mainstream, and Hold That Sucker Down was an early trendsetter in this regard.

Released on Rollo’s Cheeky label, it’s the only release credited to OT Quartet in music history – after recording a track so perfect, why ruin a good thing?

[Kudos to clubb guide for the YouTube upload]

Happy birthday to New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’, which turns 35 today… [March 1983]

It’s hard to believe that Blue Monday, the track that cemented New Order’s transition from a post punk outfit to synth pop superheroes, turns 35 years old today, 7 March 1983.

Apparently influenced by tracks by Italo Disco outfit Klein + M.B.O. and Donna Summer, and lifting a vocal snippet (the choir-like ‘aaaahhhhs’) from Uranium by Kraftwerk, Blue Monday was unlike anything released at the time, or indeed since.

The distinctive intro, recorded on a Oberheim DMX drum machine, is arguably one of the most famous drum loops of all time, and earned the track the top spot in 909originals’ recent Incredible Intros countdown.

It’s also spawned a number of cover versions; this one, recorded for the BBC by a mysterious, masked outfit called Orkestra Obsolete, is one of the most novel, recorded entirely on instruments that would have been available back in the 1930s.

Happy birthday Blue Monday!

Catching up with 808 State in 1996… [July 1996]

In 1996, seven years on from Pacific State going massive, 808 State released their fifth album, Don Solaris.

Featuring a giant cock (really) on the front, and released on ZTT, the album blended acid house, trip hop, electro and jungle, an indication of how far the band came since the heady rave days of Newbuild and 90.

As this interview with Mixmag from 1996 indicates, Messrs Graham Massey, Darren Partington and Andy Barker were relishing appealing to an audience more appreciative of new sounds.

“If you are 20 now,” Partington explains, “you were only f**king 13 when we started. You were playing football and coming in for your tea at five o’clock. So you’ve got to relaunch yourself in a way.”

The highlight of the interview, however, is arguably a comment from Neil Cranston, the A&R manager at ZTT, who encountered the band with something of a hodge podge of incomplete tracks, and got the band back into the studio and on track.

“It was a case of me bringing in some direction rather than any lack of talent on their part,” he explains. “You have to tell them what is shite, really. […] There was no succinct thread, and to me records have to have some overall direction. Three years in the studio and your head goes up your arse, to be blunt about it. All it was was holding a mirror up to them and saying this is where you’re at.”

Here’s one of the standout tracks from the album, Bird, so you can decide for yourself.

[Article taken from Mixmag, July 1996. Kudos to Filbob21 for the YouTube upload]

‘Dope’ on plastic – ‘The Bomb’, 23 years later… [March 1995]

For the record, the lyric is ‘Street sounds swirling through my mind’ and not ‘These sounds fall into my mind’… but given that this is a stone cold classic, I can forgive that.

First released in 1994 on Brooklyn-based Henry Street Records, Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez presents The Bucketheads’ The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) first made it into the charts 23 years ago this following its re-release on Positiva, breaking into the top ten right across Europe.

The A-side of the vinyl release memorably ran to more than 14 minutes, with one of the most joyous build-ups in house music history, before the familiar riff finally breaks in at around the 4:40 mark.

The track is essentially built around the opening riff from Street Player by Chicago, a hit in 1979, with some classic Masters at Work post-production layered on top.

As for The Bucketheads? Kenny ‘Dope’s side project never made it past one album, All in the Mind, released in 1995. But it’s an LP well worth a revival, featuring a range of disco classics updated for the 90s – it was apparently recorded in protest at the Eurodance hits that were flooding the airwaves at the time…

Good work Kenny!

[Kudos to Altra Moda Music for the YouTube upload]

Injected With A Poison’s strange, ecumenical origins…

Injected With A Poison by Praga Khan is one of most frenetic rave tracks of the early 90s, packed with piano stabs, synth bursts, and a smattering of whoops and hollers…

For me, however, the standout elements of the track are the spoken word snippets, as a menacing voice intones “Injected with a poison”, “Are you listening to me?” and “We don’t need that anymore…”

These vocal snatches don’t belong to Praga Khan alter ego Maurice Engelen, or to one of his studio engineers.

Rather they are spoken by a US-based televangelist preacher named Robert Schambach, and form the backing vocal to one of the most unusual tracks to grace the ‘ambient’ genre, Ram by Zoviet France.

Check out the evidence at 00:39, 01:08 and 01.37…

Ram recalls a meeting the late Rev. Schambach had with the attorney for Jim Jones, instigator of the Jonestown Massacre, one of the biggest ritual suicides to take place in the US in the 1970s.

An unusual source for a happy-go-lucky rave cut, certainly.

As for the “There’s a rainbow inside your mind” vocal, well, that belongs to the voice of Jade 4U, the vocalist on the track.

Slightly less ominous origins, then…

[Kudos to Nikodimos Ivanidis and gs85manu for the YouTube uploads]

Hector and Cian go large… Ibiza 2001, Irish style [September 2001]

Fair play to Galway-based DJ Cian Ó Cíobháin for digging this one out and posting it on Facebook the other night…

Back in September 2001, magazine sent more than 100 Irish DJs and clubbers to Ibiza, with Irish-language station TG4 there to capture the madness, as well as find time for a ‘cúpla focal as Gaeilge’ (a few words in Irish).

Cian, a native Irish speaker, joined broadcaster Hector Ó hEochagáin for this fly on the wall documentary, catching up with eccentric locals, try to get in to Space, watch the sun go down and come up again, and compare San Antonio’s West End to Wren’s Day in Dingle (look it up).

Personally, this video holds a special place in my heart as it was filmed the same month (albeit a different week) that I made my first visit to the White Isle. Now, with nine visits under my belt, I’m still holding it together well… I think.

[Kudos to 110th Street for the YouTube upload]