There’s no doubt that the summer of 1988 marked a watershed moment in the history of dance, as the house rhythms of Chicago, artistic exuberance of Ibiza, and electronic soundscapes of Detroit surged through club culture.
With this in mind, 909originals presents ‘Postcards from 88’, a new series that will see leading DJs, promoters, journalists, club owners, photographers, and of course the clubbers themselves, shed some light on just what went on during those halcyon days, 30 years ago.
This week’s ‘Postcards from 88’ comes from renowned New Beat producer and an early pioneer of European techno, Frank De Wulf.
Q. Do you remember what you were doing as the Summer of 1988 started?
I was 20 years old. I was actually doing my army service, which was obligated at that time. So I wasn’t really free a lot to create music.
But I did manage to get out in the evening for a few hours. That’s when I made The B-Sides – it was actually because I didn’t have a lot of time available that I called them ‘B-Sides’, as I figured once the army service was done, I would then make some A-Sides!
Q. When or where did you first realise that ‘something different’ was happening with music, particularly dance/club music?
For me, it was the ‘Kevin Saunderson House’ movement, as I call it. He was such a master at doing remixes and creating music that was very underground, but still had a sound that appealed to so many. He was certainly one of my big inspirations.
Q. Was there a particular tune from the Summer of 1988 that stood out for you? Why?
Reese – Rock To The Beat. Amazing track and still so powerful today.
Q. Why do you think that people are still so interested in the origins of the dance scene, old school and everything that goes with it?
People are always interested in the past, be it music, movies or anything else. It’s history. I’m sure that music of any form, year or period will live on in some form, and dance music is no different in that regard.
Music is something people relate to, especially when you are young and discover the world, your own possibilities. The music that you grow up with has such an emotional impact that it stays with you as if its part of your youth, your past, your own history.
I think some tracks can have such a strong emotional link to a period, of a personal event, that they stay with you as a fond memory. They certainly do for me. I compare it to the whole Star Wars craziness in the late 70s. Its only because of the impact it had at that time, that it has still such a huge impact today. It’s all about memories.
Q. If the ‘you’ from 1988 could give the ‘you’ from 2018 a piece of music-related advice, what would it be?
Don’t stop making music, even if your love for movies comes in the way – thats a personal one.
Make music that comes from the heart and fills the heart. Use funk, soul and other things that make your tracks original, even if they are not accepted by the masses.
[Thanks again to Frank for this week’s interview, and kudos to WaddleofWigan and Leroy Skibone for the YouTube uploads. Postcards from 88 continues next week. Check out the other interviews in the series by clicking here]