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 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 a London native that has been at the cutting edge of the techno and hard dance scene since the mid-80s, spreading the word through his Abstrakt Dance radio show on Kiss FM… Colin Dale.
Q. Do you remember what you were doing as the Summer of 1988 started?
Back then I was totally immersed in music and working in various record shops, DJing, and also was on Kiss FM pirate radio at the time. London was very ‘rare groove’ in the years prior to this, so as soon as I got the acid house vibe I was on it.
Q. Was there a particular tune from the Summer of 1988 that stood out for you? Why?
In a nutshell, the album that totally spun me out was Fingers Inc – Another Side. It gave machines soul, and being a ‘soul boy’ at heart this sounded like the future to me. The whole album was killer and there wasn’t a dud track on there.
Faves for me were Music Take Me Up, A Love Of My Own, I’m Strong, Bring Down The Walls, Mysteries of Love and Feelin’ Sleazy. An amazing album that I will never tire of. I can’t tell you how much it’s been an honour to have played alongside Robert Owens.
Q. When or where did you first realise that ‘something different’ was happening with music, particularly dance/club music?
For me, there was a definite shift in 1988, but I never in a million years could have imagined not only how big it would become but also the longevity of the movement.
Back in 1988, we were doing a lot of basement and squat parties and for me personally that kind of ‘DIY’ rebel ethos was great. I was always a geek tech head so the movement was ideal for me – as we were approaching the 2000s, it was as if the music was really starting to sound ‘futuristic’, for want of a better word.
It wasn’t only the music: computers and the internet were also hitting households and recreational drugs like ecstasy were hitting the clubs. There was a myriad of changes taking place on a lot of different fronts.
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?
It’s a relatively new music so a lot of people can relate to it, as the roots are not too long ago. There’s also the fact that a lot of the pioneers in regards to the music are still around and still playing, so people are able to check out legendary DJs and artists that are the very foundation of the movement.