O.T. Quartet’s ‘Hold That Sucker Down’ turns 25 today…
It’s not often that you can say that the title of a track does exactly what it says on the tin, but when O.T. Quartet christened this tune the Builds Like A Skyscraper mix, they were bang on the money.
Released on this day 25 years ago (18 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 Van Sertima on vocals).
It’s not clear who the fourth member of this supposed ‘quartet’ was supposed to be, but there’s no doubting the impact the lush orchestration and piercing keyboard stabs has on the collective consciousness.
This is, quite simply, one of the most euphoric dance tracks of all time.
The ‘OT’ in this instance refers to ‘Our Tribe’, the name under which Rollo and Dougan recorded in the early 90s, as well as the management firm established by Dougan to operate his record label, RDR, which was the platform for the Australia-born producer’s early 90s output – 1994’s Hard Times arguably being the high-water mark.
Prior to teaming up, both Dougan and Rollo were accomplished remixers – Dougan had remixed both The Wonder Stuff and Raze’s excellent Break 4 Love, while Rollo’s reworks included classic rave tracks including Hyper Go Go’s High, Gloworm’s I Lift My Cup and the irrepressible Don’t You Want Me by Felix.
Rollo also established the Cheeky record label in 1992, appointing Johnny Walker (he of the infamous ‘Ibiza Four’ as A&R manager) – Hold That Sucker Down would be the fourth release on the label.
As Rollo & Rob D, the duo also remixed artists including Gabrielle, Juliet Roberts and the Pet Shop Boys; the latter for the quirky 1994 track Absolutely Fabulous, which tied in with the hit BBC show of the time.
Hold That Sucker Down would be the only track recorded by the duo under the O.T. Quartet guise, with both soon moving on to bigger things.
In Rollo’s case, Faithless would go on to be one of the biggest stadium-dance acts of all time, while Dougan would record arguably one of the finest genre-bending pieces of electronic music of the mid-90s, Clubbed To Death (which later featured on The Matrix soundtrack).
Dougan would go on to grow disillusioned with dance music, telling The Guardian in 2003, “I’m associated with dance music, with electronica, which makes me feel ill. I only learnt all the boring computer crap as a means to an end.” He would also go on to open a vineyard, La Pèira, in the Terrasses du Larzac region of France.
Thankfully, his self-imposed musical exile came to end with 2015’s The 22nd Sunday In Ordinary Time Sessions, a largely classical album, and a compilation of both past and current tracks, Films: Past And Future, released last year.