Saturday, July 18, 2015


The origins of 'club' music go back, further and further each year it seems, as people, and the human ego, are always on the lookout for that one source from where it all began. Truth be told, it started in many different places by many different people with many different influences at many points in time and, it seems in hindsight, a collision of all these trajectories circa 1996 was inevitable.

I personally discovered the rave, the DJ, the club, the drugs, the party, that groove circa 1994. In hindsight, the forces in my life were converging on that moment and from then on my life would head on a totally different path I never could have otherwise envisioned. Seems I just entered the 'scene' at the beginning of its emergence into the ubiquity of its fruits we see evidenced today in every nook and cranny of our lives.

Perhaps the beginning of the end was this label who recognized and capitalized on the emergence of the DJ mix and the DJ superstar and started a label dedicated to releasing these to the mainstream in 1996. DJ mixes were not new but were not mainstream. I remember going to a rave and, days later, listening to the mix on cassette in someone's apartment and tripping out (quite literally) when I heard it again. 

Vague memories of the rave flyers, the warehouses and the up and coming cult of the DJ, most of whom would vanish into the memories of those who were there, float through my brain. Only years later and in hindsight did it become clear that during this time the origins of what was exploding into the public consciousness were taking root. When I moved back East it was several years later that this music, this scene, this culture, surfaced at home.

Electronic music as a whole was emergent enough that its presence was felt on the Grammys as early as 1998 when the Propellerheads were nominated for an award but the disconnect was apparent as the nomination was for Best Rock Instrumental. The confusion continued as the sound morphed and congealed and a category was finally created in 2005; 'EDM' was born and embraced by the mainstream. The party was not officially over it was just capitalized upon and marketed and deprived of its soul.

The label rode its success into the early to mid-2000s but change was in the air as the label sought to bring styles other than the prog house on which it built its success. Consider that there were only eleven different DJs for the first 31 releases. By the time it tried to reach out beyond this horizon by bringing in different, more current, styles it was too late, cast adrift into the ocean of EDM. 

Club kids have gotten old and this label became the retirement home for old DJs, masters of their craft but outpaced by a new generation taking over. To understand the present, however, the past must be understood and appreciated.

The underground isn't found on mainstream labels, it isn't found on awards shows, it isn't found in the public consciousness. It is found where there is no fame, no fortune, only expressions emanating from that relentless pursuit of what is Real.

My favorites, in no particular order (Top 5 in bold):
007, 010, 014, 017, 019, 024, 025, 028, 030


  1. Thanks for these but could you check the link for 010 Athens Tenaglia? Seems like 009/Sasha appears twice rather than the Athens. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for these - takes me back. I own most of them, but they're sitting in a box in storage. Could you please check the link for 006 - Diggers in Sydney - doesn't seem to be working. Thanks again.

  3. Will check these a bit later. I have a couple of these as long boxes. Really enjoyed the travelogues as well, always reminded me of how special some of those nights could be.

  4. Try now, should be ok. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. What a treasure trove of greatness! I owned many of these at one point though I was never able to find either of the Vit mixes so it will be great to finally hear those after so many years. Thanks for this awesome post.

  6. Thanks for these. Such great memories. Had a few of the long boxes myself. Always tricky to store.

    Might be worth checking some of your rips though - e.g. Paul Oakenfold Oslo - every track is missing about 2 seconds from the proper length - meaning the mixes are messed up (even more than Oakie's usually are)

  7. Thanks for checking on that. Strange indeed. Reloaded and updated the photo link, let me know if it worked.