Earlier this week I made a second hand record haul to die for in the musty gloom of Manchester’s Empire Exchange. After spending a mindnumbing hour trawling through a lot of terrible trance and hard house records, I suddenly happened upon a small enclave of Italo and Balearic classics that had previous eluded me on black wax. In the end I managed to get six excellent records for a reasonable six quid, and thought I’d share my spoils with the wider world.
First up is this deep and danceable, slow tempo proto house groover from the Island records keyboard genius Wally Badarou. At times you get jazz funk, at other’s there’s the low stomp of house and in the middle there’s the glorious keyboard progression that Lindstrøm owes a debt to. Polyrhythmic, funky and dubbed out, this track is a classic deserving of love and dancing from all concerned.
Tore Andreas Kroknes, otherwise known as Erot, was a rising star in the house music world at the turn of the millennium. Boyfriend and producer of Norwegian pop starlet Annie, friend and colleague of Bjorn Torske and in house designer at the influential Telle label (home to Kings of Convenience, Bjorn Torske, Royksopp, Annie) things were certainly on the up for Erot. However, the musical world was denied a true star when he died tragically early in 2001 at the age of 23. He paved the way for the Scandinavian disco scene that has gone from strength to strength over the past decade, hailed as an inspiration by Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Todd Terje and Bjorn Torske. Obviously given the dubby style of his music, he proved a hit with Idjut Boys, who released this track on their own Discfunction label. It is a testament to his love for music that rather than accepting a fee for this release, he instead asked Idjut Boys to pay him in 40 disco 12″s.
The legacy left by Erot is limited to a handful of singles and remixes, all of which sound fresh and current now, and were revolutionary at the time. The pick of these releases was this 12″ on Discfunction. On side a, Erot builds a heart stopping house track out of samples from the Crusaders’ ‘Sweet n Sour’, building drums and rhythms up, letting a rough dubby bassline drive the track forward, then dropping the beautiful keyboards from the original. Stunning. On side b, he delivers another rhythm driven house track made out of a sample of Curtis Mayfield’s “Give Me Your Love (Love Song)” (from the Superfly OST), played at the wrong speed. A sublime slice of dub house that sounds streets ahead of the releases we see weekly in the times of edit mania. Here are both sides of this unclassic, along with the tracks Erot used to create them.
Erot – Song For Annie
Erot – Another Song For Annie
Crusaders – Sweet N Sour
Curtis Mayfield – Give Me Your Love (Love Song)
Norwegian king of the edit Todd Terje has been fairly quiet of late, not releasing anything in ages aside from the Remasters of the Universe package, but since that was a collection of edits that had been knocking around the internet at varying bitrates since time began, it doesn’t really count as anything new. That was until now, when Todd announces that he has an upcoming 12″ on Gerd Janson’s Running Back imprint titled Ragysh. The 12″ contains four cuts beginning with the titular ‘Ragysh’, a balearic house number with deep and warm stabs soaring over some head nodding percussion incorporating the first two seconds of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’. This is joined by its sister track Bonysh, which is a crazy drum track based on the same Blondie sample and some hot cowbells. The 12″ is rounded off with ‘Snooze 4 Love’ in two different incarnations. First up is the original version, a dreamy and spacey mid tempo number reminiscent of ‘All Flowers Must Fade’ by Daniel Wang, lush synths coasting along on top of a bouncy rhythm. The ‘Snooze 4 Love (Version)’ is a beatless treatment of the track bringing to mind Tangerine Dream’s ambient classic ‘Love on a Real Train’. The record is of the highest quality and is out soon, so check the usual vinyl haunts. As a treat here are some samples of the moustache wearing genius, along with the two other classics mentioned in this post. As always they are here for a short time only and i recommend you dig deeper into the artists and track down the releases as they should be heard on beautiful black wax.
Todd Terje – Eurodans /// discogs
Lindstrom – Another Station (Todd Terje Remix) /// discogs
Chaz Jankel – Glad to Know You (Todd Terje Re-edit) /// discogs
Daniel Wang – All Flowers Must Fade /// discogs
Tangerine Dream – Love on a Real Train /// discogs