Classic House Series Episode #31 – It’s All Good(Full Intention Mixes) – Da Mob feat. Jocelyn Brown

In preparation for the launch of his incredibly successful and influential Subliminal Records label, internationally renowned DJ and producer Erick Morillo made sure he had all of his bases covered.  Having achieved his first success through a plethora of releases on the legendary Strictly Rhythm label, Morillo knew firsthand what was needed to establish Subliminal as a leader in  top quality house music.

It’s All Good” remains high on the list of the very best tracks to come out of the Subliminal camp and that should come as no surprise given the producers behind it.  The second release from Da Mob (after 1997’s “Fun which also served as the label’s debut release) is a soulful, funky vocal house number with a nice jazzy feel and the incredible vocals of legendary R&B and dance music singer Jocelyn Brown.  The 2×12″ release features a dub courtesy of The Dronez, but the real gems in this package come courtesy of the gorgeous remixes from acclaimed house producers Full Intention.

Michael Gray & Jon Pearn take the original and turn it into an uplifting piano-house anthem with more than pinch of gospel influence and their signature pumping drums and percussion.  The result is a track every house-head dreams about; one minute you’re dancing in a group hug with all your friends and moments later you’re lost in your own world but still completely locked into the same groove as everyone else around you.  Well worth tracking down if you don’t already have it, this one can still deliver in any prime-time house set just as well as it does as a late-night classic.

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Classic House Series Episode #16 – Fly Life Extra – Basement Jaxx

In the late 90s, if there was ever a track that served as a call to arms for fans of deep, underground house music to hit the dancefloor, this one was it.

While Daft Punk were busy showing the world the finer details of the French Touch, Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, known collectively as Basement Jaxx, were developing their own unique style which employed elements of cut-up house, deep basslines and an unmistakable quirkiness that led them to become one of the most important acts to emerge from the UK house scene at the time.

Named after their successful club night in Brixton, the duo released a number of independent singles through their Atlantic Jaxx label before dropping their debut LP “Remedy” in 1999.  4 acclaimed singles would be released from the album including “Red Alert and “Rendez-vu, both of which would top the Billboard US Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

Fly Life originally appeared in 1997 through Multiply Records and featured remixes courtesy of Erick Morillo, Roni Size and Cajmere under his Green Velvet alias.  Featuring a ragga-style vocal from Glamma Kid and samples from the Jaxx-produced Corrina Joseph track “Live Your Life With Me“, the track did well, but it was the Fly Life Xtra remix to follow that would take it over the top.

The Jaxx crew take us on a 9-minute ride that removes the ragga vocal in favour of accenting the filtered bass, the stuttering “Fly Life” vocal, a few snippets of Ms. Joseph and, of course, the pitch-bent synth squeal that takes this one into orbit.  Buxton and Radcliffe were already known for remixing on the fly during their live sets and this remix definitely sounds like it could have been done in one pass, hands manipulating the knobs and filters to create a distinct live feel that gives this track its edge.  Always a treat for the old-school heads, this one remains a big crowd favourite to this day.

Classic House Series – Episode #10 – Reach – Lil Mo Yin Yang

For our 10th installment of our Classic House Series, I thought I’d share a little recipe for an iconic house anthem:

Take two legendary house music producers, get them in the studio to mess around a little and add a couple of glasses of wine and you’ve got the ingredients to create one BOMB of a track.

The two producers in question include one-half of the extremely important house production duo Masters at Work. “Little” Louie Vega, and the man behind countless underground anthems as well as the successful crossover act Reel 2 Real in the form of Erick Morillo, whose anthem “I Like To Move It” has transcended the clubs to be featured in commercials, video games and the Madagascar movie series.

Combining chunky beats, glimmering synths and vocals snatched from “Love and Happiness” by River Ocean feat, India, a side project of Vega’s, the track builds until a long siren sample comes in before dropping into the apex of the track.  Produced during an impromptu studio session when the two legends were fooling around and having “a little sippy-sippy”, it remains the only co-production by the duo under the Lil Mo Yin Yang moniker.

As if the original cut wasn’t fantastic enough, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts by the end of 1995, Multiply Records re-released the track in 1996 with remixes from acclaimed UK production duo Basement Jaxx and Alcatraz.  The Jaxx crew offered a moodier take on their mix, but the Alcatraz boys cranked out an almost tech-house take on the track which destroyed many a club dancefloor and further cemented the legacy of this anthem.  It seems more than appropriate that they named their remix the “Lil Mo Got Gang-Banged Remix”.

More remixes followed in 2002 and again in 2008, but most were based around the style of the Alcatraz mix.  Retaining the vocal samples of the original, the siren sample was chopped up and turned into a key lead sound for the mix.  The energy of the track was turned up to 11 and offered a fresh take on an already established club staple.  Perfect to drop into a late-night house set, this remains a go-to track for many DJs this day and is one of the most revered tunes ever to come out of the legendary Strictly Rhythm label.