It was March 1989. The mocks were over and I’d just seen the Happy Mondays and The Shamen for a fiver. Ritz. The unaffordable £25 E. The Shamen light show was amazing. No Bez. Fat lady dancers with too much lipstick and a penchant for Ultra Vivid Scene. And ultra vivid scenesters. Fast forward two or three weeks. A mysterious looking compilation called Deep Heat sits in the CD racks. It’s expensive but intriguing. I bite into “26 Hottest House Hits”. No way back.
There had been a flurry of house compilations in 1988 but Deep Heat was the first one to become a series. A brand. Something to be look forward to. The first set is split into two parts. The first CD has the 7″ mixes, the second has a selection of 12″ mixes. The sleevenotes speak of the geographic variety behind the hits – from New York to Chicago and Detroit via London and Holland. World class dance innovation.
Adeva is first in line. Otis updated for the end of the decade by a real diva. Play from a speeding car and then pump some acid with Fast Eddie’s brutal I Can Dance. Next is the sample-heavy Rap City favourite from Richie Rich [My DJ]. Work that crazy beat and visit Todd Terry’s bunker room. It’s all here – the beat and snare of Hard House with Check This Out, Black Riot’s radical stutter A Day In The Life, the wayback mechanics of Royal House’s Yeah Buddy while Swan Lake bring out the awesome bassline In The Name Of Love. With Tour De France heavy breathing. And as The Project Todd dissects Dinosaur L’s Go Bang extract in Bango (To The Batmobile).
“Say kids what time is it?” Hithouse and the late Peter Slaghuis rocketed to #14 with the sample-bursting Jack To The Sound Of The Underground. Mary Whitehouse was probably not a fan. Once In A Lifetime features heavily in Sugar Bear’s perfect rhymes while Rock This Place from Mr Lee is a true Chicago classic. Also from the Windy City is Joe Smooth. Promised Land is a euphoric trip and was covered by the Style Council in the long hot summer of 1989. Both ruled. As did the Wee Papa Girl Rappers in ’88. Soulmate was their spring jam and bombed – what a shame ’cause it’s slammin’. The 7″ mixes disc ends with Petula Clark’s transporting Downtown to the top 10 just in time for Christmas. Swinging 60s video with panoramic late night London shots of the me decade.
Go deep with Fast Eddie and Hip House. That Hashim sample. Funk yeah. The soul. Let the acid take control. Now here’s what I want y’all to do for me. Stop dissing Milli Vanilli. So they faked it? The sound still rings true no matter what. To the inner city and Kevin Saunderson whose Bounce Your Body To The Box is featured as an exclusive Mike Hitman Wilson remix. Very relentless. A quick move to the centre of the soul now for John Paul Barrett’s lost banger Should’ve Known Better. Smith and Mighty’s Walk On will still stop you dead in your tracks as Jackie Jackson’s vocal slays all.
The frantic four: 1) Raze drop the timeless beats with Break 4 Love. You get the full English. 2) Red 2. Royal House tear up the warehouse. Can You Party (Club Mix). Sirens. Wisdom to the wise. 3) Hithouse’s acid mix for little Jack. 4) The blinding Snowman getting his mitts on Stakker Humanoid. Advanced rhythm machines.
And to the kings – Baby Ford – and his mule-kicking Chikki Chikki Ahh Ahh. And close with a slice of deep house drenched in soul sauce Chicago-style – Donell Rush’s Knockin’ At My Door. For the encore bring out The Bootleggers with the cut and paste of Hot Mix 3. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat.
Raze – Break 4 Love (English 12″ Mix)
Sugar Bear – Don’t Scandalize Mine (Vocal Mix)
Smith and Mighty featuring Jackie Jackson – Walk On . . .
Hithouse – Jack To The Sound Of The Underground (Acid Mix)
Lest we forget
Wee Papa Girl Rappers – Soulmate