It was September 1989, I had just started in college and there was yet another Deep Heat compilation in the shops. The fourth volume was tagged Play With Fire and featured “32 hottest house hits”. While the series didn’t hit fatigue levels until 1990, four releases in seven months was certainly full-on. The ESF grant could only stretch so far. . .
We kick off with some Italina: Starlight’s frantic piano-driven Numero Uno which was created by the Black Box team and reached #9 just as the compilation came out. Kaos’ Definition Of Love was a tight Kevin Saunderson production with a quality deep vocal. Sybil takes Hal David’s heart poem Don’t Make Me Over and constructs her own jam while Virgo’s Do You Know Who You Are is a pulsating Chicago house groove. There’s some decent under the radar choices with Slique [smooth R&B duet] and Aphrodisiac [minimal nu groove from Ronald Burrell] before Joe Smooth’s hot slammer I’ll Be There. And Kariya who has something you’ve begged, borrowed and stolen the words to say: Let Me Love You For Tonight is a smoking club classic.
The BPMs rise with Raven Maize’s bouncy Exodus remake Forever Together which mixes straight into Royal House’s robotic rhythms of Get Funky. The sequencing is too hot at times – again affecting shuffle play – although it’s not consistent across the two discs. Trip out as Bang The Party make you feel good all over before Maurice throws down Get Into The Dance and the floor erupts. Jack your body to the ground for the new dance craze. T.C. pre-empts the Oliver Stone-inspired Doors revival with his new beat cover of Hello I Love You. Then Juan Atkins gets a sublime groove going under Model 500 – The Chase. Over to Tammy Lucas for Hey Boy, a Paradise Garage favourite before The Beatmasters close the first half with Hey DJ (To That Music You’re Playing). Betty Boo is in the house.
“I’ll be breaking down the charts when I come”.
Technotronic: for art’s sake or charts’ sake? Pump Up The Jam was fresh as Deep Heat 4 was going to press. Get the party going: now 37 million views on YouTube. Chubb Rock and Howie Tee get busy with the pounding hip hop sound of Ya Bad Chubbs while Fast Eddie gives us the wicked Mastermix which cuts up tracks from Jack To The Sound. And now for a classic: Frankie Knuckles and the superb Your Love. Truly inspiring and mindblowing. It’s back to the rap sound for Melody and the slowburner Chillin’ with its Kool And The Gang break. Another enduring house anthem was ESP’s It’s You which was dropped in ’86 by Tom Adams and Daniel Ellington. MLK’s speech is co-opted in Out Of The Ordinary’s The Dream while De La Soul’s Say No Go is shiny hip hop that’s as hot now as it was in 1989. Da Inner Sound, Y’all.
Welcome to paradise: Inner City’s debut LP is chock-full of bangers with Ain’t Nobody Better being one of the prime cuts. Farley Jackmaster and Precious Red bring Think to the turntable and the word is jack. Smokin’ Gang’s Let Rock is a DJ Kool-style workout with a funk edge with DJ Jack Boy Rapper on the mic. Next up is Samurai Sam and his lean techno spinner House The Japanese while Monie Love’s tribute to Afrika Bambaataa – Grandpa’s Party – is deadly. Total Eclipse didn’t hit the heights with Don’t Think About It but the sound is sleek nonetheless. Late to the party are R-Tyme but Illusion brings the noise with a relentless off-centre beat. Track #32, although listed as Sinister by Mayday is actually an edit of the Acid Burns Mix of Nude Photo 88. Silver mint: a cool clean hero.
ESP – It’s You
Kariya – Let Me Love You For Tonight
Maurice – Get Into The Dance
Frankie Knuckles – Your Love
Lest we forget
T.C. – Hello I Love You