The Ultimate Rave [catalogue number CDEVP 2] was released at the end of 1991, the second in a sequence of six compilations from the master Ashley Abram. It was preceded by Awesome!! 2. The tagline is “21 mindblowing mixes” and it documents the era so well.
“To the bridge, to the bridge”.
The KLF drive off with Justified And Ancient. It’s the All Bound For Mu Mu Land version with Maxine Harvey on vocals. Glorious. Next are Bassheads and the spacey beats of Is There Anybody Out There? And in a Russian doll twisting melon comes Youth-mentored Blue Pearl and (Can You) Feel The Passion and its absolutely mental chorus. Oh, and it samples Bizarre Inc’s Playing With Knives which pops up later on. Time for some extreme noise terror from Altern-8 and the Hardcore Holocaust Mix of Activ-8 (Come With Me).
All of us are one people: The Prodigy remix The Art Of Noise’s aptly-named Instruments Of Darkness. Molten head-melting. Rozalla’s Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) and East Side Beat’s Ride Like The Wind are like Reversi pieces while Rhythm Is A Mystery is piano perfection; K-Klass’ concoction keeping it real 24 years on. One for the stereos in the petrol station after the night has been danced away. Meanwhile the rush continues with Oceanic Insanity’s and the aforementioned Bizarre Inc tune. One to keep the body moving. It’s followed by The Prodigy’s blinding Charly, the Alley Cat Mix 7″ Edit.
The twisted grooves continue with Dutch acid house classic Dominator by Human Resource. And ZTT’s Shades Of Rhythm give us the sweeping euphoria of Extacy while Shaft’s Roobarb and Custard lets fly with its secret weapon. After 2 Unlimited, Moby appears in U.H.F. guise. A shimmering synth monster. SL2 and DJs Take Control: ruff style. Bizarre Inc and Rozalla both appear for a second time with the mega bassline epic Such A Feeling and a minimalistic Faith (In The Power Of Love). The righteous vibe is extended on Sabrina Johnston’s Peace (Brothers In Rhythm Edit). And take the last drive home to the sound of Seal’s Killer (William Orbit Mix). This compilation is a treat.
K-Klass – Rhythm Is A Mystery (Remix Edit)
Bassheads – Is There Anybody Out There?
Shades Of Rhythm – Extacy
Lest we forget
Bizarre Inc. – Such A Feeling
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Hi Paul, Can’t believe this has slipped under my radar.
I like this as it’s not hotly mixed as was the fad of the time. It sold well and spent its first 4 weeks at No. 1 in the compilation chart. Looking back, it’s a bit of a surprise how well it sold, given there was quite a bit of old stuff on here – counting them, there’s 13 tracks used previously on Hardcore Ecstacy and Essential Hardcore, not forgetting some tracks on Deep Heat 11 and Steamin’ Hardcore ’92. It shares a couple of tracks with Now Dance 91. Disappointingly ‘Peace’ is faded early. However, the exclusives, such as Shaft, Bassheads, K-Klass and Blue Pearl must have helped it shift copies. I think it would have benefitted from changing one of the Bizarre Inc and Rozalla tracks so each artist featured once, but overall I played this a hell of a lot when I was young!
As a side note, did you ever come across ‘Groovy Ghetto’ and its second volume? Quite underrated compilations by Arcade that should have sold better.
Hi Andrew, this is one I took on holiday last week – sounded great in the car with the volume up and windows down. Will check out Groovy Ghetto 1 + 2 – have some paypal credit funds to use.