Thin Ice – The First Step (Telstar, 1991)

Thin Ice The First Step

Thin Ice The First Step r

Review
“Thin Ice goes beyond – far beyond – like a journey to a place you’ve never been”

Thin Ice was launched in 1991 as a companion to the well-established Deep Heat series. The theme was cool / cooler as opposed to the latter’s fire. The focus was on 12″ mixes, or at least versions that differed from the standard radio edit. It only lasted for two volumes.

The First Step: Eren’s Bootleg Mix of You Got The Love. A gritty shaker followed by the spacious groove of Xpansions’ Move Your Body and True Faith’s oblique house Take Me Away. Collapse’s My Love is an Italian project; a cut-up old skool banger with samples galore – wicked and serious as cancer. Soho’s Hippychick pops up in its Happiness Is A Warm Hippy guise, the original SG mix. There’s a club if you’ve got to go: get ready for Kenny Larkin’s sparsely inventive Integration. Techno for NYE. And two worlds collide to become XON: Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard Kirk and Warp Records’ Rob Gordon. Midnight Express is a prime example of dissonant darkcore. Take a stroll through your mind.

Nomad consisted of Bristol rapper Mikee and vocalist Sharon Dee Clarke and were produced by Damon Rochefort. (I Wanna Give You) Devotion still sounds magical. The hip hop tip moves on with Digital Underground’s superfly Same Song featuring Tupac. Then A Tribe Called Quest and the dope on a rope sound of Can I Kick It? (Extended Boilerhouse Mix). Crack one off to the New Jersey groove of Dee Dee Brave’s immense My My Lover. AKA Holly Simpson, she takes us on one hell of a trip. Energise: an early alias for Dave Lee with an urban breakbeat feel on Report To The Dance Floor complete with evocative electro tinges. Don’t stop – it’s Loopzone’s tranquil Les Enfants Du Paradis.

In Yer Face kicks off disc 2, an apocalyptic rush a quarter of a century on. Seal’s Krazy with a K, specially remixed for clubs – a harder filter. Elsewhere Katherine E’s I’m Alright Now is classic piano house with an Italo flavour. Back to black with The Beatmasters’ I Don’t What It Is (About You). Elaine Vassell on vocals, #82 in the UK charts. And now for a unique treat, the jewel in the crown: Just Add Water’s impossibly dreamy Mystic Sister. A silver bullet for the ages. A Champion promo 12″ found nowhere else. It’s followed by The Gonzo, a frenzied hardcore message from Lost (Steve Bicknall). A Perfecto highlight.

Mark Summers’ Summer Night. As used in Spaced and The World’s End. The samples: Opening fanfare and dialogue from It’s That Man Again (1940s BBC radio comedy),
Harry Corbett – Bye Bye Everyone Bye Bye from the original BBC Sooty Show,
Light music at end – Puffin Billy, the theme to BBC Radio’s Children’s Favourites show,
“Oh my God, is he nuts?” – Willie Scott, from the bridge fight sequence at end of Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom.
And Alain Legrand’s Magic Roundabout Theme all the way through.

Baggy alert! The neo-psychedelic strains of Stress and Beautiful People. File under indie dance and revive every 15 years. 4 Hero’s Scorcher sounds like it should; reinforced and beat heavy. Next comes Liquid Oxygen’s molten rave of I See The Madness and Speedy J’s deeply industrial wrecker The Wicked Saw. Meanwhile The Boneshakers keep the bleeps intact on One Step Ahead. Last orders for Westbam’s brother, otherwise known as (DJ) Dick, giving it socks on his hedonistic Brighton banger Weekend. A mighty dub cat.

Favourite tracks
Soho – Hippychick (Happiness Is A Warm Hippy – Original SG Mix)

Dee Dee Brave – My Lover (Kooz Again Mix)

Mark Summers – Summers Magic

Dick – Weekend

Lest we forget
Just Add Water – Mystic Sister (Main 12″ Mix)

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2 Responses to Thin Ice – The First Step (Telstar, 1991)

  1. andynoax says:

    I had both editions of Thin Ice, but somehow they were less enjoyable than Deep Heat (the second edition being better in my opinion)

    There are some good tracks here though – I always loved Katherine E’s one, but then I am a sucker for piano driven Italo House style tunes!

    I must admit it that at the time I wondered if Dick was an alias for Moby but it would appear not!

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Cheers Andy, hadn’t played this one in ages so it was nice to reacquaint myself with it. Picking favourites was quite difficult – there were eight or nine contenders. Very much a strong vs average tracklist rather than consistently great.

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