Hardcore Ecstasy was released at the beginning of November 1991 – just before the usual Christmas compilation rush. One of the strongest in the series, its more obscure numbers are genuinely strong and somewhat dark in tone, which reflect the rather turbulent times I was living in. On the menu: Mizzoni’s pizza + Linden Village. In 1991, Dino Entertainment (Eire) Limited had an Irish office address at The Stockyard, 20 Sheriff Street Upper, Dublin 1. Long gone, it’s now occupied by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau Dublin. Using “Eire” to describe the Republic of Ireland was considered quaint even then.
“20 activ cuts” gets underway with five well-known mashed-up bangers from Rozalla, Oceanic, Sabrina Johnston, Brothers In Rhythm and Heavy D & The Boyz. In fact, across the whole CD we’re covering territory explored on Now Dance ’91 and The Ultimate Rave. Meanwhile you can file DJ H featuring Steffy under Italian Project, a beaming blast of poppy house that never fails to ignite. Driza Bone’s mid-paced Real Love is followed by Cola Boy: Seven Ways To Love was written by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs with Sarah Cracknell singing on the original white label. If it looks like a duck. . . “No. It’s too cheesy for Saint Etienne. We’d have been finished overnight.” So the track was re-recorded for Arista with Janey Lee Grace on vocals and Andrew Midgley making up the duo. A loved-up, hands in the air E anthem with a gorgeous bassline and a warm euphoric sound.
Information on Powercut or Nubian Prinz is extremely scarce. The laidback jazzy style of Girls comes off as cheesy at first but gradually takes hold. It turned up on two other compilations I own – one Belgian, the other Dutch – but nowhere else. In the zone, Patrick Cools or DJPC with the relentless hardcore techno sound of Insomniak followed by Zentropa’s swirling rhythms of Ecstatic. And then Energy Flash, an all time classic from Joey Beltram, all murky synths and chugging bass. Runs for 3:41 but you need the full take. Astronica says “A relentless sonic assault that hooks you tightly and reels you in for more time and time again.” Moving on: the harder-edged Rainforest Mix of Moby’s Go and Nomad’s forgettable Something Special. Keeping music evil, the enigmatic Syco with the mutant dark house Night Of The Demon. 88 Harolds Cross Road nightmares. “Last Will and testament” (NME) goes to The Shamen’s Move Any Mountain (Landslide Mix).
DJPC – Insomniak
Joey Beltram – Energy Flash
DJ H featuring Steffy – I Like It
Lest we forget
Syco – Night Of The Demon