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
This is the only one in this short-lived series that I bought at the time (on cassette) and I now have a CD copy in my collection.
I remember at the time being disappointed by the Oceanic song being the much poorer mix rather than the single version (for those unsure, the rubbish version starts with a few notes rather than crashing in with the ‘take me away’ vocal) but the general quality of the other tracks make up for that. As you say, the ones that didn’t make the Top 40 are generally good.
I can’t tell you how much I love DJH feat. Stefy’s tunes, especially ‘I Like It’. Powercut I had on either cassette or vinyl single at the time, I forget which. I rather liked it, and it sampled the 70s song of the same name by the Moments and the Whatnauts IIRC.
The DJPC track is good, but contains the mystifying vocal ‘Insomniac…I’m asleep’. Which is… the opposite of what an insomniac does. Energy Flash is of course awesome. Strangely I have no recollection of the Zentropa or Syko tracks so I can’t have enjoyed them very much…
Hi Andy, it’s a good one. I Like It goes down a storm at 90s revival nights; have played it for a few people recently and it seems to bring back memories. Haha – never noticed the insomniac contradiction 🙂 The Zentropa tune is intense but is strangely hard to recall.
This is worth the admission fee for Energy Flash alone. I’m guessing this is one edited by Moran for the album. Still class. Never realised that Joey Beltram was American.
Regarding Insomniak, I thought it was someone with a Dutch accent trying to say “I must sleep”, not “I’m asleep”. Take the ‘t’ out of must and you have….. Who is DJPC anyway? It was on !Hype records, which I think was Belgian or Dutch.
Patrick Cools he goes by. Energy Flash was a monster when I was in college – played in every club for the 3 years. And house party too.