For Dance Zone Level 6 – the final one of 1995 – the tagline was “40 buzzin’ dance hits.” Pride of place: The Original, Berri, JX, Donna Summer, The Shamen, Mary Kiani, Mozaic, Strike, Jam & Spoon, Deuce, Jinny, Corona, Soul II Soul, Shaggy, New Order.
As summer 1995 blended into autumn, the heat continued. No let up. Very relentless. I graduated from university in October, melting in my gown. First blood to The Original’s I Luv U Baby, now on its second run which peaked at #2. The spirit of ’77: Berri’s pulsating Sunshine After The Rain – the Two Cowboys Club Edit – which pulsates like I Feel Love. A flashback to Dance Zone Level 1 as JX’s Son Of A Gun reappears as the Original Hooj Edit. And logically, Donna Summer’s magnum opus comes next, reinvented by Rollo & Sister Bliss into a Monster Mix. So good as the shimmering synths of The Shamen’s Destination Eschaton (Hardfloor Vocal Edit) kick in. From the album Long Hard Funky Dreams came Mary Kiani’s soul meets euro dance When I Call Your Name. Zipping left, Mozaic’s frantic Sing Hallelujah and Strike’s obscurity Free At Last before Deuce’s wonderful On The Bible, a kind of pop gospel wedding song. Move over for euro dancemasters Corona and the intense Try Me Out, which in turn leads into Jinny’s sweet house sound of Keep Warm.
You’ve seen me mention the Cellar Bar on more than one occasion. A legendary basement watering hole which formed part of The Royal Hotel / Crosbie Motor Hotel / Hotel New Ross and was a key drinking den from about 1992 to 1996. The likes of the Jam & Spoon and Whigfield tunes were heavily caned there as we were served by Roger and John. Elsewhere Soul II Soul’s laidback Love Enuff and Michelle Gayle’s ecstatic Freedom add a mellow vibe before Shaggy’s Summertime. Some harmless fluff – PJ & Duncan’s Stuck On You before the Nightcrawlers’ late night soul house of Surrender Your Love. Bangers on the double with Bobby Brown’s bouncy Humpin’ Around and Clock’s Whoomph! (There It Is). The first half comes to an end with another non-album 45 from Utah Saints. From one state to another AKA state of love and trust – Ohio. Some of the records sampled are Ohio Players’ Fire Jocelyn Brown’s Somebody Else’s Guy. Sadly it just missed the top 40.
The second half of Dance Zone Level 6 begins with the ominous strains of TWA’s Nasty Girls. The World Is Androgynous; a far superior version to the original. It makes way for the epic Break Of Dawn (Eat Me Edit), a floorfiller all over these isles, courtesy of Rhythm On The Loose. We then go smooth on Kim English’s furtive I Know A Place and Shiva’s upfront Freedom before Incognito’s fresh ‘n’ jazzy I Hear Your Name makes everything seem alright. Her swag remains irreplaceable! Aaliyah, the diva with the power gives us the divine The Thing I Like. More: Junior Vasquez’s pleading Get Your Hands Off My Man leading into the swirling Sensation by Electroset as remixed by Tin Tin Out. And then, D’Bora: who started out in the early 1980s as a member of the Mercedes Ladies, an all-female hip-hop group/DJ crew from The Bronx. Another big one from UFO that summer was Antonomasia’s build-up ‘n’ bang And I’ll Be There which is followed by Lovedeejay Akemi and Yosh’s discofied warehouse groover It’s What’s Upfront That Counts.
All tracks written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner: Blue Monday ’95 was the third coming and here we get the rare Hardfloor Mix Edit which runs for 6:14. “A burbling 303 instruction book, acidic and good for public consumption.” (Alan Henery) All is changed, changed utterly. Next comes the 99th Floor Elevators in cahoots with Tony De Vit on the apt Hooked. More TDV on Mrs Wood’s handbag classic Joanna. Another repeat, Liquid’s Sweet Harmony before Hyperlogic crash in with the immense Only Me. The last stretch starts with the fast-paced Manifest Your Love from D.O.P & Lorna Marshall. And then the Sugarbabies’ Magic In U, a sample-heavy hopper of a tune. Finally a big whopping debut to finish; Faithless and Salva Mea (Epic Mix Edit), 6:46 of bliss. Rap by Maxi Jazz, vocals from Dido, duck green peas for Rollo.
Utah Saints – Ohio
New Order – Blue Monday ’95 (Hardfloor Mix Edit)
Deuce – On The Bible
Aaliyah – The Thing I Like
Mrs Wood – Joanna (Tony De Vit V2 Radio Edit)
Lest we forget
Mary Kiani – When I Call Your Name