Monday, August 17, 2009

Week 12: UK Rave, 1991

This week I've put together a tape of British rave tunes from 1991. I was gonna make a tape of just rave classics in general dating from 1991, but then I realized that there is just SO MUCH STUFF that I'd have to narrow it down somehow. There will be a Belgian/Dutch 1991 tape coming in a few weeks, and 1992 will get a similar treatment later in the year.

A little historical context: As you may or may not know, the concept of the "rave" is a British invention. The English took our good old-fashioned American techno and house, and fashioned an entirely new culture around it. Initially the DJs in England were mostly playing Midwestern techno & house imports (and pale British imitations of the aforementioned), but by the 1990s Britain was clearly developing its own musical styles and genres (see the Bleep tape I posted earlier in the year). If you ask me, 1991 was really the year that England came into its own with regard to dance music (with '92 being the real artistic peak of British rave, before it splintered into scores of tiny sub-scenes and micro-genres in 1993-1997).
That having been said, here's what I consider to be the cream of the crop from '91.

Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 12: 1991 UK Rave Tunes

  1. Orbital; Chime (FFRR / Internal)
  2. Baby D; Day Dreaming (Can You Handle It Mix) (Production House)
  3. The Shamen; Move Any Mountain (Devil Mix) (One Little Indian / Epic)
  4. The KLF; Last Train To Trancentral (KLF)
  5. The Art of Noise; Shades of Paranoimia (Carl Cox Remix) (China)
  6. Rhythm On The Loose; Break Of Dawn (The One After D)
  7. Orbital; Choice (FFRR / Internal)
  8. 808 State; Cubik (Ex:El Version) (ZTT)
  9. Soundsource; Take Me Up (Chrissy Re-Edit) (FFRR)
  10. MIDI Rain; Eyes (Bizarre Inc. Remix) (Vinyl Solution)
  11. Opus III; It's A Fine Day (EastWest)
  12. Dream Frequency; Feel So Real (CityBeat)
  13. Smart Systems; The Tingler (Remix) (Jumpin' & Pumpin')
  14. Eon; Fear: The Mindkiller (Vinyl Solution)
  15. Zero Zero; Zeroxed (Kickin')
  16. Nexus 21; Sychologic P.S.P. (Network)
  17. Isotonik; Different Strokes (Ffrreedom)
  18. Altern 8; Infiltrate 202 (Altern 8 vs. Astrix & Space Re-Remix) (Network)
  19. The Prodigy; Charly (Alley Cat Mix) (XL)
  20. Phuture Assassins; Shot Like Dis (Suburban Base)
  21. Shut Up & Dance; Green Man (Rum & Black Mix) (Shut Up & Dance)
  22. SL2; DJs Take Control (XL)
  23. Bizarre Inc.; Playing With Knives (Quadrant Mix) (Vinyl Solution)
  24. Alternative Dance Indulgence; Testify (white)
  25. 2 Bad Mice; Bombscare (Movin' Shadow)
  26. SL2; The Noise (Remix) (XL)
  27. Altern 8; Activ-8 (Network)
  28. The Prodigy; Your Love (XL)
NEXT WEEK: A last-ditch attempt to hang on to Summer.


  1. Dudebro, I love this.

    Did I ever tell you that the first "electronic" album I ever purchased (randomly having no idea what I was doing) was Orbital's Brown Album? It was at Hastings in Great Bend, KS.

    rave on-~

  2. awwww.
    brown album is a good place to start, for sure. remember when techno was mainstream enough that you could buy orbital brown at a hastings in great bend? and yet we all yammered on about how underground it was and "someday this is gonna break into the mainstream"...

  3. Wow, that really takes me back. I miss those days. Life was easy Nice one!

  4. i like this one. i didnt know the name of some of these tracks. im listening all year.

  5. Would love to see these posted on Art of the Mix!

  6. Excellent. Was just thinking of suggesting this yesterday. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, SCHIVELY.

  7. omg this mix is awesome. great skillz man, kudos from the other side of the planet.

  8. I was a kid when I heard most of this music on well-worn cassingles I stole from my cool big brother. By the time I was old enough to go to raves, they were strictly suburban affairs. Manic Panic dayglo fauxhawks and candy necklaces abounded. It just didn't seem the same. I wanted to go to the parties where they played this stuff. Apparently, some of them took place at a club called Medusa's in Chicago, and it was torn down before I was old enough to get in any trouble there. Excellent mix.

  9. Loving it... :-)

    Thought of doing a 'Streetsounds' mix? The record label was hugely influential in bringing US Hip Hop to the UK through the 'Electro' series of albums - would love to hear your treatment of that seminal collection.

  10. wot, no genaside II?!?!

  11. You're so right about '92 being the peak. IMHO, its hard to explain to folks that an absolute peak in mass bat-shit raw creativity in music happened in the early 90s (up to about '94). Everything since then has been just stylistic or technological refinement, or, driven by producers with crossover motives into the US pop market. Great mix, documentary and wickedness! Love to rok your mix of "munchkin hardcore" (early happy, i guess) as my crew called it, y'know NRG's "Need your lovin'" and all that.

  12. Awesome! Thanks for this... takes me back and makes me feel kinda old too ;)

  13. Soundsource; Take Me Up (Chrissy Murderbot Re-Edit) MIDI Rain; Eyes (Bizarre Inc. Remix)
    it just so impossible to find IT_____________


  14. yep, man`s ..
    do your best

  15. ahhhhhhh...memories. Thanks for this!


  17. 1991 probably was the best year for British rave music.

    It still had that underground feel to it in 1991, but by 1992 it was the mainstream.

    From 1986/7 London's airwaves were full of pirate stations pumping out largely awful acid house, the dangers of acid were all over the papers, which seemed to completely miss the ecstasy thing until later, and the cool kids at school (born in 1970), were going to raves. At this stage I guess it was already surfacing.

    By the time I got to university, 1989/90 the Shamen were playing the student union, with their DJ crew, (they even played a free gig in the park at the end of my street one afternoon), and dance was already at least 50-50 with more trad. student music at the student nights all over town.

    By 1991 raves were breaking out all over the place, happy raves, hippy raves, house party raves, clean drugs, great music. I pitched up in Ibiza that summer, which was pretty incredible, in a way the super clubs out there with their incredible scale, water and foam parties, proved how mainstream this rave thing had become, but you know, we still felt cool, cuz not that many other people had been to Ibiza by 1991.

    By 92, Glasto festival was back, and there were even raves there. I suppose that by 1992 electronic dance music had become the mainstream, played in almost every club, from discos in small town England to the trendy clubs in London.

    I guess that was why it needed all those sub-divisions; break-beat, techno, hard-house, tech-house, jungle, drum and bass, trance etc.

    What's interesting is that listening to some of the thumping tracks of the time, they still sound quite modern.

  18. Great mix, great memories ! Thx bro :D

    Bussin Down hit me hard this year btw

    How about dropping some spiral tribe/curley/hardtekish stuff in a future tape ? Raving at free parties was so fun in the 90's.. God I miss these years haha


  19. Just found this mix. Well done