TX114 Virgo – ‘Free Yourself’
‘Free Yourself’ could be the most time-stoppingly beautiful creation on the whole set, showing Marshall essentially inventing deep house with his gorgeous sepulchral keyboard melodies and bottomless bass, underpinned and contrasted by ham-slapping bongo action. A blinding end-of-nighter.
But that’s not all. There’s another three variations of this ethereal keyboard and percussive embroidering template. ‘Under You’ could have lifted its keyboard line from an old Ultravox record, while ‘My Space’ drapes deep space strings over pummeling electro drums and acid pulses. Closing this most epochal of EPs, ‘R U Not Enough’ coins piano house with its central riff, sympathetic deep acid chatter and subtly symphonic strings. The sound of a man turning into a musical giant before our very ears.
TX 115 Fresh – ‘Dum Dum Part Two’
Basic house chugger by Jesse Sanders, with low-slung testicular bass prong, dum dum voice-loop and synthesised melodic stretches. Part one of ‘Fresh’ came out on Larry Sherman’s pre-Trax Precision label (named after his pressing plant).
TX116 The Rude Boy Himself Farley Farley Farley – ‘Give Yourself To Me’
Farley’s back with evil belching monster cackle and further refinement of the Sinister Riff, now more realised and haunting with its strings ready to be hijacked by Master C&J for ‘When You Hold Me’ and Liz Torres’ ‘What Makes You Feel’. The dub strips down to rogue jockstrap scenario of percolating beats and Farley’s raps, grunts and evil laughter. He had fun!
TX117 Marshall Jefferson – ‘The House Music Anthem: Move Your Body’
A blast of gospel boogie piano and Marshall continues his ascent, although this genre-defining monster was one of his earliest creations. With sparse party-starting vocal, sonorous chorale and that riff (later hijacked by Technotronic for ‘Pump Up The Jam’), he kickstarted a movement and set out the sound which would take the UK by storm. All four mixes are here, the Dub Your Body version joined by Marshall expounding but mainly focusing on that piano, Drum Your Body homing in on the lower end piano-string manouvres while House Your Body returns to the song with extra voices.
TX118 Master C&J – ‘When You Hold Me’
Another long-time pair of house innovators who haven’t had due recognition for the subterranean back alley skin-crawlers they released on State Street, notably ‘Face It’ and ‘In The City’, plus the productions with queen of house Liz Torres. Their Trax debut (written by Mr Lee) sees Carl Bias and Jessie Jones get lowdown on the Sinister Riff, emphasized on the bass and offset by searing metallic strings and quivering, masturbatory vocal performance. If Virgo opened the cellar door to deep house, this stupendously atmospheric track was already waiting down below. The flip’s ‘Dub Love’ takes it even deeper to a level where earth worms are cottaging the toilets of Hades.
TX119 Sweet D – ‘Thank Ya’
Chip E (Danny Wilson) made his four-track Trax debut after causing a stir at DJ International with his brand of risqué vocals, cheeky samples and percussive dogfighting. ‘Thank Ya’ rides the piano melody from Cheryl Lynn’s ‘You Saved My Day’ into an orchestral house delight. On side B, ‘Do Do It’ sets up a tickling stick canter nudging Eddie Grant’s ‘Timewarp’ over which Chip intones sundry trouser-straining groans and utterances, ‘Turn It’ abuses ‘Love Can‘t Turn Around’ played on accordion and ‘Dig I Da-Dig I Da’ will raise an eyebrow placing a synth clip from Knuckles ‘Your Love’ (later heisted for the Candi Staton ‘You Got The Love’ hybrid) over a clap-track.
TX120 Adonis – ‘We’re Rockin’ Down The House’
Adonis returns with another club smash, notable for its reggae vocal hook demonstrating how just one great line can elevate a track, good though his pumping backdrop is (complimented on the flip by two dubs).
TX121 On The House With Marshall Jefferson – ‘Ride The Rhythm’
Following a similar path to the ‘House Music Anthem’, Marshall uses dramatic string riffs and cascading piano to whip up a hypnotic dancefloor brew mixed by Ron Hardy. The DJ didn’t do enough in the studio but everything he did was a roller coaster thrill as he homes in on the key elements which drove his crowd through the roof, such as carcrash drum avalanches and cliffhanger riff pebbledashery. The flip is mixed by Frankie Knuckles.
TX121 Willie Wonka – ‘What Is House’
Having already debuted on Precision, Dwayne Grant arrived on Trax with one of its lesser known but vitally of-its-time releases, boasting acid-warp vocal stutters, whale scrotum bass, surreal dance music monologue and head on mixing, drops and sudden string lines looming. Flipped by ‘It’s Now Or Never’ and ‘Blow’.
TX123 Radio Fashion – ‘What You Deserve’
One of the label’s charcteristic one-off oddities, employing scything but lo-fi Giorgio Moroder proto-house synth, topped with Sheffield-style man of mystery bloke vocals.
TX124 Farm Boy – ‘Jackin’ Me Around’
Into 1987 and the prolific Dean Anderson, who also hit on DJ International with ‘Move’, steams in with hip-house rap over basic synth-pop riffage. Also comes with House and Dub versions.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.