Monday, November 5, 2018

rave LPs

Completely missed this enjoyable and extremely thorough survey - by Leaving Earth's Taninian, from a couple of months ago - of the single-artist Rave Album

A curious artifact, with a checkered history, and an uncertain market,  for sure...  but T makes a good case for some classics that came out in the period 1991-1992: the apex of rave as a mass phenomenon

Among the ones I've heard and own, I concur heartily with the verdicts (Experience is the gold standard, Rhythmatic's Energy on Vinyl is a lost gem, as is Sonz's Flowers in My Garden, but Eon's surprisingly unmemorable despite the run-up of killer singles etc etc)


What surprised me: how many I didn't know about....

Especially when it came to the Euro end of things - Germany, Holland, Belgium - where, according to T, there's a shitload of ace full-lengths, with album tracks as fierce and full-on and inventive as the well known singles

Some of these LPs would be pretty challenging to find, I should think - you might find them going  very cheap, but it would probably entail hours digging through vinyl junkyard basements.

However -  quite a few are on Spotify! So if you've got a spare 7 hours...

I couldn't think of any omissions really.  Unique 3's Jus' Unique has some great tunes on it but it came out in 1990 so doesn't qualify. Likewise - although it's been a long time since I've heard it - i feel a case could be made for The Shamen's En-Tact as both a good album and genuinely part of the rave culture, but that 1990 too. As for their Boss Drum - I can't remember a thing about it, but I don't think any of it really qualified as 'rave', not even Ebeneezer Goode", by then they'd have been on the progressive/trance tip if anything, I should have thought. Tracks featuring vocals by Terence McKenna.

Utah Saints had an album out in 1992 but vaguely recall it being plodding stuff, "Something Good" withal.

Bizarre Inc released the album Energique in '92 but I should imagine they would have shifted towards house music by that point. (More curious about their 1989 album Technological, which is described at discogs as "techno". 1989 is early for a UK techno full-length - who else was there doing that? A Guy Called Gerald, 808 State....  a few more house or sample-cut-up in style like S'Express and Bomb the Bass and Coldcut).

Smart E's actually released an album in '92, would you believe.... and some people rate it

There's a coda to the Leaving Earth survey, which looks at albums that came out after the cut-off point that T's imposed - belated full-lengths that already seemed like curios by the time they were released, what with the music having moved on a long way, in multiple increasingly divergent directions.

Here I can think of one or two that might have been included - except that they're not very good, so perhaps would / should be filtered out accordingly!

Like Liquid's album, which I actually reviewed  - not at the time (1995) but many years later for eMusic.

I don't think T included the Messiah album 21st Century Jesus, from 1993 -  but then again, I'm not sure if was any cop at all.

A very belated debut album is Baby D's Deliverance, which came out in 1996 - and from descriptions seems like its contents are largely radio-friendly toned-down versions of the classic hardcore tracks from several years earlier.

Then there's Genaside II's New Life 4 the Hunted, also from 1996, which suffers from eclecticism - the misplaced desire to show versatility and genre non-confinement.

Well, the one arguable major omission in the missed-the-boat category is Gerald's 28 Gun Bad Boy, from '93, but perhaps that is being construed by T as simply too dark, too jungalistic, to count as "rave"?

Tragic cases of rave-era artists who never made an LP?

Acen would be #1

And a close-behind  #2 - Hyper-On Experience.

UPDATE # 11/26/2018

a few other semi-contenders for inclusion:

Sweet Exorcist, Clonk's Coming CD (perhaps too intelligent / subtle to be considered rave)

Nightmares On Wax, A Word of Science (ditto, plus some of it downright mellow, "smoker's music")

Taninian mentions this album

but there's also this one by the same artist, Martin Damm, although perhaps this is too full on gabba-ish albeit fun-spirited

Oh and then a serious omission - i think if we're being honest - is The KLF's The White Room, some of which is well ravey if in a pop-rave style.


Charlie w said...

Frank De Wulf B sides surely warrants a mention, though too early, as it was so foundational in terms of helping to define the language of the rave sound, in a similar way to Todd Terry.
Also neglected was 4 hero - In Rough Territory but undoubtedly this isn't a rave lp.

Other hardcore rave producers that could have had a interesting rave era LP in them.... Skanna, Intense, Essence of Aura, Rufige Kru, Nookie, Nasty Habits, Foul Play
But can you imagine how bad for the scene and music it would have been if these producers were squirreled away trying to write an lp instead of feeding the scene with the killer 12s and Eps that they made?


good point - better to release the weird album-type tracks as B-sides or track 4 on an EP than get sidelined on a larger project

yeah i thought maybe if Rufige Cru had done an album then - 92 or 93, rather than debuting much later with Timeless

and Doc Scott certainly a possibility.

another one perhaps - Nebula II.

yeah In Rough Territory is an omission - it's a long long time since i listened to it so can't remember how 'ravey' it was. probably more a bleep record, in a way.

actually a group who really could have done a full length at that point would be Holy Ghost Inc.

Unknown said...

If I had more time, I'd dig through my old mags and could come up with more.

A few I recall from the scratch: Germany's Trance-God Sven Väth also released albums during the heydays 91-94: here are two examples:

Then, there was another Trancy Techno Producer from GErmany releasing an album in late '92 as well - Cosmic Baby:

Speedy J also released a nice album in 1993:

Also a great Album from Jeff Mills - who back then was releasing hard, bouncy techno:

Charlie w said...

Holy Ghost Inc made some really intriguing music. Dillinja got his production start working with them, which makes sense seeing as how spooky and weird alot of 93 output is.
You were spot on with Acen and HoE being the stand out candidates for Lps at that time. But UK hardcore rave was one of the most generous genres ever and those guys spunked out albums worth of ideas over a couple of tunes. Once all the those producers grew up and became more savvy the number of ideas/samples per tune plummeted and consequently the music lost its magic


charlie, i didn't know that about the Dillinja / Holy Ghost, Inc connection - wow!

yeah some of those hardcore producers were doing mini-LPs with each EP effectively

stefan, i think the concept with the Leaving Earth post was rave LPs as opposed to techno or trance LPs. which admittedly is a slippery distinction, depends on how you define 'rave' obviously i guess suggests anthemic-ness and a certain crazedness. so i'm not sure Speedy J or Sven Vath count - regardless of their merits - and likewise Jeff Mills probably doesn't either BUT possibly the X-012 or indeed the early UR album (can't remember what it sounds like but seem to recall its pretty full-on) would fit

Charlie w said...

This one of Jeff Mills always amuses me and was played at UK raves

So Unmillsian and yet so Millsian!

Unknown said...

Acen did put out an album "75 Minutes" but it was mainly just a collection of the singles with a few new remixes. Other albums would be:

4 Hero - In Rough Territory
2 Bad Mice - Kaotic Chemistry ((US only release from '95 on Sm:)e)
Altern 8 - Full On... Mask Hysteria (obviously)
Moby - The LP
SUAD - Death Is Not The End
The Hypnotist - Let Us Pray


Taninian has the Moby and the Altern-8 and the Hypnotist and the SUAD in the list at Leaving Earth I think

4 Hero as i mentioned above got left out of that list, perhaps not 'ravey' enough

that's a good point about Acen, although as you say it's not really a proper LP. A great listen though.

likewise 2 Bad Mice is really a compilation isn't it, so doesn't quite cut it - absolutely blinding selection of tunes though, and in that sense as thrilling and essential a document as Experience

Nookie did one didn't he, in the belated category, but as i recall it was just too uplift / piano oriented, without any swerves into darker

thinking about it another 'they could have done a great one' would be The House Crew

Unknown said...

Sublove could have done a great album (part of the holy trinity with Acen & Hyper On Experience in my book).

Another album that came out about 4 years too late (like Liquid) was N-Joi's 'Inside Out' which finally crept out in about 1995. They had had label problems with Deconstruction which stopped an album coming out in 91 (which partially lead to their manager, Mike Champion, leaving to manage The Prodigy).

Shades Of Rhythm put out two albums, but like most, the album tracks that weren't the singles seem to be very "grown-up" (boring).

Sonic Experience's album 'Def Til Dawn' on Strictly Underground is quite good, especially the interlude tracks featuring excerpts from illegal raves. SU's tracks were never quite as entertaining as their adverts they stuck on the end of their albums/compilations though :D

Anyway, I'm with Bill Drummond, albums produce lethargy whilst singles promote action.

Unknown said...

One more, Wiskdokta could have put out a great album in 1992. The back to back releases (Kick29 Whine You Bottom EP & Kick30 Shaggy Rydims EP) are fantastic slabs of 92 nuttiness.


oh yeah Sublove were great weren't thy

Wishdokta, you are right i'm sure

another one that came out belatedly, in 1994, and was excellent as i recall - and a double album i believe - Bay-B-Kane, 'Guardians of Ruff' on White House

actually it was a CD and a double LP plus a 10 inch EP!!!

ah well in truth, the one not mentioned so far but really could have done something gorgeous would be if the original Foul Play with Steve Gurley had stuck together and squeezed out an LP in '93 - but then again perhaps it wouldn't be 'ravey' enough to fit the Taninian rubric. But imagine a whole LP of tracks in the 'Drowning in Her', 'Finest Illusion', 'Dubbing U', 'Open Your Mind', Rogue unit rmx of 'peace sign' rogue unit bootleg rmx of 'say i'm your number one', 'Being with you' FP rmx vein . Cor!


well i only just around to listening to the Spotify playlist i made of taninian's best rave LPs and one i can say for sure, he's right about the Moby album - it's blindingly good, full-on technorave at just the moment before breaks took over

i am making another Spotify playlist of the rave LPs he missed as suggested by people here and my own suggestions

Ian_s said...

Criminal Minds - Mind Bombing on Labello Blanco as well. Great but overlooked album, probably because the tracks weren't very DJ friendly. AS they were a hip-hop outfit before, you could well imagine these tracks slowed down and working as hip-hop instrumentals. Can't imagine them getting dropped in raves...maybe pirates. Right up my street though

The Only Solution

Samples Adam & The Ants and has a great acid line at 2.05ish

Running (From Myself)
Great sample from Young Unlimited Orchestra's cover of Light My Fire

I've remembered to sign this post this time, no more "Unknown" for me :D


another possibly good one - haven't listened to it all the way through - is Force Mass Motion's 1992 LP for Rabbit City, The Stone of the 5th Sun.

yeah the Criminal Minds is a good one - i think that is actually in the Leaving Earth original list


the one i really want get on his list is the Biochip C 'Biocalypse'

Steve said...

This is just a magical concept, list and review. Loads I never knew existed and a reminder just how goddamn good the Prodigy LP is. I had totally forgotten. Probably cos I never owned it. Didn't seem much point when ALL your friends were rinsing it CONSTANTLY.

Biocalypse is totally new to me.... but sounds like almost every rave I went to in about 1991, which has got to be the ultimate measurement of these albums.

N-Joi's Live in Manc is my enduring personal fave from this list. Although it was billed as an EP at the time. And isn't quite as banging hard as some of the others. But is a proper rave record.

Good call on White Room - although not like any rave I went to - and En Tact, which I did listen to recently and was surprised how dated it sounded. But totally not RAVE. Remember Hyperreal? Ditto FSOL Accelerator.

Don't think I was really into buying RAVE albums. Now RAVE compilations, that's a whole 'nother conversation....

Steve said...

Joey Beltram really shoulda released a blinding full-on rave LP.

Ooh, he did release one a year outside LE's timeframe:

Never heard it but....sounds good from the youtube clips.

Kinda surprised SL2 didn't do an album. Agreed on The House Crew and possibly Manix?

in ate said...

Has anyone mentioned this yet?

Though released in 93 alot of the tracks were proper 91-92 rave music

Unknown said...

re Wishdokta, I remember from my hazy teenage-years that he actually had an album release, iirc from early '92.

The above discogs link supports this notion