DJ, Producer and now founder of a brand new whisky 8O8, TommyD has put together a playlist for you on his Top 10 House tracks from back in the day. The smooth beats sound like they were made yesterday and can easily be played tomorrow. Nothing like a good throwback!
8O8 Whisky, created and founded by TommyD, one of the original DJs from the defining wave of dance music, has always done things differenly. The idea behind 8O8 is to encourage a whole new generation of whisky drinkers to engage with dance music, and it is as exciting as ever. His lifelong commitment to the genre of fresh approach to production, DJing and songwring has made him into the prolific artist he is today. So why not revolutionize the way clubbers drink whisky?
Check out TommyD’s playlist below of songs to add to your ultimate playlist and enjoy going back in time.
1. Raw Basics – Raw Basics (1992). Simple yet funky. I loved this record so much, I tracked down the guy that made it. He was bemused that some English bloke knew about the record and even more bemused that Iâ€™d trekked all the way to Brooklyn to find him. This could slip so easily into a Disclosure record.
2. M.K – Burning (1992) Marc Kinchen has seen somewhat of a revival recently and is now rightfully back headlining big events (he has his own night at Pacha). His mixes are so unique and clever. Very simple and the way he manipulates vocals to create new melodies is pure genius.
3. G.O.D. – Limited (1993?) I donâ€™t know anything about this record other than it says G.O.D. and Limited on the cover. The â€˜limited’ could literally mean its limited release as Iâ€™ve certainly never seen it since, or perhaps it was a thinly veiled attack on Christianity!! This builds so brilliantly, solid but with a slight disco angle as well. It sort of sounds like the kind of tracks Seth Troxler used to play a couple of years ago before he got dark!
4. Elastic Reality – Casa de X (1994) This is by Brian Transeau or BT as he was better known as and came from the Tribal Records stable who did a lot with the Murk boys from Miami. Miami spearheaded this harder yet soulful sound of house. I love the keyboard part, very trippy. Could be a Philip Glass in another world. To me, this is something Dixon could easily program.
5. When I Fell in Love – UBQ Project (1993) A great example of how a simple, almost childlike lyric, can invoke so much when backed by the right kind of haunting music. â€œWhen I fell in Love, I never thought Iâ€™d fall for you.â€™ That scary moment when you realize youâ€™d do anything for someone and how that is ultimately and tragically going to pan out. Rather too much of that went on in my early 20â€™s!
6. Sole Fusion – Bass Tone (1994)Â Louie Vega can do no wrong in my eyes. The standard of brilliance that came out of his collaboration with Kenny Dope under the Masters at Work moniker is ridiculously high. I had the privilege of working with them on a remix of Voices which ended up on their greatest hit compilation. Of all the hit records and amazing experiences I’ve been lucky to have, that was definitely one of the highlights.
7. Cassio – Never Thought I’d See You Again (1993) Much prefer the dub. A brilliant example of sampling, in this case, a sax riff that I think comes from Maceo Parker and a genius simple DX7 bell keyboard sound, so synonymous of the era but now very much in vogue. Sampling has gone out of favour a bit cos the lawyers too over. Another example of the law stifling creativity. Bring back stealing!
8. Yoyo Honey – Groove On, DJ Pierre Remix (1993) This has to be one of my all time favourite house tunes. DJ Pierre had this incredible way of building a track. The energy gets turned up ever so slightly every 8 bars, while the mantra ‘when the music takes you highâ€™ drops in and out, till it reaches the most insane climax. The tease is certainly in so this is sex music, pure and simple. I ended up producing YoYo Honeys second album which was a brilliant experience and one that set me on the road to full-time production.
9. Project Sound – Sweet Is The MorninÂ (1994) My god how many sunrises or 7 am Ministry slots did I start my set with this beauty!! The average time we used to play for was 4 hours, completely different to the 2-hour average now. Jeez, Iâ€™m just warming up after 2 hours!! 4, 5, 6, even 7 hours is a proper DJ set. The cliche of taking people on a journey is absolutely at the fore. It’s your vibe and your groove that they all follow. Tony Humphries (one of the godfathers of NY house) told me once that he purposely liked to trash the dance floor in the first hour, so the true dancers stayed on. You gotta work for your groove.
10.Cajmere – Brighter Days (1992) Another of the Detroit/NY hybrid tunes but again another one that for me was all about the marriage of a great classic keyboard line and a great vocal hook. People donâ€™t realize that the classic house keyboard riffs of the 90â€™s had the same resonance as the great classic guitar riffs of the 70â€™s. How could anyone not respond to a clarion call of a lyric: â€˜Lift me up, when Iâ€™m down. Pick me up, off the ground. Turn my frown to a smile. Make my life all worthwhile. Brighter days.’
More relevant today than itâ€™s ever been.