A month or so ago there were really positive reviews going around of the compilation Acid Rain, Definitive Original Acid & Deep House 1985-1991. I’ve always liked the trademark acid sound of squelchy, modulating electro bass, and there have been some top quality acid-influenced mainstream tracks and albums over the years… like the Pet Shop Boys’ 1988 album Introspective album that I mentioned a few weeks back – there, that’s my need for linking between posts satisfied.
So I purchased a physical copy of the Acid Rain compilation, purely for research purposes obviously. I’ve listened to the whole 6½ hours of 60 tracks several times since, walking to & from work, at the gym, at home! – I think I might have had too much acieeed. Most people will think of D-Mob’s We Call It Acieeed when anyone mentions acid house, and while this is a fun song it doesn’t represent what the genre was really about. It does have a funny video though, to my sense of humour anyway;
Unsurprisingly then this track is not on Acid Rain. Actually I would have called the collection “Acid Reign” as it is an epitaph to the years when Chicago and acid were at the forefront of house music worldwide. Acid Rain is a track in its own right by Victor Romeo that fuses the acid house and deep house genres the compilation covers. Purer acid house is more earnest and uncompromising, an excellent example being Phuture’s Acid Trax. If you haven’t heard this kind of thing before I would listen to it in a pitch black room, and I mean really listen, as this music really does weave and wind itself inside and out, and around you – it is intricate and hypnotic… I would even go as far as getting yourself a strobe and some friends round to recreate that night club feel;
To my ears acid house also has a dark insidious quality, and some of the tracks on this collection have reinforced that perception. I had never before heard Bam Bam’s Where’s Your Child?, which you could interpret on several levels. You might want the lights on the first time you listen to this one;
House music got its name from The Warehouse club in Chicago where it was born in the early 1980s, but it wasn’t until 1987 that acid house fully emerged. Yet five years before and on the other side of the world Bollywood musician Charanjit Singh had produced an album called Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, which is now cited as the first acid house record. He had used the same type of Roland synthesisers the DJs and producers in Chicago went on to use, and clearly there was also common ground in terms of melody. Charanjit’s album was a commercial failure when released in 1982, but since being rediscovered in 2002 has received justified recognition. The opening track Raga Bhairav gives you the flavour;
Many months before commencing on this rediscovery of acid house I had started working on some new songs of my own, and was experimenting with the sounds that suited them best. One of the tracks, currently with working title Delirium, was high on the beats per minute scale, 140 BPM to be precise, and I felt suited a more clubby sound than the atmospheric feel of the EP I finished in May this year. The subject matter for the song lent itself to a grimier urban feel, hence the choice of beats and percussion, but then I needed something to reflect the lyrical climax of the verse/chorus which I decided was a break out of acid-like instrumentation. Maybe the resurgence of interest in acid house is because of producing this track…
As a “treat” to those few people who have been asking for some new material from me, I’ve uploaded the first 3 minutes of the demo of Delirium Tremens for you to listen to. Note that this has been done on an 8 track recorder, with the vocals done in 1 take and no mastering, so it is best listened to through headphones or earphones. So after all that anti-hype, here is Delirium (Demo);
I don’t know about you, but I now feel the need for something more wholesome in next week’s blog.
Have a wholesome week.