jeudi 11 novembre 2010

Johnny Vicious - Grind (1994)

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present one of the worst CD covers ever, for one of the best compilations ever. It may even be one of the worst covers of all time. Let's take a look at the evidence.

1. Near-naked skank that has probably never danced to house music in her life.
2. Use of every colour under the sun, terrible layout and cogs (?).
3. Says "all night house party", then says "Over 60 minutes of non-stop music". That's a very short night.
4. Use of the word 'mixmaster'. Not cool.

and finally

5. The title. "GRIND". Not Grind, GRIND, like an order. Whoever looked after this knew nothing about subtlety (or house music), and was still on the first chapter of Photoshop for Morons. Needless to say, any discerning house lover would probably run a mile.

Which makes it all the more surprising to learn that this is probably one of the best house/garage compilations of the nineties. 1994 was Johnny Vicious' golden year, still fresh and full of ideas, and the selection on here was surprising even for him.

No house/garage lover can argue with Blaze (twice!), Bas Noir, Jomanda, Kerri Chandler... and if the mixing style is abrupt near the begininning - basically cutting directly from one track to the next - things soften out quickly, with overdubs and effects livening things up. Listen to "My Love is Magic" by Bas Noir, and you'll hear the title sampled and incorporated into the next track, Vicious' trademark odd sounds float across other tracks, and many of the garage numbers here are impossible to find elsewhere in decent quality.

It's not perfect, there are a couple of fillers, and the tracklisting has some puzzling errors (does "Trailer Ends" by Running Around really come after a track called "Running Around" by Trailer Ends?) but there's a lot of really great stuff on here, including quite a few tracks culled from seminal label Downtown 161.

The only thing I would take serious issue with is the last track, a dodgy cover version of "I Feel The Earth Move" that sounds like it was added on after the mix was finished. So I decided to edit it out. It was awful.

The CD can still be found on Discogs or eBay if you look, and it's not expensive. I think it's essential. Listen or download below to see if you agree.

1 commentaire:

Mark S a dit…

Just had a look at the tracklisting for this mix cd on discogs.

Can't wait to hear it. Thanks!