Sometimes the underground is a surreal place to be.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Series 2: Acid Singles

Well, not all acid, but for the most part.

Series 2 #4: Acid Singles

First up is a lesser-known single from one of my favorite pop stars who jumped on the acid bandwagon early on, Enzo Avitabile. You've probably heard his much bigger single 'Blackout' on the Baelaric Beats comp or just around, it was a Shoom fave back in the heyday of the Second Summer of Love and one of my favorite acid tracks. I'm not even sure it was intended to be an acid track originally, but this one certainly was. Alta Tensione, with the great cover art and the perfect "I know what acid is!" opening line, takes the Blackout vibe one step deeper into acid house with Enzo's trademark wild sax and guttural vocal delivery. Hell of a lot of fun. Dropped in '88 for those concerned with authentic 2nd SSOL anthems. Always looking for Enzo LPs by the way.

Next, one of my favorite thing finds. Mitsou - Bye Bye Mon Cowboy, french language acid house sung by a japanese woman in a cowboy hat and a miniskirt. The tracks here are the Shep Pettibone remix and are lightyears better than the original pop version (included as last track). I love the stereo effects (especially on the second and third tracks, the House mix and dub versions) and the singing is top notch, turns out Mitsou was Québécoise. This was a major Canadian hit at the time. The things we learn from Wikipedia! This one's way uptempo, by the way, former owner's sticker lists it as 133 which was high for the time ('89 is what the cover says, I don't trust wikipedia on their '92 assessment and discogs says '88 but frankly who gives a shit).

Third, a favorite of mine (becoming a pattern) and one of the few solid justifications for the existence of belgian New Beat if you ask me. Zazou-Bikaye was the collaborative project between belgian popster Hector Zazou and african bandleader Bony Bikaye, who happened to be putting out an album just as acid hit big in '88. Presumably they wanted to gin up some hype for it, so they handed over the tapes on Na Kenda to a belgian producer by the name of Mr. Big Mouse for a b-side. This produced one of the earliest instances of the collision between african music and acid house that was later found on No Smoke's incredible International Smoke Signals LP (still searching for a copy of that myself...) and would appear here and there throughout the last twenty years (such as on MAW's incredible deep house remix of Expensive Shit, which I'll be trying to rip tonight) until today when Kwaito and African House are getting recognition and honest respect i.e. Township Funk single on Warp. Anyway, the good bit here's the Afro-Acid b-side, which is a jittery bit of 303 & 808 laden techno acid house that just works perfectly. A side is fun too, don't get me wrong. I've got a New Beat comp someplace, where I found this single which has several other Mr Big Mouse productions, so I'll toss that onto the rips list once I get settled at the new place. Looking for the LP on this too.

Up next we have another neat thing find, a really left-field acid single from the Groove Robbers by the name of 'How Far Can We Go?'. Caribbean-tinged sampladelic hip-house, bits ranging from Sparks and Talking Heads to Jimi Hendrix and Star Trek. Arthur Brown in there somewhere too.

Finally, to bring us home from our late-80's global tour and fill out the list is a single that isn't quite acid, really. A friend of mine heard this and was very interested in getting a rip, so here we are. Blue Clocks Green, a late 80's alternative-synthpop band from upstate new york, apparently toured a bit in support of this Hemingway single and had a small college radio hit with it back when that still meant something. There's an uptempo (138bpm) club mix here (best of them if you ask me) so it's still sticking with the theme. Wonderfully dour lyrics about misogyny and suicide, certainly the happiest song featuring a chorus about blowing one's brains out I've heard. At one point you could still buy copies of it from the artist, but I believe he's had trouble with a flood which ruined his remaining stock. If this isn't the case, please support him by buying up one of the few remaining copies of this awesome single.

This is probably the greatest acid post I'm ever going to be able to make, if you get any of my house posts GET THIS.

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