Saturday, March 26, 2011

RJ's Rule - Rave This Nation (1991)

So what is rave and what is rave music? A proper definition would be the music that featured at the first dance parties - by definition, a rave is a wildly boisterous party (usually with music) - so in the mid '80s this might have included some disco, hi nrg, early American house and balearic tunes that took in everything from Manual Gottshing to Hall & Oates.
Okay, but that's not what I think of as rave music. For me, a rave was not just a party with music - it was an opportunity to dance your heart out to quality electronic tuneage. While lots of folks were happily wandering around in some kind of euphoric stupor amazed by the lighting rig and the pretty patterns they could make in the air with their glowsticks, me and a few other like-minded warriors saw the night as an opportunity to go to war with the DJ, pushing our bodies to keep dancing to the non-stop techno music coming out of the speaker bins. If any e-d up rave bunny dared come up to to talk shit while we were rocking our groove they were certain to cop an earful of "fuck off, I'm dancing..."
Our favourite tunes weren't noisy, overly fast or that hardcore sounding; mostly they were European, energetic and just a little bit on the trippy side. But unlike straight up trance (which could kill a dance floor quicker than a round of special-k), these tracks were great to dance to. I've already posted some like Digital Boy's Kokko and Full On Sound's Mayhem, but this is the quintessential rave anthem.

The "Raw Substantial Mix" opens with a sample taken from the Woodstock (1969) documentary at the point when the organisers have realised that they can no longer control the gates to the event because of the massive crowd numbers. From the main stage they announce to the half a million party people that...
"It's a free concert from now on. That doesn't mean that anything goes; what that means is that we're going to put the music on here for free."
And then we're off into the realm of heavy duty 4-by-4 kick drums and a pumping bassline. Every 16 bars or so, some new component comes in to the mix, upping the urgency and the call to dance. My favourite part has to be the speak'n'spell chant (taken from an old electro track) mid way through that signals the oncoming (and all too short) climax. The "Fly Tech Groove Mix" is less manically energetic, darker and pretty good too; while the third mix is more of a bridge track.

So who were the RJ's?
Just one guy actually: Ramon Roelofs, better known today as Charly Lownoise. With his mate Mental Theo, he's gone on to produce some of the most god awful Dutch hardcore ever put down on wax and helped create that atrocious brand of dance known as Hardstyle. A pity.

A1  Rave This Nation 
     (Raw Substantial)
B1  Rave This Nation 
     (Fly-Tech Groove)
B2  Rave This Nation 
      (People Of All Nations 
       Dancing Together)

Vinyl Rip _ 320kbps MP3 ...mediafire

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