Hello and welcome! This week's picks comes from Roo, a writer and editor with the cheek to co-found a top quality blog whose name comes dangerously close to sounding cooler than 'loose lips'; Halcyon Wax! She also runs a womxn + non binary collective named Shifting Spheres, organising DJ workshops in Manchester to promote inclusivity, whose first compilation contains absolute heaters from Deep Cuts writers Lauryn and Jazzi Bobbi, essential listening. Aside from this she's also a riproaring DJ with a particular taste for rich transcendent grooves and experience supporting everyone from Carista to Special Request, take it away....
A combination of seeing the rise of illegal raves during lockdown and watching an array of rave films including the cult classic Human Traffic and Beats which is centered around the Criminal Justice Act of 1994 that banned music which was "wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats" has inspired me to curate a 80s/90s selection. Halcyon, is taken from my website name but it is by definition, a past time that was idyllically happy and peaceful. I’m not sure the late 80’s and early 90’s can be necessarily named idyllic but the music certainly makes me happy so I’ve picked out a bunch of grooves that make me smile.
First up, starting deep is Groove Collective’s Deal With It (The USG Gallery Collective Mix). An absolutely divine track remixed by the og’s Ron Trent and Anthony Nicholson. A funk infused groove merged with delicate rolling percussion, deep synths and floating flute line.
As stated in the name, this one is truly an absolute groover, merging together a bouncing Chicago bass, crazy alien infused keys which remind me of the acid jazz that bands like Jamiroquai championed, plus lots of tasty chords.
This one reminds me of the Balearic techno vibe that Telephones has got going on. Ringing melodies and a garage-y swing with a little bit of a wobbly edge. Really it’s just a banger.
A staple of my sets currently, delicious soulful vocals and an oddly uplifting beat amid the slightly depressing lyrics.
Released in 1992, this is what 90’s house is all about, with a New York funky bassline and chopped vocal snippets.
“People of all nations dancing together”. Beautiful lyrics guided by jazz infused keys to describe what house music is essentially all about; unity.
Moving into a more dreamy palette, Lovecraft's influence can certainly be felt in much of the music coming out of the electronic sphere at the moment. Wonky acid lines, euphoric vocals and laid back, otherworldly vibes.
This is actually the only track that features on my picks from the 80s. As soon as you hear the opening chords you know it’s the Happy Mondays with that signature Manchester sound. A perfect example of how indie and rave collided.
Closing your eyes this once truly does transport you to rave at 6am with the sun coming up... perfect.
Remixed by one of all time favourite producers Kerri Chandler, this had to make my picks as it is simply one of the best house songs out there.