Faith Fanzine's Top 21 '90s House Records

Last year, the House blokes at Faith Fanzine put together their list of the finest records of the 1990s. We're revisiting it today....
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Last year, the House blokes at Faith Fanzine put together their list of the finest records of the 1990s. We're revisiting it today....

We love a poll over at Faith mansions, they cause a right old tear up amongst the internet hipsters, the Househeads and those who discovered Deep House last week while out shopping for a Lidl for one of those Duck, Turkey & Chicken meat monstrosities for Xmas but came home instead with a Beatport breakdown mp3. When it comes to House music in 2013 there’s been an unhealthy obsession with a return to the 90s. It’s like Back to the Future 5 and we are all wearing Evisu jeans, Nike Riffs and walking around Dalston playing M1 organs.

The 90s were a golden period in House music, New York and London had taken the mantle from Chicago whilst taking the sound darker and deeper. Techno was huge all over the world and the Ministry of Sound had Larry Levan and Tony Humphries on a Saturday and at its innovative 'Open' night on Fridays the likes of Danny Tenaglia, Carl Craig and Ritchie Hawtin. All this was far too good to be true and by the late 90s the curse of the 'super club' with its awful Handbag House and Trance soundtrack threatened to kill off the House culture for good. This of course did not happen mainly because of obsessive Faith keepers in London and of course around the world. Now in 2013 we have a Morgan Geist record at NO1 in the pop charts. Sadly there is no TOTP's anymore so Morgan has ducked being molested by an elderly radio jock in the hospitality suite.

After several rounds of nominations that took in Techno, US Garage, big vocals, deep house, new school Chicago Jack and the finest UK House we got it down to a magnificent 21.

21) Black science Orchestra – Save Us

Junior Boys Own stalwart Mr Ashley Beedle and his crew of the day James Brown , Daddy macro and Tommy D with one of London's dopest dance track of the 90s. Hypnotic keys, relentless groove and a great hook provides the epitome of what was going on in the capital in the mid 90s.

20) DSK – What Would We Do

We released this for our Boys Own label. Pete and I did a long long mix sampling various stabs and vocal snippets from the vocal original. To hear Tony Humphries play 2 copies of this at the then brand new MOS club in London was a validation of what Fire Island was all about.

19) Faze Action – In The Trees

An innovative British classic that took its inspiration not from House but Disco and Boogie , the bassline and strings morph into a maelstrom that Larry Levan would have been proud of.

18) Mood II Swing – All Night Long

The remix duo of Lem Springsteen and John Ciafone are held in the highest esteem in the world of House. You really could have picked half a dozen of their underground hits to appear in our chart but 'All Night Long ' is the one that got the votes. All about the bottom heavy NY swung beats with these guys - deep and sleazy.

17) Davina – Don’t You Want It

The Happy music label out of Detroit (Mad Mike's of UR fame label) gave us a bone fide classic in 1992 with Davina and 'Don't you Want It' a bubbling organ led shuffler that mixed up Italian House and Detroit Tech all underpinning Davina's gospel vocal .. could easily have been release on Irma or Flying of Italy.

16) Round Two – New Day

The fact both Andy Caine sung records on Basic Channel offshoot Main street made it into our chart shows just how much House aficionados love these Deep Classics. Just like 'I’m your Brother' it’s simple yet soulful it’s as much a soul record as a house one and could easily be no 1 in the chart if the voters were voting on the quality of the song itself and not therir Ecstasy soaked memories that influence them to vote for more peak time House.

15) Slam – Positive Education

E record from Glasgow's finest that looks to Detroit for its inspiration but still evokes the soul of its city of origin.

14) Nu Yorican Soul – That Nervous Track

As much a jazz record as a House one this is Kenny and Louie at their most innovative. Every DJ played the fuck out of this slow burning monster with its jazzy keys, brass stabs and breakbeat groove.

13) Don Carlos – Alone

A wonderful wonderful record that’s as deep as you like but also uplifting, this came along just as Mixmag was proclaiming the new batch of E (Doves) as the saviour of dance music. Reminds me of girls dressing like Lady Ms Kier in multi coloured cat suits and blokes in John Richmond with a great piano line as well.

12) Global Communication – The Way

‘The Way’ is a seminal UK house record from Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard that borrows some wildpitch sensibility from NY and some new school Jack from Chicago's mid 90s new school with a huge dollop of Britishness to create a unique sound that again has lasted the test of time.

11) Round One – I’m Your Brother 

is simply sublime and as understated as 'The Pressure' was overstated and dripping in drama . It’s loosely a version of Jasper Isley Jasper’s 'Caravan of Love.' It is a record that has been played ever since and a track that 'the heads' have claimed as their own.

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10) X-Press 2 Muzik Xpress

This record was made very much with the Wildpitch genre in mind. Rocky ‘n Diesels first trip into a studio to make a proper record alongside Ashley Beedle (I made up the name Xpress 2 calling it 2 because when I was given the TDK c60 tape no one told me Mr B was involved.) Anyway it’s all there with a West London knees up meets Vasquez wallop. To this day when that bassline drops in, the cowbell rattles up go the hands and the cheers. Even if you're 18 years old and wasn’t born when this was conceived

9) Jaydee - Plastic Dreams

Another Vasquez anthem with its unique organ intro and church bell like effect that leads into a dirty drum break - one for the voguers and runway kids. The term ' big room record ' was invented for this beauty .

8) Chez Damier & Ron Trent - Morning Factory

Ron Trent and Chez Damier are names held in full respect by Househeads across the globe and their ‘Morning Factory’ guise on the uber collectable Prescription label is a match made in house heaven. True Deep House (and a million miles away from the tech house music that has robbed the soul from the genre) that is as African American in its soul as anything from the previous decades. Proper 5am/after hours - eyes closed music to have a 'moment' to.

7) Black Science Orchestra - New Jersey Deep

Another British record that lent heavily on 1970s Funk and Jazz, whilst being processed through the mind and sampler of Ashley B. Ash produced a giant record one that still gets rewinds and peak time play at festivals and boat parties worldwide

6) Sounds of Blackness - The Pressure Pt.1 (Classic 12" Mix)

One of my own personal clubbing highlights was my first visit to the Sound Factory and hearing Frankie Knuckles jaw dropping the remix of the 'Pressure' by gospel group Sounds of Blackness . The piano and string intro that sets up vocalist Ann Nesby is pure heaven and in the 2 mins before the kick drum arrives you have a near perfect E moment that caused the whole club to go into spiritual screams as the huge glitter ball radiated a deep blue warm cloak upon the dancers below.

5) Pepe Bradock - Deep Burnt

Freddie Hubbard's jazz classic 'little sunflower' provided the string sample and inspiration for this Deep House classic out of France . Simplistic yet layered with soul and a warmth that sets it apart from most sample tracks.

4) River Ocean ft India - Love and Happiness

Masters at Work represent New York's Garage tradition like no other duo and this India sung masterpiece is their jewel in the crown. India's soulful Latin vocals and the Spanish sung male BV's sit on Tito Puente's heavy congas while a beautiful organ weaves itself around India's amazing voice.

3) Robert Owens - I'll Be Your Friend

THE House vocalist of all time and David Morales in his prime – it’s a match made in house heaven. Morales provided many a pop remix with a dark 'Red Zone ' dub, dubs that to this day get dropped by the right djs at the right time always causing chaos. 'I’ll be your, I’ll be your, I’ll be your, I’ll be your' ..  that’s the one.

2) Photon Inc - Generate Power (Wild Pitch mix)

Wildpitch came from the obviously insane brain of Nathaniel Pierre Jones or DJ Pierre to the House fraternity. The cat that co-invented ACID house with 'Acid Trax' took a heavy kick drum, a hypnotic bassline and then layered squelches , stabs with heavy synth sounds to make a genre that would rock just about every big room and warehouse across the decade

1) Paperclip People - Throw

The number 1 track however was a genre busting monster that was equally as big on the Techno scene as well as House scenes and fittingly was made by a African American from Detroit. Carl Craig remains a House and Techno hero in 2013 whilst in 1994 he released a record that shook the scene to its core. Released in the UK on the Ministry of Sounds 'Open' label it took a drum and bass loop from an ancient Walter Gibbons remix of Lolleatta Holloway on Salsoul called 'Hit n Run ' that worked it into a maelstrom of madness that will reach inside your body and drag your soul out screaming like a thousand queens at the Muzik Box. Paperclip People, the guise Carl used released some other gems that were also worthy of inclusion in our chart but for now 'THROW ' is the greatest House record of the 90s. Ignore that mockney string vest Brand - voting does work .