To me a great DJ can elevate a good track to a legendary moment. I was at a party where Ron Trent and François K were DJing. It was very diverse crowd, a mix of black and white, mix of young and old, mix of people into dance music and people who just saw the flyer. François started off the night with Running Away By Roy Ayers and it was a good time, then a couple hours in they played this track:
I think a lot of people on this board are familiar with it. I had known about it from a commercial and thought it was nice… But I hadn’t realized it’s potential.
It bought the house down. I’ve never seen that much positive communal energy on a dancefloor. People were completely losing themselves. The moment felt kind of spiritual.
How about you all? What’s the most memorable song drop you’ve heard while you were on the dancefloor?
At the 2007 Chosen Few Picnic in Chicago; back when it was “just” a free get-to-gether in a park. It was that time of evening when it was getting dark on the ground but the city skyline was absolutely glowing golden. I’d read about this tune but had no idea what it would be. Andre Hatchet dropped it at the absolute peak of the party and thousands of househeads became one. A sublime emotional experience I’ll never forget.
Nice track, thanks for sharing. Daytime Chicago events have the best house music to me. Heard so many great sets from Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, etc over the years.
Tough question! There are so many and I’ve been clubbing for over 25 years.
Probably this one though, always hits an emotional spot. A particularly memorable time was when Kerri dropped it himself on his gig over here in Finland in 2002. I had it on a compilation so I had heard it before, but it was really emotional in the club, with Kerri singing and playing the keys. One of the best DJ gigs I’ve attended and more or less responsible for turning me into a house head.
Another memorable track was when Kerri played my own track on his set. Good times!
Lil Louis playing E2E4 at The Hacienda … remember this night like it was yesterday rather than over 30 years ago (wtf…)
Goosebumps ish’ right there!
Pilton 99 in the dance tent (when it was only the dance tent). I am a hilariously stereotypical mid nineties boy, completing my transition from haircut bands to raving it up - so Fatboy followed by Tom and Ed (DJing, rather than live) is literally the greatest thing I can ever imagine happening. I believe we’re post Hey Boy Hey Girl but pre Surrender. Gus Gus are on before Norm and there are only a few hundred in the tent, so we get to pick our spot - nicely slap bang in the epicentre. Had got giddy the night before, burned through supplies so had to buy some off a random. 1 minute before Fatboy I thought: ‘these are rubbish, better bang another one’. One minute after topping up: ‘whoopsie daisy, these are Geoff Capes strong’. I read afterwards that the crowd had got so big there were thousands outside the tent (which I seem to remember was 2 or 3 football pitch sized). We never moved. 4 hours later (or 30 seconds - or 2 million years), the substance siblings let the penultimate record play out, wait for people to have a bit of a yell and a holler, and then I hear this for the first time. Absolutely primal / sanctified.
DJ blends in Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Nots” in 1997 when the Will Smith song that sampled it was in the charts, crowd went ballistic.
I love that record, was on all the time when I was younger. That’s my mom’s era and she had us doing chores to it.
A memorable example from the dim and distant past:
About 1995, at a night called Magic Bus at The Blue Note on Hoxton Square, the party was in full swing and then Eddie Piller dropped a swinging uptempo Hammond-organ jazz-dance track which absolutely brought the house down - when the track ended the dancefloor cheered and burst into a spontaneous round of applause (first time I ever remember seeing a crowd applaud a specific record in the middle of a DJ’s set). Eddie had to let the tumult die down a bit before he could put the next record on. I have no idea what the bloody track was, the floor was rammed and there was no way I was going to get anywhere near the booth to ask!
Here’s one I can be more certain about:
October 1996, at a night called That’s How It Is on a Thursday night at Bar Rumba. Gilles Peterson was playing his usual clubby jazzy stuff, then right at the peak of his set he started mixing in some stuttering D’n’B beats which built and built until the vocal refrain began and the dancefloor went absolutely wild…
Nobody seemed to know what it was, I was assuming it was his own live mix until a few days later when I was flicking through the racks in a record shop in Soho and saw a white-label boot with the words “fugees or not” stamped on the label - I just sensed that this was going to be that amazing track I heard a few nights previously, so I bought it without even bothering to queue up to listen to it. And, dear reader, I still have that original white label which subsequently went on to become a bit of a phenomenon on the scene here in London.
Probably 1984. The Mud Club on a Friday night at Busbys on Charing Cross Road. The first big club venue I went to, even though it was a tacky chrome and mirrors place. Even waiting in the queue outside was exciting as the Mutoid Waste Company used to drive their chopped up jeeps and trucks through central London back then.
Jay Strongman was playing a lot of go-go and old funk. Nice and percussive but not really bass heavy. Then he plays this. It sounded absolutely huge:
Do two records at the same time count? 1985 Notttng Hill Carnival, when it was still a bit of a free-for-all. In a side street a guy had set up a little system outside his block. On one turntable he had “Twilight” by Maze. On the other was Run DMC, “Sucker MCs”. You can probably imagine what they sounded like together, but it was made even better by the little robotic movements he was doing with his arms as he mixed, while keeping his head perfectly still looking out just above the heads of the crowd. In my memory, he didn’t even blink. Not once.
Frankie debuting The Pressure at Ministry.
He had imperceptibly lowered the volume over the previous 5 or 10 mins prior to dropping that massive grand piano note on the intro at maximum welly.
Talk about blown away…
Maybe in about 2011 - hadn’t been to a club on a night out for quite a long time. Ended up tagging along with some friends to World Unknown under the railway arches at Loughborough Junction - absolutely out of tree, total sweatbox with smoke machine working overtime and on came Blancmange - Game Above My Head - was amazing.
I have no idea whether this is well known. It was Luke Una’s last track on his recent WWFM takeover of Gilles show. The first half of it is ok, maybe nothing special, but good God the second half absolutely blew me away. Made in 1979 but sounding like a missing link with early house music (was thinking of stuff like ‘Move your body’). Would love to hear what people think of this…
This is wicked, even more so when you Google his life (and death).
That is absolutely glorious. I actually prefer the first half as the riff reminds me of the thumping piano music from the old Charlie Brown cartoons. I remember my brother had this 1979 Virgin compilation of South African music, probably the '84 reissue.
I haven’t heard it since back then, but listening to some of the YouTube clips there’s quite a few with proto-house moments, especially this Malombo track.
I played this last Saturday! Haven’t unpacked my bags yet
Edit: the other Malombo track is OK, too. The rest of the album is a bit mediocre to my ears. Never seen the film, either.
If it was anyone else it would be a bizarre coincidence, but as it is you it is no surprise.
Tony Humphries dropped this in Full On, Liverpool.