Class of ’99, Vol. 11

Happy new year to you all, and welcome back. I guess I’m going to dedicate this month’s mix to Flat Eric. As I have mentioned before, there was a close connection between the house scenes of Chicago and Paris, with French DJs regularly performing at Chicago raves. Sometime in 1998, Flat Eric made its way onto the scene, probably brought to Chicago by its Parisian creator, Mr. Oizo. I don’t know if there were multiple Flat Erics floating around, or just the one, but I distinctly remember a friend of mine walking around a party with this guy. On film, he seems more like a marionette, but “in person”, I remember him more like a Muppet in that one hand went in his head/mouth, and your other hand went in one of his hands, which meant that his other hand was just kind of vestigial and couldn’t be moved.

While electronic dance music never really enjoyed mainstream success stateside, it did find a home in late-90s advertising. Flat Eric seemed to disappear from the Chicago rave scene as quickly as he appeared, but in ’99—much to my surprise—Flat Eric became the mascot for Levi’s jeans. American ad agencies had apparently discovered ‘Electronica’, and were all trying to outdo each other by licensing artists like The Orb, or Moby, whose 1999 multi-platinum album, Play, probably netted more in ad licensing than in direct sales.

Class of ’99, Volume 11: Time Will Tell
Download the mix (MP3, 40 Minutes, 94 MB)

This month’s cover comes from an ad I scanned out of an old issue of Thousand Words magazine.

Track List

Follow these links to read more about the selections:

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