Class of ’99, Vol. 16
For most of the 90s, raving was relegated to the underground. Very rarely did the scene get any mainstream exposure, but around 1998-99 rave seemed to step over pop culture and enjoy some visibility in more upscale cultural institutions. Suddenly, I was seeing billboards for Modulations and Better Living Through Circuitry at places like the Chicago History Museum.
In 1996, The Museum of Contemporary Art began an annual, 24-hour event called Summer Solstice. In 1999, the MCA turned their cafeteria and patio into a rave called Brite Spot, putting high society in direct contact with the teenage underground.
Simultaneous to this phenomenon was the rise of the Internet, which ravers had been using since the early days of Hyperreal and Rollin. Web design emerged as an important new art form, and flyer designers like Airline Industries parlayed their talents into cutting-edge print and multimedia graphcs.
Rave culture had already seeped into the world of gaming with the Wipeout series, and this trend continued with 1999’s Space Channel 5.
Sega originally asked Lady Miss Kier of Dee-Lite to star in this game as the main character, and when she declined they created Ulala, a character so obviously based on her that she sued the company (surprisingly, however, she lost the suit and had to pay Sega’s legal expenses).
About the cover
This is from an ad I found in an old issue of Thousand Words magazine, which I have mentioned before and which I consider the publication of record for the Chicago scene.
Follow these links to read more about the selections:
Daft Punk — Fresh (1996)
Mighty Dub Katz — It's Just Another Groove (1995)
Huge hit in both the rave scene and the normie dance scene. This track got decent rotation on B-96. This is The original release, but a lot of people re-released this and every remix seemed to gain its own following. The Lisa Marie Experience mix got a lot of rotation, and hard house fans had Dem Rats. I think it’s because DJs and producers liked the record, but that the asymmetrical rhythm signature gnawed at them. Basically, the 4th beat is missing, creating a rare 15/4 time that’s almost impossible to mix with anything.
Blow Out Express — You're Mine (1996)
This is a one-off release of a side project by groundbreaking producer Arthur Baker. It’s an important single because it bridges Baker’s career from his work in the original disco movement, through the urban music of the 80s, to the 90s house scene he helped inspire.
Cricco Castelli — Life Is Changing (1998)
This is Cricco Castelli’s most popular track and the highlight of his Thank God It’s Funky LP.
NYC Live And Direct — Everything U Need (1998)
Free Energy — Happiness (1996)
<a href=”https://www.discogs.com/sell/list?sort=price%2Casc&limit=25&master_id=510182&ev=mb¤cy=USD”This EP Is the first release on Chicago’s Guidance Records, from Joshua (Iz of Iz & Diz) plus Chris Nazuka. Every track on this little EP is excellent.
Nicole — Runnin Away (Todd Edwards mix) (1996)
This was probably my first exposure to Todd Edwards, a producer unparalleled in his time. It was the opener to a Mark Almaria tape called Creamy Groove Machine, which every raver had and loved. You can find this track on The remix release of “Runnin”.
Braxton Holmes and Dewey B. — The Smack (1997)
Braxton Holmes teamed up with a number of other producers, dropping solid releases with goofy names like “Funky Disco Midgets” or “Cabrini Greens And Cornbread”. This one honors a main character of TV’s The Jeffersons and is entitled The Adventures Of A Full Figured Woman.
Spencer Kincy and JT — Can't Stop (1996)
Disco Tex — Love Is Wonderful (1996)
This cut is off Disco-Tex Vol II.
Troy McLure — Remember Me? (1999)
This obscure release from a Classic Label Sampler refers to the running bit from a Simpsons character.
Sexy Kool — Move That Body (1999)
Here’s another track off theFiat Lux Racing Team ’99 compilation.
Mike 303 — St. Sylvestre (1998)
I don’t know anything about Mike 303; this was the only record I had by him. It appears to have something to do with I:Cube, and sure sounds like it.
Daft DJ — Last Night (1998)
Deep Dish Presents Prana — The Dream (1994)
This collaboration between Deep Dish and B.T. yielded a huge international House classic. Pick it up at Discogs.
Ian Pooley — All Nite (1997)
This is the flipside to Pooley’s “Higgledy Piggeldy” single.
United Funk Pilots — Keep On Dancin (1997)
This tune comes from The 2nd Flight EP, released on NYC’s Henry Street Records.
Nick Holder — Paradise (Salt City Mix) (1997)
Nick Holder is from Toronto and he released this record on UK’s NRK label.
Iz And Diz — Down 4 U (1997)
This is my favorite release by Chicago’s Iz & Diz, off The Bioflavanoids EP.