Class of ’99, Vol. 7
Funnily enough, Evan Dorkin gets this partly right. Rave was never a highly sexualized subculture. I’m sure there was more risky sex in the rave scene than in the general teen population, as well as every other kind of high-risk behavior. But the scene was never overtly sexual. Raves seemed to draw about as many girls as boys, all cloaked in XXXL threads that left everything to the imagination.
There were lots of gay teenagers in the rave scene. Gay guys would sometimes wear tight shirts, and lesbians seemed to identify each other with dad-sized, buttoned-down Oxfords. No one was letting it all hang out, females were generally non-slutty, and guys weren’t aggressively macking on girls even when everyone was fucked up. This is how I remember things, anyway. Maybe that wasn’t everyone’s experience.
About the cover
This volume’s cover is from an ad for Untitled, a landmark ravewear store in Lincoln Park. The original Untitled featured a balcony with a DJ booth on it, overlooking an Art Nouveau fountain that flowed into a stocked koi pond. The store always smelled like Nag Champa, and they let you hang out in there for as long as you wanted.
Back in those days, there were about 7 shops between the Belmont and Fullerton train stations where ravers could congregate, distribute flyers, and collect mixtapes: Belmont Army Surplus, Ragstock, Rocket 69, Gramaphone, Untitled, plus a few cafés and skate shops. Southsiders also had their spots—like Level and Hot Jams—but these shops were few and far-between.
Follow these links to read more about the selections:
Alex Gopher — Super Disco (1997)
This one comes off a French compilation by Étienne de Crécy, called Super Discount, of which there are apparently no copies for sale on Discogs. This track samples “Spring Affair” by Donna Summer, from her Four Seasons Of Love LP.
DJ Rasoul — Slingshot (1998)
San Francisco’s DJ Rasoul seemed to get popular right around the end of the 90s, when House was starting to morph into Broken Beat and other ‘Post-House’ subgenres. While most House records averaged about 125 beats per minute, 120 was generally considered the cutoff for how slow a House record could be. This started to change around ’99, and “Slingshot” was recorded at 113 BPM, making it the slowest record in my collection. I had to speed it way up to fit in this mix.
Soul Searching Vol. 1 sounds very much like a San Francisco House record, but it was released on Chicago’s Large Records.
DJ Duke — The Rain (1996)
Mateo & Matos — New York Style (1996)
Mateo & Matos never really had any hits, but they were a staple for House DJs. Their sound was nondescript, and yet very consistent, with its distinctive, swing-free Nuyorican percussion. This track comes from the excellent, aforementioned Mad Styles And Crazy Visions, compiled by fellow Nuyorican Little Louie Vega.
Natural Rhythm — For Real (1999)
Here’s another one from Natural Rhythm’s Contrast In Nature LP, off the then-fledgling Earthtones Records.
“For Real” samples “Disco Nights” by GQ, from the album of the same name.
Demon — Lil' Fuck (Funkasized Version) (1999)
This cut comes from Demon’s Midnight Funk LP. Demon was totally unknown in Chicago, but he was apparently heavily promoted in his native France, and he even had a full-budget music video that looks so boring I didn’t even watch it all the way through.
DJ Sneak — Summer Day (1996)
This tune comes from the The second volume of DJ Sneaks’ Polyester EP series. Every volume of these had at least something spinnable.
The Village Blunt — Don Village Hights (1997)
Prassay — One I Saw J.C (1997)
French filler track from the classic Bakchich EP 3, off Basenotic Records. Prassay is one of DJ Gregory’s many pseudonyms.
Moodyman — Shades Of Jae Part II (1999)
Here’s another one from the strange and off-putting Moodymann. I had to spin “Shades of Jae” part II, which is less than 3 minutes long, because part I has some weird vocal all over it that’s in the completely wrong key and ruins the record. Why did Moodymann do stuff like that?
Paris Angeles — Stuff (Original Mix) (1997)
The Buffalo Bunch — Buffalo Club (1998)
Roulé Records was based in Paris and started by Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk. The Buffalo Bunch was a duo that included Paul de Homem-Christo, brother of Daft Punk’s Guy de Homem-Christo.
Le Knight Club — Santa Claus (1997)
“Santa Claus” was a huge rave anthem in 1997. Le Knight Club included Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo from Daft Punk, and this was generally regarded as a Daft Punk record at the time, despite being a side project with only one member. It certainly had that Daft Punk sound.
This platter is apparently fairly rare now, and pretty expensive.
Paul Johnson — House Illusion (1999)
This one comes from Paul Johnson’s first release for Moody Recordings. The Groove I Have double 12″ included a few minor dancefloor hits.
Bob Sinclar — Mo Underground People (1998)
Cheek — Venus (I:Cube remix) (1996)
Sun Trust — Blues Ride (1999)
Another cut from the excellent Sun Trust EP by the group of the same name.
Belizbeha — Inhibitions (Clear Horizons Mix) (1998)
I owned this as part of Mark Farina’s Frisko Disko compilation.