Back in the early 1990s house music was having perhaps its most fertile and creative period. The original house from Chicago had blown up back in the ’80s and left nothing short of a cultural revolution in its wake, with regional variants springing up all over the US, the UK and Europe.
London in particular was a global hub for house music, with a whole slew of clubs and a long established underground scene that had taken house to its heart. A key mover-and- shaker was a young Jeremy Newall, who worked successively at a whole bunch of record stores including Catch-A-Groove, where the likes of Tony Humphries would come and hang out when in town (Humphries used to record his shows at a flat above the shop with a wide-eyed Jeremy soaking in the vibes), and latterly Release The Groove, where he could be found well into the twenty-first century. A close association with Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson saw him repping for the big fella when Trouble was unable to do his Kiss FM radio show, and as the resident alongside him at Trouble’s much loved Loft Sessions in Camden. He also played on many pirates, at all the best parties in London, Europe and beyond. Jeremy’s position as the go-to guy behind the capital’s hippest record store counters saw many visiting US jocks passing him records that barely saw the light of day in a scene where superb new tunes were coming thick and fast. Therein lie the roots of this compilation … a collection of overlooked, unreleased, and just hard-to-find gems to put alongside some of the better-known and overplayed classics of the era.
With Jeremy’s beloved New York vibe predominant, there are also productions here from Chicago, the UK and elsewhere. Some tunes which DID hit relatively big back in the day like UBQ Project We Can Make It and Susan Clark Deeper are represented here by alternative mixes (the latter from the criminally under-rated Benji Candelario); those who only know of Roger Sanchez as a big-room commercial producer/DJ might be surprised to know that his early days were marked by some of the deepest productions around (check his mix of Tribal House Mainline); ditto Sandy Rivera, here in his early KOT persona, while an unreleased track from ‘Mad’ Moses predates his mid-90s heyday. UK house hero Jimi Polo’s Take Me Higher only ever appeared as a poor quality bootleg, while Hollywood Beyond’s track became a classic at New York’s Shelter club and is revived for no better reason than it’s due a revival. There’s an early track from Soul Dhamma that never came out, linking this to the later ’90s period, Jeremy’s own exclusive mix of Karen Anderson I Work Hard To Love You, and much more besides, all evoking an era when house’s roots in black music and affinity with disco were far more in evidence. Which, for anyone directed this way via ‘EDM’ explains our kinda ‘spiritual’ title … because, kids, house music, it’s a spiritual thing…