Music

10 acid house classics from 1989 – picked by Danny Rampling

© Ceun courtesy of Shoom
Written by Phillip Williams
The Shoom founder and UK clubbing godfather picks the tracks that lit up the dance floor during the Summer of Love.
It’s a holiday that’s now passed into legend: in 1987, Danny Rampling and fellow DJs Paul Oakenfold, Nicky Holloway and Johnny Walker took a trip to Ibiza, where they visited the open-air nightclub Amnesia and experienced a set from DJ Alfredo that blended dreamy and hypnotic rock, pop and disco music with the latest house imports from America. Returning to rainy London, Rampling was on a mission to keep the Balearic dream alive – so he and his wife Jenni founded Shoom, a club in Southwark that for many devotees of acid house, was something close to a religious experience, festooned by the now-iconic acid house smileys and a glowing spirit of positivity.
Rampling has revived Shoom sporadically over the last few years, hosting parties across Europe, and on Friday November 8 he brings the party back to London – specifically Electric Brixton – where he’ll be joined by Shoom stalwarts Farley & Heller and the Detroit group Inner City. Thirty years on from the Summer Of Love, Red Bull caught up with Rampling to find out about 10 tracks that kept the Shoom dance floor moving in the long hot summer of '89.
Danny Rampling
Danny Rampling
There was an extraordinary wave of optimism and positivity that we were all part of and tuned into
Danny Rampling

1. Lil Louis – French Kiss

Danny Rampling: A seminal house and techno production – ground-breaking and timeless. DJ Alfredo was the first DJ to play French Kiss from an exclusive acetate at Amnesia's opening party, 1989. All of us were stunned, looking at each other like “What is this amazing track?! “It was an incredible moment to be on the open-air dance floor of Amnesia, and French Kiss is one of those tracks that every DJ producer would love to have created.
Another time I remember having a serious moment to this track was when an old friend of mine, Dave Chips, drove me to DJ in Brighton. As French Kiss played the car got progressively faster until we approached a large hill... I thought we were about to go airborne! How he kept control of the vehicle averting take off – and a potential RTA – was a divine intervention. Nothing short of a miracle!

2. Sueno Latino – Sueno Latino

Italian summer house music at its best, sampling the great Manuel Göttsching track E2- E4. Sueno was produced by Italian DJs Massimino and Angelino, originally on DFC. I first heard it when I played my first DJ set at Etos Mama Rimini. It evokes memories of sexy Italian clubbing – everyone dressed stylishly and all the girls looking stunning in the sunshine. The Derrick May remix is also outstanding.

3. CeCe Rogers – Someday

Spiritual, soulful, and a meaningful message of peace, unity and hope that perfectly encapsulates the summer of love 1989. The Berlin wall had fallen and Apartheid was underway in South Africa. We all believed the world was changing and we were all a part of that change. There was an extraordinary wave of optimism and positivity that we were all part of and tuned into. I would love to be able to go back to that time, away from all the current negativity that’s going on in the world today. Someday was the anthem of Shoom, and I can still picture the look of joy and happiness on the dancers' faces in the smoke and strobes – hands held high to the skies and embracing.

3. Beloved – Sun Rising

A great track that emanates summer sunrise, the outdoors and Ibiza. Jon Marsh of The Beloved was a regular at Shoom when we began in 1988. The Beloved represented the happy positive sound of Shoom and the Balearics. Jon asked me to remix the track and I was delighted. Off I went to Eastcote Studios in Notting Hill, and sat there through the night just altering the drums and part of the arrangement. The great guitar player Chaz Jankel even popped into the studio and gave me a few tips.

4. 808 State – Pacific State

The anthem of the UK underground rave scene that became an international hit for Manchester’s 808 State. An ethereal, dreamy Latin-influenced production that I’d often play at sunrise. It’s just so perfect – not over-complicated. There’s a great recent commercial remix by the Freemasons which adds a very lush piano. Another perfect Ibiza summer track.

5. Frankie Knuckles – Tears

Where would we be without the creative production and vision of the house music godfather Frankie Knuckles – who is so missed within the music scene and beyond? An emotive deep production with Robert Owens' haunting vocals running through the track. People worldwide just love Tears, a poignant track which is both happy and sad. Bless Frankie’s soul – his spirit lives on through the music that he leaves behind eternally.

6. Orbital – Chime

Where acid house meets rave! Nine minutes of bliss and happiness. It was a huge track at the outdoor parties during the summer of love. Great production, and another classic British sound.

7. Ultra Nate – It’s Over Now

This track became a Shoom favourite. US legend Tony Humphries rotated the demo mix – produced by the Basement Boys – for months on his NYC radio mix show on 98.7 Kiss. Back then, records would be broken by regular radio advance plays, and by a handful of DJs only. He used to give me music when I’d go to New York and New Jersey. I also got the demo mix, which is 10 mins long and full of grit. Tony used to mix other tracks under It’s Over Now, and as a young DJ I would try and recreate it.
The summer of love was coming to an end in late '89. It’s Over Now resonated – the scene was changing, and a new chapter and direction beginning. It was a rather sad time on a personal level.

8. Starlight - Numero Uno

One of those tracks I discovered on an early Italian record shopping expedition. I’d spend so much time and money sourcing new music in Italy and then I’d return and – sorry to say this – cover up the labels. Just as Northern Soul DJs did to keep the tracks exclusive for a while, and have people chasing after the record titles. It was part of the thrill back then. This isn’t a track that’s stood the test of time but at the time in '89 the energy was off the scale. Numero Uno became a favourite far and wide after the label was uncovered, and reached number six in the national UK charts. I received my first gold disc as a thank you from Nick Halkes, the A&R rep who signed the track and made it a commercial hit.

9. Dionne – Come Get My Lovin'

Sexy, orgasmic New York-influenced house music, broken yet again by the New Jersey legend Tony Humphries on his 98.7 Kiss master mix radio shows. Another Shoom and Hacienda Manchester favourite – sleazy and sexy at the same time. You’d always see people copping off to this track on the dance floor back then! The porn XXX version is very steamy also.

10. Illusion – Why Can't We Live Together (Love & Unity Remix)

My very first remix by leading UK DJ/producer Pete Heller – who was also a Shoom resident at that time. He came into the studio somewhere in the depths of Surrey, UK with me, and helped with the drum programming arrangement. The result is that we came up with a very Shoom sounding version, with NYC garage drum programming influences and a touch of Euro beats. Summer Of Love music that represented the feelings and collective mindset of our generation. We changed youth culture and collectively experienced something so remarkable, positive and life changing.
Shoom comes to Electric Brixton on Friday 8 November. Buy tickets