FoH2016 - October Mix
The second of the FoHMix series highlights the contribution of AM:PM Records to the mid 90's garage sound. More work from Mark Picchiotti, Brian Tappert, and some material from Angel Moraes.
Opening with the Mousse T mix of Ann Nesby's Can I Get A Witness we're already firmly entrenched in those lexical fields that seem to permeate this period of house music. Imagery from Black churches and the gospel tradition, and comments on the power of faith in relation to struggle for civil rights and unity. The same sentiment is mirrored in Underground Ministries' (the name is enough on it's own) I Shall Not Be Moved with Kenny Bobien on vocals. The strength of both conviction and choral vocals in these tracks focuses in on the material making the religiosity of this period of house very plain to hear.
The two appearances of Mark Picchiotti in this mix demonstrate the breadth of the field at the time. The first, Future Force's What You Want, sounds incredibly dated in comparison to Picchiotti's mix of Angel Moraes' I Like It, yet there's realistically only one year between the release of both tracks. I Like It shows the impact of the speed garage sound starting to make itself heard (as with the Spin Spin Sugar remix mentioned in the previous mix description). Gospel choirs and lush arrangements have been replaced by the omnipresent reese bass, and arrangements become much more square and formulaic.
The remaining tracks offer a quick tour of AM:PM's output circa 1996 with Brian Tappert appearing again as a remixer under his Jazz N Groove guise for Moné's Movin'. It contains perhaps the most obviously ripping use of hammond organ I've heard in a while, and a shameless quotation of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive (disco is everywhere in house lest we forget). Key To Life's Find A Way offers us some great call and response vocals and consistent demands to "Reach inside and find the answer" all the time underpinned by interesting harmonic devices more related to soul than simplistic house. Finally mid-set we also here Love Tribe's Stand Up that begs us to "stand up and throw our hands to the sky". Need I say more?