Unbelievably the bosses at Strictly have uncovered all the original mix sessions recorded by the very first Strictly artists when they were mere fledgling DJs. For the first time in years, since their original release in 1992 (CHECK), the record company are making these rare recordings available once again, releases that include mixes by the likes of Armand Van Helden and Lil Louis as well as Messrs Humphries and Vega.
When we say ‘unearthed’ these tapes originally recorded onto DAT were found in a studio in New York. Filed away with many other recordings and forgotten about for years, they thankfully reappeared for us to enjoy and appreciate.
These original recordings were in fact the first commercially released DJ mixes on CD. The 90’s had just been chimed in and it was the beginning of a trend to grip dance music firmly 20 years on. It’s crazy to think that these were the first DJ mix CDs, we think that is pretty historic.
The first two releases are by Little Louie Vega at The Underground Network and Tony Humphries 1993 special Strictly Rhythm Recording which are both available Nov 2nd.
Louie Vega’s residency at the Underground Network is the stuff of house music legend. Hosted by Barbara Tucker and Don Welch at Manhattan’s Sound Factory Bar, the Underground Network became a magnet not only for the dance music faces of New York, but for producers, DJs and professionals from around the world. It was the club that established Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo and Armand van Helden.
Little Louie Vega At The Underground Network is just a little bit of the essence of those heady nights, a smooth blend of bumpy beats and soulful sounds, DJ Pierre and Erick Morillo mixed into Butch Quick and Joey Washington; the evolution of the style that went on to make Louie one of the most in demand DJs on the planet.
As for Humphries, in 1990 he was already established as the New York area’s leading dance music DJ and his influence was such that he became responsible for breaking countless records by playing them in his sets and on his weekly mix show for New York’s Kiss FM. This Tony Humphries Strictly Rhythm mix features several of the classics that he was first to champion – Photon Inc’s ‘Generate Power’, Djaimin’s ‘Give You’ and Aly-Us’ ‘Follow Me’ – mixed in with club favourites like Hardrive’s ‘Sindae’ (produced by MAW) and After Hours’ ‘Feel It’ (co-produced by Roger Sanchez), and more commercially slanted songs like Cynthia M’s ‘Love Storm’ produced by DJ Pierre and Simone’s ‘Hey Fellas’. The mix is a brilliant soulful snapshot of Strictly Rhythm’s early years; check the Hump’s classic blending progression of track-vocal-track-vocal.
Vol 2 of both releases will also be available 16th Nov. Look of for the next in the series by Armand van Helden and Lil Louis.