The 10 best non-house tunes, according to Graeme Park
Original Haçienda DJ Graeme Park thinks outside the house-box in this exclusive compilation for Dummy.
Now established for thirty years, the rave-pioneering Manchester club The Haçienda (or FAC51) has long been a behemoth on the horizon of dance music. Graeme Park was a DJ at the legendary club from its early days, along with Mike Pickering and owner Peter Hook, the three of whom have now put their heads together to create a 30th birthday compilation for the institution, under the name ‘Haçienda 30’. Read on to find Graeme’s pick of his own personal favourites from that brief, bewildering era in which he would play 90s pop hits, soulful funk and The Clash, before house swallowed everything.
Graeme: “When I started DJing at The Haçienda in 1988, Mike and I used to play a lot of non-house tunes. Eventually, house music took over, but there were a lot of tunes we used to play early doors that worked perfectly and helped build up the whole vibe of the night until everyone exploded with ecstasy and the madness began. Usually by 10pm.”
BBG – Snappiness Graeme: “The delightful piano intro and beautiful, building pads give no indication of the joyous but chunky rhythms that are about to follow. A proper, hands-in-the-air, ethereal tune where the entire dancefloor closed their eyes.”
Bassomatic – Fascinating Rhythm (Lisa Loud Mix) Graeme: “More chunky rhythms in this fabulous William Orbit production that features a superb vocal from Canada’s Sharon Musgrave and combines elements of soul, jazz and reggae to great effect.”
Carly Simon – Why Graeme: “A bittersweet reggae-tinged ballad funked up by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic fame. An unlikely Haçienda tune that I used to drop from time to time to change the mood with the “la di-da, di-da” phrase sung by everyone in the club. Carly Simon looked incredible on the sleeve of this 12” single too, standing next to a tree sporting fabulous hair, an animal print blouse and a serious look on her face.”
Corporation of One – The Real Life Graeme: “US DJ Freddy Bastone sampled Simple Minds’ Theme For Great Cities and the line “Is this the real life?” from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and layered them over some electro drums to cause a riot on the dancefloor. I can’t wait to drop this at the Haçienda Christmas Party at Sankeys Manchester on the 27th December.”
Deee-Lite – What Is Love? Graeme: “This bass-driven delight was the B-side of “Groove Is In The Heart” and the delectable Lady Miss Kier supplies a delicious, spoken vocal in English and French over a laid back, bass and organ driven deep groove with addictive synth riffs. A gorgeous groove indeed.”
Imagination – (Just An) Illusion (Park & Pickering remix) Graeme: “An early Park & Pickering remix of one of my favourite UK soul songs. I replayed the piano on this and we beefed up the drums. I’m still very proud of this and believe it has stood the test of time well. I still blast it out now.”
Shara Nelson – Down That Road Graeme: “The debut single from Shara Nelson from 1993. This was a massive tune early doors and its skipping beats and amazing vocal sounded fabulous as the club filled up.”
The Clash – Mustapha Dance Graeme: “This is the 12” dubby dance remix of “Rock The Casbah” and despite being originally released in 1982 (the year The Haçienda opened), this disco-inspired groove used to cause random outbreaks of pogoing on the dancefloor.”
Blue Boy – Remember Me Graeme: “Another beat-heavy groove that used to help ignite the flame of hedonist pleasure and help the atmosphere explode into pure chaos. And best of all, it’s over 10 minutes long, so I could make a quick run for the toilet before the mayhem ensued.”