Music moment: The Shamen, “En-Tact (Full Album)”

19 Feb

Evening everyone!

That was a bit of a busy weekend now wasn’t it? I got roped into covering SONAR Reykjavik for the grapevine over the last several days, and I will try to get a post done about it tomorrow where I’ll link some of the lovely words that were birthed (With spelling and syntax errors) along with some overall thoughts on the festival itself.

But over the last couple of days, I’ve realised that I’ve been so busy doing that and my course that it’s cause some time/management problems when it comes to the old posting on this ‘ere blog about certain music issues. Well we’ll see what we can do about that over the next week or so, OK?

So for tonight’s music moment, we have a bit of nostalgic return to the past, possibly caused by the attempts by one of the acts at SONAR to invoke a full on old skool “rave.” That got me into one of those YouTube wormholes of old rave and house hits from the early ’90s that took me 2 hours to climb out of. Now while it would be great to tel you the dear reader that I was a cool rave monkey with stories about getting blitzed out of my head on mole hills of ecstasy and attending warehouse raves in 1990, the reality was I was 14 years old and living in the Shetland Isles. The nearest we got to rave culture and the Summer Of Love was seeing the likes of Top Of The Pops and programmes such as “Dance Energy” (“yo yo yo!! It’s Normski he-yah!!” but luckily there were lots of hits that were coming through the top 40, including the single “Move any mountain”  by THE SHAMEN. It was a big hit and along with The KLF, it the first time I really took notice of this “dance music” that was going on in the UK properly (“Theme from S.Express” and “Pump Up the Volume” don’t count). The thing I remember was that there were loads of remixes but to this day I’m still utterly convinced that there was a version of the single without that “rap” from new member Mr C. Never really liked that guy’s style to be honest.

But on the strength of “Move Any Mountain,” I went and bought what was the first ever electronic music album I owned – ‘En-Tact.’ Hearing it again brings back memories, all those subtle acid gurglings, proto techno rhythms, strong ecstasy laced bouts of peace & love synth psychedelia, and those “tikka-tikka-tikka” drum patterns, Also remember playing some of the tracks till the tape nearly snapped, tracks such as “Possible worlds,” “Hyperreal Orbit,” and “Oxygen Restriction.” Hearing this again, I’m wondering if this album was a big hit in Iceland because I can hear some of the same themes and synth sounds appearing in the likes of the “Egg 94” compilations and very early Gus Gus material. Can anyone of you local bods out there can answer this for me?

Of course by the time the next album ‘Boss Drum’ came out in ’92, they had turned into a full-blown mainstream dance pop  act, complete with some dodgy lyrics (“Love sex intelligence/ Ooh comin’ on like a 7th sense!”), but for me this is their definitive statement. Keepin’ it old skool!

And i promise to try to get more posts done in the future


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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in music


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