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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic house and house classics
A compilation of two halves. The first being classic Chicago house a la Trax and DJ International. The second being a collection of ghetto house classics.

Knowing Dance Mania more for its booty shaking ghetto sound, if anything I was more impressed with some of the tracks in that classic early house vein. Both the Da Posse ft. Martell tracks are absolute...
Published 15 months ago by Luke

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but...
considering some of the artists/songs on this labels discography i think this album could of been so so so much better than it actually is... some great old school on their though

hopefully a volume 2 is in the works
Published 15 months ago by dominic mckay


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic house and house classics, 11 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995 (Audio CD)
A compilation of two halves. The first being classic Chicago house a la Trax and DJ International. The second being a collection of ghetto house classics.

Knowing Dance Mania more for its booty shaking ghetto sound, if anything I was more impressed with some of the tracks in that classic early house vein. Both the Da Posse ft. Martell tracks are absolute quality smooth house with nice jazzy piano. Equally both the Vincent Floyd tracks are excellent, the first being reminiscent of Larry Heard, the second closer to Derrick May. The Rhythm II Rhythm track is probably the highlight of the whole comp for me. The electric piano chords, those choral swells, the high pitched interconnecting synth bleeps, it all works so well. A couple of more jacking, techno-ier tracks sandwich the lovely deep house track by Strong Souls, aptly named 'Twinkles'. Both the Victor Romeo tracks are great also, be it the soulful vocal track of 'Love Will Find a Way' or the funkier, organ led 'Ride the Ride Rhythm'. Funnily enough my least favourite tracks are the two most famous. Maybe it's down to overexposure, but Hercules's (Marshall Jefferson) '7 Ways' and 'House Nation' seem to drag on forever over their 7-8 mins.

So overall first half impressions exceeded expectations. There is some very nice classic first wave house here. Now onto the half I most fancied beforehand.

Firstly, the names are include many legendary in the ghetto house/ghettotech/juke scenes: DJ Deeon, DJ Funk, Jammin' Gerald, Robert Armani and Paul Johnson is pretty big name in house in general. Whether these are their best work for Dance Mania is arguable but tracks like 'Feel My M.F. Bass', 'Hit it from the Back' and 'Work Out' are stone cold classics and both DJ Deeon's and DJ Funk's tracks are pretty much exemplary examples of that early ghetto sound. It's stripped back, bare boned music to dance to. It is pure club music to move your body to, so listening to it in its unmixed long form kind of deflates its efficacy. The tracks over 4.5 or 5 mins long can wear thin as in a ghetto mix you'd often only hear 2 or 3 mins tops before the next track kicks in, especially considering how basic and minimal some of these cuts are. In this context, it feels unnatural, a bit like placing street art or graffiti into the pristine blanched walls of an art gallery. However, there are some curveballs here. The 303 squelch on Deeon's 'Hypnosis', the Billie Jean bass on the hip hoppy 'Ghetto Shout Out', and the standout 'Toxic Waste' by Tim Harper, which is closer to chilled out techno than anything on here. Also, like any good ghetto, it includes enough of the genres lyrical keywords to fill the vulgarity/misogyny quota but it isn't as filled with lewd references as some of the slightly later stuff seems to be.

Finally, I'll add a lot of this sounds distinctly amateurish compared to modern in-the-box produced dance music (even the current underground Chicago stuff) but I think that's part of the charm. The fact that much of this was made on borrowed Rolands, in bedrooms, in like 5 hours, just adds to it's nostalgic value.

It's not a definitive compilation by any means but it gives good representation of Dance Mania's past output and is a great tool for people to learn about the history of their favourite music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but..., 18 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995 (Audio CD)
considering some of the artists/songs on this labels discography i think this album could of been so so so much better than it actually is... some great old school on their though

hopefully a volume 2 is in the works
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Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995
Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995 by Various Artists (Audio CD - 2014)
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