LWE’s Top 5 Reissues of 2009

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Photo by Gareth James

For our second year-end report, LWE correspondent Peder Clark showcases the top five reissues from 2009

When contributors to LWE were discussing end of year lists amongst ourselves, a colleague commented that “this past year has seemed so exciting to me, it’s amazing how much of what’s got me revved up has been compilations and reissues.” I found myself agreeing with him — It might have been a pointed comment about the perceived weakness of much of this year’s output, but it might just as easily be read as praise for the huge quantity of impressive reissues, represses and other re-presentations that have been released this year. For that reason, this list is far from exhaustive and merely offers a personal perspective on what has been a fantastic year for house and techno historians. I’ve excluded records that were reissued that I already own (Minimal Nation, Thomas Brinkmann’s “Isch”), ones that were either wildly expensive or poorly presented (Carl Craig’s 69 boxset The Legendary Adventures Of A Filter King, “The Foot Therapy” EP), compilations of previously issued stuff (Pépé Bradock, DJ Koze, Daniel Wang), those already covered in Chris Burkhalter’s excellent 2Q Report, and, for the most part, straight represses (sorry Black Cock, KMS). Even then, there was still trimming to do, so with apologies to Norm Talley, Bernard Badie, Cheap and Deep, Mike Huckaby and a whole host of others, here’s the final essential five.

nwaq
05. Newworldaquarium, “Trespassers” [NWAQ] (buy)
This is an obvious choice, but if you don’t own this in one form or another, why the hell not? I did in fact already have a copy of this, but on a battered Carl Craig compilation, so Delsin’s lush dark red vinyl reissue, with an added 154 (another Jochen Peteri alias) dub on the flip, was a welcome treat. Evidently Efdemin had a similar problem: “If I’d know this [was being reissued], I could have saved some bucks I spent on Discogs to replace my scratched and beloved copy of this timeless mover.” Enough words have been spilt elsewhere, and more articulately, about Peteri’s way with a Sergio Mendes sample and a 909, but if you still don’t believe me that this is a “must have!” purchase, listen to a couple of people far more au fait with a pair of turntables and a mixer than me: “Best tune ever! Too good to have it again!” (Lawrence); “A timeless classic. Truly deeeeeep!” (Patrice Scott).

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04. Rick Wilhite, Soul Edge [Rush Hour] (buy)
Rush Hour re-released two Rick Wilhite EPs this year, collecting material from music previously released on Moodymann’s KDJ label, as well as a couple of unreleased remixes. “Soul Edge” is the pick of the pair, as it contains Theo Parrish’s essential “Late Dub” of “Get On Up!!”. The double exclamation points of the title are justified with Theo’s trademark EQing, teasing the floor as the beat drops in and out, like a punchdrunk boxer bouncing off the ropes. The vocal urges the pugilist to stay on his feet, but by the end we’re all out for the count. Deep house snobs might bitch about their collection depreciating in value thanks to these reissues, but those of us with less gray beards can be thankful for this godsend from the Godson.

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03. Shake, Arise [Synchrophone] (buy)
This is less of a recommendation and more of a “coming soon” feature. French label Synchrophone’s reissue of Anthony Shakir’s “Arise” is solid enough, devoting a full side to its deep, percussive beauty, and adding a Trus’me remix on the flip, but really this is merely an hors d’œuvre for the main course. Which is of course the forthcoming (at time of writing) Frictionalism boxset from those good people at Rush Hour, a lavish reissue of most of Shake’s groundbreaking work on his own Frictional imprint, and a few odds and ends from 7th City. This will include work from the legendary “Mood Music For The Moody,” “…Waiting For Russell” (from which “Arise” is excerpted) and Songs For My Mother EPs, and should be top of every Detroit techno fan’s Christmas list.

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02. Da Posse, It’s My Life [Clone Classic Cuts] (buy)
Lost amongst the numerous releases on the ever expanding stable of Clone sub-labels, this one seems to have passed people by. One of the saddest aspects of the projected Clone retirement plans was that their Clone Classic Cuts division would also cease to seek out the finest and forgotten joints for the record-buying public’s pleasure. So it was a relief when this dropped in September on transparent red wax. Cowbell, a square bass line, and rising synths make “It’s My Life” (Aluh Mix) truly deserving of the title classic, but the other two tracks, taken from separate releases on Future Records in 1988, are worthy of your attention also. “Strings” cocks a snook at Derrick May, bastardizing “Strings Of Life” into a rough basement jacker, while “The Groove” is just that, a relentless acid track made for a very late hour of the evening indeed. “It’s My Life” makes most house records this year look very silly; all the more surprising when you consider one of Da Posse went on to form novelty 90s hip-house buffoons The Outhere Brothers.

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01. Terrence Parker, Tribute to Ken Collier EP [Seventh Sign] (buy)
Saving the best until last, “Your Love” was a ubiquitous anthem for many this summer. Props to Glasgow label for this reissue of TP’s somewhat obscure “Tribute to Ken Collier EP,” which pays homage to the eponymous Detroit DJ by offering three tracks of disco-house goodness. “Love’s Got Me High” and “Something Here” are excellent, choppy disco edits, sorta proto-Soundstream style, but the real winner here is “Your Love.” Kicking off with a sashaying, strutting beat that is soon joined by a insistent vamp and triumphant strings, the cherry on the icing on the cake is that bass line, and when the diva vocal comes in — well, that’s just a sign that it’s time to throw your drink down and get on the floor. One of the best house records of that year (1996), this year, or any other year.

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Chris Burkhalter  on December 8, 2009 at 5:12 AM

“Godsend from the Godson” – love it! This is an unbeatable stack of 12″s, in any year or category.

Joe H  on December 8, 2009 at 8:00 AM

I agree, this year has been a really good year for the resissue.

Here’s my top five:

Arnold Jarvis – Take Some Time Out.
Terrence Parker – Tribute.
NWAQ – Trespassers.
Bernard Badie – Move To The Beat
Losoul – Open Door/oooooooo.

Andrew  on December 8, 2009 at 8:23 AM

trespassers was repressed fairly generously by delsin in 2006 — i had no idea it was ‘rare’ until that new edition came out and i checked the discogs prices. crazy.

Andrew  on December 8, 2009 at 8:23 AM

sorry, 2007 even!

Chris Miller  on December 8, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Great list. I’ve also been enjoying Robert Hood’s reissues of “The Pace” and “Stereotype”. Saw the Shake record at Smallville Paris and stupidly passed on it; surely won’t make that mistake again!

tom/pipecock  on December 8, 2009 at 11:46 AM

all these are dope. also cool is that Arnold Jarvis.

surprised no one has mentioned the Minimal Nation reissue?!

it’s definitely nice to see people having appreciation for some of these records again.

littlewhiteearbuds  on December 8, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Peder mentioned Minimal Nation in the intro paragraph and it was covered in Chris Burkhalter’s 2Q report on reissues (linked above).

harpomarx42  on December 8, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Snobbery? Psh, the more sounds the better, IMO. The Godson = a godsend.

Krul  on December 8, 2009 at 1:52 PM

thx for the tips.

chaircrusher  on December 8, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Minor correction on “Love Gets Me High” — not a disco edit at all. I picked TP’s brain on that track and all the drums and piano and bass he programmed on an Ensoniq ASR-10. The vocal sample is from a Jamie Foxx HBO Stand-up special, and it’s actually licensed from HBO UK, and they got it cleared ridiculously cheap. Of course that was before Foxx became a super big deal…

I wonder if Foxx even knows he’s the voice of a deep house classic track. TP’s never met him or communicated about it.

peder  on December 8, 2009 at 5:45 PM

@chaircrusher: thanks, fascinating info!

@joe h, pipecock: yeah, the arnold jarvis slipped my mind actually. the losoul is also dope, but i had that already. quite a lot of vintage playhouse got repressed this year…

tibal  on December 9, 2009 at 4:18 AM

I don’ t know if we can consider the 69 box as a reissue, as it’s the first time the whole collection of 69 tracks are reedited in a box. It is i believe the most important “reissue” of the year.

gmos  on December 13, 2009 at 7:12 AM

no way! the other Rick Wilhite reissue is the better one. also, no mention of the lush Kraftwerk reissues? beautiful remastering job and beautiful packaging too. I also agree with some of the other commenters that the Arnold Jarvis 12″ should have got a look in as well as Robert Hood. personally, I wouldn’t include Trespassers as it isn’t that old and has been reissued before in 07, great release tho. Not sure what the problem is with the Foot Therapy EP?

my list:
Anthony Shakir – Frictionalism
Robert Hood – Minimal Nation
Arnold Jarvis – Take Some Time Out
Rick Wilhite – The Godson EP
Kraftwerk – Computer World (pick any of them really)

also, sorry to be a pedant (not really!) but this just illustrates why I find it irritating that end of year lists (or end of decade in this case) are usually compiled before the end of the year, leaving out such glaringly obvious examples as Shake’s box set ahead of the Arise 12″ which deserves being marked down for it’s insipid remix.

Anton  on December 13, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Did you even read the blurbs, gmos? On Shake Peder said, “This is less of a recommendation and more of a ‘coming soon’ feature” [for “Frictionalism”]. Does it not afford enough glory to him if it doesn’t highlight the collection in full (something few of us have even gotten our hands on)? Chris Burkhalter focused on “Minimal Nation” in his July reissues column so it would’ve been pointless to repeat it.

Instead of half apologizing for being a pedant you should have apologized for not reading the piece (which wasn’t an end of decade list) but finding fault anyway.

peder  on December 13, 2009 at 3:02 PM

haha, thanks for the spirited defence anton!

on the kraftwerk front, i suppose i felt they didn’t need wider exposure, and also might fall under the “too expensive” category… i haven’t picked any of them up for that reason, so can’t really comment. twenty quid a piece for records i already own seems kind of pointless, regardless of how lush the packaging might be.

on the “foot therapy” reissue, i’ll pass you over to the capable hands of dope jams, who offer a far more articulate critique than i can muster…

http://tinyurl.com/y9a5uxr

harrison  on December 15, 2009 at 5:40 PM

so many good re-issues this year i hope for more of the same next year!

gmos  on December 22, 2009 at 4:59 AM

maybe I should have said “nice list” before my previous comment, as I did like the choices despite how I may have come across 😉

hi Anton, yes I read the blurbs and I disagreed with the inclusion of the Arise 12″ over the Frictionalism box, hence my comment. did YOU read my comment properly? it was more of a general criticism of end of year lists that are made BEFORE the end of the year, and thus leave out things like the box. and I know that’s the norm but what can I say, it irks me 😉

Does it not afford enough glory to him? No, not really imo, not with a weak remix on it and not compared with the box, which was out in early December.

Re: the Kraftwerk reissues, they’re not just lush packaging peder, they have been beautifully remastered too. Yes, they’re expensive, and I balked at first too, but once I bought one and listened to it, I felt it was a good buy. I’m sure someone you know will get one, and you’ll have a listen and might change your mind then.

cheers for the link to the Dope Jams blurb peder, I see where they’re coming from but not sure I entirely agree with them, after all the stuff reissued on Prescription itself didn’t offer much bells and whistles either. but in fairness, I suppose I had similar reasoning for not agreeing with the Arise 12″

ps, in that link I noticed another exciting upcoming reissue, Ron Hardy’s Sensation on Rush Hour! drooool

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LWE’s Top 5 Reissues of 2009 | uptownboogiedown  on December 8, 2009 at 1:17 AM

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Alter Ego Management » Blog Archive » Terrence Parker’s “Tribute to Ken Collier” Rated As Top Reissue of 2009!  on February 9, 2010 at 6:46 AM

[…] day he remains a large figure in Detroit club music.  Who else made the list and why???  Click here and find […]

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