Ahead of the Werk Ethic party at U Street Music Hall tomorrow night, the party’s resident DJs Nick Garcia and Ken Lazee each named three house/techno tracks from the 80s/90s that mean a great deal to them. Listen through their selections and read the reasoning for their picks.
Ken and Nick impressed us with their first Werk Ethic party at Ten Tigers, so tomorrow’s party is a guaranteed good time. Grab your tickets to tomorrow’s Werk Ethic show here and then RSVP on Facebook here.
This deep classic originally came out on Forensic Records in 1998 and was exclusively licensed to Yoshitoshi in 1999. All of the track’s elements are just beautifully put together, from its groovy, swaying bassline to its lush chords and French spoken word vocal. It encapsulates everything that made 90’s deep house so sexy.
Ken Lazee’s First Pick: Amos – “Let Love Shine (Cleveland City Tuff Mix)”
The first time I saw an entire club full of people put their hands in the air was to this tune. It was during summer of 1995 at a weekly party called Rise which used to happen at a warehouse in Baltimore. I was very new to the scene and had never seen anything like that before. That summer this tune was played a lot and the crowd would always respond the same way whenever it was played, which was usually at the end of the night, or back then the early morning. However it was that first time hearing it and seeing the way the crowd responded that was one of the big reasons that I knew I had found my home.
Nick Garcia’s Second Pick: Adonis – “No Way Back (Original Mix)”
Released in 1988 on Trax, this record is a masterclass in how to make more with less. Consisting of little more than an iconic four-note bass riff, some punchy 808 drums and a vocal, it absolutely smashes in the club. Put up against some of the other acid house track coming out around this time, it makes you wonder how Adonis got it sounding so good.
Ken Lazee’s Second Pick: Josh Wink (Size 9) – “I’m Ready (Remix Version)”
Lots of Fever memories to this one. It’s featured on Scott Henry & Feelgoods‘ Time To Get Ill vol. 2, which was one of the first mixtapes I ever owned. We’d pop this in the tape deck of my friends old Buick Regal and crank it during the hour long drive from DC to Baltimore. Being so new to the scene, words can’t describe the excitement we felt listening to this during those drives. One of my favorite parts of that tape is when this track is mixed in.
Nick Garcia’s Third Pick: Subliminal Cuts – “Le Voie Le Soleil (Original Mix)”
This record is a brilliant rave cut from 1994 on XL. Its massive chord riff is absolutely gorgeous and lifts you up like a proper trance tune without the cheese. I can only imagine how many loved-up ravers blasted off this one over the years.
Ken Lazee’s Third Pick: Jonny L – “Hurt You So”
This was on a Dimitry & On – E mixtape I got at Fever. Both of those DJs were in a band called Dee-Lite who at the time were best known for there song “Groove is in the heart”. However when I first got into dance music, I remember being fascinated that not only were they very much loved by the DC / Baltimore rave scene, both Dimitry & On – E deejayed regularly at all of our area’s biggest parties. So when I came across this mixtape, I picked it up in a heartbeat. “Hurt You So” is on the Dimitry side of the tape somewhere around the middle of it. While it goes to a slower BPM, I’d say this was my first taste of what would eventually grow to become my love for D&B. It’s got an unmistakable vocal sample that goes over an Amen break and a melody that almost made you nostalgic, even back then.