(Rowen Smith from Oxford…this one goes out to you.)
The history of house music has followed a long and convoluted path. By the mid 90s, it had started to incorporate elements of music and style that seemed to clash with the original drive and direction yet ended up by furthering it. The track posted today, H Foundation’s Laika (FF 1994 #11), takes what sounds like an urgent piece of John Barry Bond-like film music and pushes it against a pounding beat, producing something ear-tickling and yet reassuringly familiar (or as Smash Hits would probably have put it, ‘a drongling jambusting shuffling jabbly joggler at 102 bpm’ or something like it). About the band itself (the Chicago/San Diego duo of Brian ‘Halo’ Vargas and Eric ‘Hip-E’ Galaviz), it’s perhaps best if I let their website tell you their story:
(They) joined forces through their mutual admiration and passion for house music. One of their earliest productions, the seminal “Here Dis Sound”, on the respected San Diego based Siesta Recordings, has become the blueprint for much of the current wave of dub-influenced house music, a sound that has been picked up in the UK and Europe by scene stalwarts such as Pete Tong and Carl Cox. Both Halo & Hipp-e have also carved their own niches with solo productions, including Halo’s huge underground hit “My Sound” on Siesta and Hipp-e’s work with Tony (Tango Recordings) on labels such as Grayhound and Tango. Other producers from the West Coast scene to collaborate with Halo & Hipp-e include DJ Dan, Onionz, Master D, Terry Mullan and Angel Alanis. Collectively, this crop of producers have formed the 6400 crew for releases on Yoshitoshi, Electrik Soul, Shaboom & Siesta.