…but why would you need them to, when you have psychedelic videos like this?
I can’t understand why anyone wants to chemically alter their senses. People should do this in a much healthier way. [The Lady Miss Keir Kirby, Hype Magazine interview]
Yes, it’s the song that you all love to hate. Or just hate. Peel was quick to point out that he was the first DJ on Radio 1 to play this, but is that necessarily laudable? I still haven’t made up my mind on this one, and have yet to be convinced that it wasn’t just a huge con-trick.
Throwbacks to the sixties have always been a failsafe for artists lacking the necessary originality to blaze a completely new trail. Conversely, Clinic wore their indebtedness to the Velvet Underground on their sleeves, complete with stabbing organ lines and laconic vocals, but added a sense of discovery, a new verve that compressed and streamlined the Sister Ray-like stream of feedback. What Dee-Lite did in effect was to throw together a bunch of samples from funk and jazz, overlay it with Q-Tip’s rapping and Bootsy Collins’ bass (as if to imply a nod of approval from the artists they were pinching all their ideas from) , add that bloody annoying slide whistle, and front it with chanteuse Lady Miss Keir attempting to marry the gauche and the savant in one fell swoop.
Naturally it was catnip to the rave-sodden masses of 1990, who saw a twist to the familiar dance themes around at the time, but failed to see the dead end lurking just around the corner. Other acts such as Candy Flip would continue to mine the possibilites inherent in trotting out the remake formula again and again, but the new decade demanded harder and faster rhythms and more merciless beats to complement an Internet-based lifestyle that brought such delights as a war played out in real time. This is why Deee-Lite were doomed to crash and burn in their own rainbow catsuits, and why drum and bass continues to have the impact now that it did then.
In retrospect, Groove Is In the Heart (FF 1990 #44) is a footnote to an era rather than its sine qua non. Mark Whitby said it ‘told us a lot about what was suddenly becoming possible’, even though the sampling had been done elsewhere and to more devastating effect. Very much a cult item that luckily crossed over (and narrowly missed making number one in the UK due to an absurd rule on number one chart ties that was only invoked here), I listen to it not with the sense of over-familiarity that caused me to despise it then (I did work in a record shop, after all), but rather instead a dissatisfied recognition of themes undeveloped and the baton casually passed for others to run with.
Deee-Lite, Groove Is In The Heart (Meeting Of The Minds Mix)