90s Tech House Classics – Long Relationships Mixes Vol VIII

The next mix to go with the publication of my book ‘Long Relationships: My Incredible Journey From Unknown DJ to Smalltime DJ’ is Vol VIII ’90s Tech House Classics’


Next up in my series of mixtapes to go with my book is this collection of mid-late 90s tech house classics. Now the more observant among you will notice that there are some records in here that you might not think of as tech house and yes, DJ Sneak’s ‘U Can’t Hide From Your Bud’ for example is a straight-up disco-sample filter cut-up. But DJs like Terry Francis played it in sets that were full of all sorts of lovely underground house and together, this coalesced into the tech house sound. So while ‘U Can’t Hide…’ isn’t a tech house record as such, that’s kind of the point – there weren’t really tech house records in the early days, there were tech house DJs. Funnily enough, I mention it in the book:

“It was originally a DJing style, not a strict genre. As the name implies, tech house is a techno and house hybrid. But it began with DJs like ’Evil’ Eddie Richards, Terry Francis and Nathan Coles from the Wiggle parties in London, Mr C, Layo & Bushwacka! at The End and some others too wanting to recreate the acid house vibe from a few years previously.1 Tech house was a reaction against commercial ‘handbag’ house along with the descent of UK rave into hardcore. At the beginning, it was very much defined by what it wasn’t as much as what it was: it wasn’t hardcore, it wasn’t trance, it wasn’t hard techno, it wasn’t uplifting house. It emerged from the gaps between the genres. DJs picked music which contained the abstract musicality or raw intensity of techno but also the shuffle and swing of Chicago house. So techno records might get pitched down, and US garage dubs sped up, certain electro and progressive house tunes – if they contained the right amount of funk – might also get worked in. Tracks were given a new identity simply by their placement with other pieces of music in the context of a DJ set. It was irresistible: a genre comprised of some of the best elements of other genres, wide open to interpretation, interesting, exciting, and absolutely killer on late night dance floors.”

So there you go. All these tracks are drawn from the golden mid/late 90s era of tech house, the magical genre-incubation period, which, as you can tell from these selections (old-man-shakes-fist-at-cloud warning), are several million miles from the highly polished percussion loops and simplistic b-lines and riffs of contemporary tech house. 

There’s some truly magical records on this mix. ‘Nightstalkin’ from Layo & Bushwacka in their Usual Suspect’s guise is an epic record that should by rights have its own blue plaque for being such an ultimate banger, while hearing Silverlining’s ‘Precision Spanner’ at 4 am when properly on it can make you feel like you’re levitating. That moment deep into Hot Lizard’s ‘The Theme’ when the chords finally come in is just exquisite, a triumph of restraint. And oh my days, Shara Nelson’s tear-jerking performance on ‘Sense of Danger’ is in my opinion second only to her vocals on ‘Unfinished Sympathy’. 

This was such a cool mix to do. It bought back so many happy memories and gave me plenty of goosebump-moments too; I hope it does the same for you. 


Track List 


Klarky Kat – Custard Gannet

Rubato – Here’s To You

Mood II Swing – Do It Your Way

DJ Sneak – U Can’t Hide From Your Bud

Janice Robinson – Children – (Joe T Vannelli Tribe Remix)

Ame Strong – Tout Est Bleu (Francois K Mix)

The Timewriter – No Higher

The Timewriter – Let’s Keep Our Love Goin’

Vince Watson – Mystical Rhythm 

Silverlining – Precision Spanner

Jamie Anderson – Rio Grande

Circulation – Turquoise

Housey Doingz – Chess With Dwarves 

Calisto – Get House

Ultrasong (Studio B mix)

The Usual Suspects – Nightstalking

Makesome Breaksome – The Vision 

Housey Doingz – Fonki

Hot Lizard – The Theme (Love From San Francisco Mix)

Presence feat. Share Nelson – Sense of Danger

Blaze – Lovelee Dae – 20/20 Vision Remix

Bluegoose vs Silverlining – Taken Over