I first heard this record played by Boris Dlugosch at Hamburg’s Front Club, sometime in the 90’s, where particularly “Illusion” became a cherished and trusted screaming anthem. It was a fairly obscure Jersey sound item, but not that hard to find. I actually got a hold of it in a bargain bin for just a few Deutschmarks, and since every time I played it out over the years people kept asking about it, I kept recommending it and every new owner was happy to find something so special for so little money. I was convinced it could stay this way forever and never checked back, but as I played “Organized” at Vancouver’s New Forms Festival this year (see Hot Wax 022, around the 1:50 mark) it was welcomed on the floor like an old friend, with people coming up to thank me for playing it out, and cheers all round. I told them the usual about it being a gem that is still out there for easy grabs, and then to my surprise got told that it was quite the opposite now. Well, it totally makes sense.
DJ Dove probably would have loved to sound as classy as the more successful protagonists of the New Jersey and New York House scene, but it is most likely that there was little money for equipment and studio and his label maybe had even less to spend. Thus you have a record bursting with great moments, and mastering and cut do their best to reduce it to a back door to back alley version of what was best intended, and still it is a wonderful example of what you can achieve as long you have ideas. Nowadays each week sees releases by up and coming producers who gather costly vintage equipment (or according presets) and muffle what they have on purpose, aiming for grit and that enigmatic authenticity, an air of mystery even. Still, if you think what you hear without the filters and hiss, there is not much left to stay in your memory but an aesthetic which has already crossed the gap to a cliché without much meaning. And the reason why a track like “Organized” is still ruling is hardly because it is raw, it is because it is a really good track. But there are plenty of forgotten releases from the past like this, raw because there was no other way, and there will be plenty of new releases longing for this punk deepness, and coming up with the necessary tunes to combine a certain attitude with, well, music. You will have trouble achieving longevity if you neglect the music for anything else. Here’s proof.