Down To Earth

I’ve posted nothing but 90s dance music for the last week and I was going to get out of that groove but then I watched some of Hip Hop At The BBC on Friday night and Monie Love came on. I’d forgotten about Monie. I had part shares in a copy of her debut album that went elsewhere at some point. Down To Earth is a totally infectious and funky piece of UK rap, with Monie’s irrepressible South London vocal and in this clip the song is being performed at BBC 2’s Dance Energy show. And the crowd love it.

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I Think It’s Time To Make The Floor Burn

I’ve been having some fun watching these clips on Youtube recently. Dance Energy was BBC 2’s attempt to capture early 90s youth culture. To be far to the Beeb Snub TV was an excellent half hour weekly look at the indie scene with some essential live clips and interviews. For Dance Energy they got Normski in as presenter. Normski may be best described as an acquired taste (although many internet commenters seem to prefer the word bellend). Dance Energy ran on a Monday evening, straight after The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and had ‘live’ performances in the studio from dance and hip hop acts. Unlike the majority of 1960s TV music programmes, where there’s no doubt that the groups are better dressed and better coiffured than the audience, on Dance Energy the crowd are the real stars. here’s a few I’ve picked out…

Steve Cobby’s band from this time was Ashley and Jackson (they played Cities In The Park which is why I think I came across this on Youtube while looking for clips of that event for my post a couple of weeks ago). Solid Gold was going to be Ashley and Jackson’s breakthrough single but it never really happened for them in terms of having a hit. This clip from 1991 starts with the titles and theme music which will push all kinds of buttons for some of you of a certain age…

Bassomatic’s Fascinating Rhythm was a top ten hit in 1990 and still sounds pretty good today although that style of rapping has dated. This song aside Bassomatic are also known for having a pre-Madonna/All Saints William Orbit on board.

Yo! Here comes Normski again! This is Bizarre Inc, hugely popular up here in the north, with Playing With Knives. I love this record, it’s crunching keyboard riffs, repetitive, cyclical vocals and breakbeat- and the on stage dancers.

And this is a beauty, The Beloved’s It’s Alright Now, a properly blissful, house tune, all positivity and optimism. Again this should have been a massive hit and wasn’t.

Lastly for the moment The Shamen. Like The Beloved they started as an indie guitar band and then moved into dance music when it hit them. This performance of Hyperreal is pretty smart, the best version of this song, and has Will Sin in the group, before his untimely death in Tenerife in May 1991.