Sunday, March 05, 2006

instalment one of an irregular series


300/ Acen, "Window In the Sky" (Production House, 1993)

"Window In the Sky" was Acen's "River Deep Mountain High." After such a colossus was spurned by both general public and hardcore rave scene, what else was there to do but retreat from view. (Well there was a cool trip-hoppy thing as Spacepimp on Clear several years later, and I heard that more recently he's returned to making drum'n'bass in a low-key way). But "Window in the Sky," wow: a spectacular exit. The drum programming alone contains more creativity than most bands cram into their entire career. You want the mix ("Kingdom of Light") that's on Hard Leaders III: Enter the Darkside and also starts the 75 minutes CD that Profile put on in 1994, a weird little posthumous monument/semi-anthology that's highly listenable (six other mixes of "Window" by other Production House bods like DMS and Nino in state-of-art-94-junglist style, plus various other Acen tracks) but ultimately inadequate (doesn't have the definitive mixes of "Trip to the Moon" or "Close Your Eyes"). Someone really should do a proper Acen anthology, with the original mixes/remixes of "Trip" and Close". But yeah, with "Window", the moment at which hardcore could be pop has passed (it had passed with "Trip" which narrowly failed to be a hit in the late summer of '92) but it's like Acen is trying to hold onto that moment by force of will. And also hold the rave scene together (the sound at times is almost jungle-trance--epic and cheesy and dark and pop and hardcore all at once) under the roof of a single anthem-of-anthems.

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