Liquid California

Summer is coming and the sun shines bright. Let's move on for warmer climates.

'Liquid California' is a Subversive Records compilation of tracks initially released on Rampant, a trancey Los Angeles label representing the (largely ignored) rave scene of California. As I gather, San Francisco developed a strong network supporting this sound and many artists come from there, as Scott and Gavin of Hardkiss, Tony Hewitt and Simon Pearson do. Similar or related artists are Paul Grogan, Uberzone, Bassbin Twins, Benny Blanco (downloads here), Eric Davenport, Deepsky, Doc Martin, etc. Labels are City Of Angels, Bassex, Sunburn, Mephisto, Slinkey and of course Moonshine. Also Instinct Records supported these guys.

Though house music is the basis of the scene's sound, equal proportions of acid, electro, breakbeats, techno and dub create a blend with character and its own dynamics, that played with commercial standards as easy as it went underground and banged. It's in the middle between the interesting side of US trance sound and an intelligent yet freakin' branch of non-Chicago house, yet because of its deviation from the 4/4 norm, it was promoted and characterized as a 'breakbeat' album.
This compilation impressed me for its many different styles represented, its mood changes, its open air psychedelic sound (that strangely also fitted in a club environment), mostly though cause it was daylight dance music, a concept uncommon in Europe back then. Jacking acid tracks into wonderful sloppy techno elegies, breakbeat electro to dubby house, it's a bumpy trip but you won't want it to end.

Most of the above artists turned to deep and progressive house or trance forms. I haven't followed this scene in the least, I hardly have other stuff from them (except the first Hawke and some Rampant vinyls, I think) - Rampant proved to be too trancey for me. The only current dance stuff I know from California are from the Dirtybird/ Mothership and Sentrall guys, just because of Claude VonStroke and Broker/Dealer. But this old one is a winner and I still listen to it from time to time. Let the sun shine...

VA - 1996, Liquid California
The Sound Of The West Coast

Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.


blancodisco said...

Just came across this post/blog.

Thanks for digging up an oldie on behalf of Sedona.

benny blanco®

Nightlight said...

Respect, man. Keep it up.

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