HEDONISTIC HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LOWLANDS 1990 – 1999
Through 35 tracks stretched across three volumes, Music For The Radical Xenomaniac delivers the first ever deep dive into The Netherlands’ colourful house sound of the 90s and the under-celebrated producers and record labels whose music soundtracked a countrywide cultural movement.
Plenty of books and documentaries have celebrated the riotous raves, legendary clubs, high profile DJs and promoters who shaped The Netherlands’ hedonistic house scene throughout the 90s. Music For The Radical Xenomaniac dares to challenge these narratives by shining a light, for the first time, on those who created the scene’s kaleidoscopic, game-changing and globally influential soundtrack.
Leading the charge were a disparate group of key creators who not only forged links with their counterparts in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, but also became celebrated figures on the worldwide electronic underground (Eric Nouhan, Aad De Mooy, Orlando Voorn, Stefan Robbers and Steve Rachmad). Alongside key underground imprints (Stealth Records, Basic Energy, ESP, Prime and Outland Records included) and lesser-known producers, these pioneers gave flavour to a radical musical movement via open-mindedness, unheard-of creativity and a genuinely futuristic ethos. All of these artists and labels are represented throughout the series.
So, what defined this hedonistic house sound from The Netherlands? Stylistically, it was varied – as the series so emphatically proves – but was defined by a set of distinctive sonic characteristics: emotive musical motifs, high-frequency synth sounds, mellow basslines, pulsating rhythms and more than a touch of hallucinatory intent.
Volume 2 contains a wealth of notable tracks and slept-on gems. These include Q’s ‘From Within (Body Mix)’, a lesser-known cut from the trio better-known as Quazar (Gert van Veen, R.o.X.Y co-founder Eddy De Clercq and Eric Cycle), Eric Nouhan’s melodic masterpiece ‘Technobility’, which is appearing on vinyl for the first time since 1994, and a rare track by Signum Recordings’s Maarten van der Vleuten, which was initially released on a special R&S Records’ offshoot set up by the label’s co-founder, Renaat Renaat Vandepapeliere (Integrity II’s ‘Living In Fantasy’).
Other highlights include Exposure’s ‘Love Quest’, a highly sought-after 1991 track by The Hague-based DJ/producer Maurits Paardekooper, and an ambient-infused Andrew Weatherall favourite originally released by Stealth Records in 1993, Hole In One’s ‘Spiritual Ideas For Virtual Reality’.
Packed full of forward-thinking 90s gems remastered for today’s dance floors by Alden Tyrell, Music For The Radical Xenomaniac Volume 2 is a life-affirming celebration of a distinctly Dutch musical movement, whose rich textures and melodies are still inspiring new generations of DJs and dancers today.
Music For The Radical Xenomaniac was compiled and curated by long-serving Dutch scene stalwarts Christiaan Macdonald and Arne Visser and marks the debut of their new independent label, Amazing! Macdonald co-founded Rush Hour and Safe Trip, and also co-curated the acclaimed Welcome To Paradise and Planet Love compilations. Visser is known as selector and radio host Cinema Royale, and for his Dekmantel-released Italo-disco compilation, Profondo Nero.