Let’s Dance – Various Artists: Back To Mine – Horse Meat Disco (Back To Mine)

What’s the story?

Back To Mine have been running for 24 years now, and ever since Nick Warren curated the first release, with its strapline ‘a personal collection for after hours grooving’, the series has blossomed into a must-hear with every release. There was a pause in production of 11 years, between Krafty Kuts in 2008 and Nightmares On Wax in 2019, but since then the productions have been shown to be in rude health. This 32nd release turns to Horse Meat Disco for feelgood inspiration.

This is the quartet named after a partially obscured newspaper headline (‘Horse Meat Discovered In Salami!2) but that moniker perfectly supports what they do, somehow! Their brand of feelgood disco music began in a Chinatown basement in 2003 but since then has added an essential dimension to the London gay scene and now a long way beyond.

With founders Jim Stanton and James Hillard joined by Severino Panzetta and Luke Howard, the DJs have been on a roll ever since, expanding their musical outlook to music Hillard says you will get ‘if you love dancing and have an open mind’.

As with all Back To Mine releases, the music is available as a collection of unmixed tracks but also in an unbroken mix lasting just over an hour.

What’s the music like?

As you might expect from this source, extremely uplifting! All these grooves are effortless and given with a smile on their face, though some have quite far-reaching lyrics that speak to the heart as well as the dancing feet. God’s Greatest Gift To Man Is A Woman by Margie Lomax is one such example, a simple but really catchy groove repeating the essential strap line. Róisín Murphy’s Ancora Ancora Ancora is another, with a low slung beat that Severino & Nico de Ceglia work to perfection.     

Alien Alien feat Igino’s Perfidia has a relatively slow but effortless groove thanks to Panzetta and Ray Mang on the remix. Escape From New York’s Fire In My Heart is brilliant, with anthemic chorus over chunky keyboards, while if it’s a great, empowering piece of spoken word you’re after, look no further than Ona King, guest on Larry Heard’s brilliant Premonition Of Lost Love, in its Extended Adult Mix form. Catchy lyrics also turn up in GAME’s wonderful Gotta Take Your Love, with the unforgettable line “You turn me on just like a shower”.

Meanwhile Horse Meat Disco’s own Self Control, from their debut album, has the ultimate combination of twangy guitar, subterranean bass and deadpan spoken word. Messages From The Star by The RAH Band is arguably the pick of the bunch, with a heady guitar lines and a chorus you could put on repeat for hours. Most intriguing track award, however, goes to Marianne Faithfull’s Sex With Strangers, featuring Beck, which leaves a distinctive mark.

Does it all work?

Yes, completely – and it succeeds by bringing the whole feel of a live Horse Meat Disco into your living room or onto your headphones. The smiles, the dancing, the feeling of unity and togetherness – all are brought to life.

Is it recommended?

Enthusiastically. Horse Meat Disco are never knowingly undersold in the tunes department, to use a famous retail phrase, and they certainly deliver the goods here!

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