The Borough of Rave

25 March 2020

10 rave tracks from the Listening to Brent playlist.

Brent, as we know, is the borough of Reggae, but thanks principally to Kwaku's research into Brent's Black Music History, we now know that between 1988 - 1993 it was also The Borough of Rave.

Listening to Brent is a Spotify playlist, featuring musicians and bands with a connection to Brent and music released by labels who are or were located here. It’s worth acknowledging the massive contribution of Brent soundsytems who pioneered the genus of these sounds earlier in the decade. Check out this video of NW10’s Mastermind playing in Moss Side in 1986. The dancing gets particularly good around 19mins when the DJ plays ‘Adonis' - No Way Back’.

Below are some tracks from the Listening To Brent playlist that fit the bill.

Break 4 Love - Raze (1988) [play]
Champion Records, who released many classic house tracks in the 80s and 90s, have been located on Harlesden High Street since the early 1980s. ‘Break 4 Love’ was one of the most classic.

We Call It Acieeed! - D Mob (1988) [play]
D Mob was a Brent-raised producer known as Dancin' Danny D (born Daniel Kojo Poku), who now lives in the US where he manages the hugely successful Stargate pop-R&B/ hip hop production and remix team. At a time of tabloid headlines about out of control teenagers at raves, We Call It Acieeed!, was banned by Radio 1 despite reaching no. 3 in the charts.

Mr Kirk’s Nightmare - 4Hero (1988) [play]
4Hero had their studio in Dollis Hill from where they operated the Reinforced Records label. Strangely, for what would become a rave anthem, Mr Kirk’s Nightmare was intended to have an anti-drugs message.

Papua New Guinea - Future Sound of London (1991) [play]
Future Sound of London met at University in Manchester but later moved to London, where they set up a studio in Dollis Hill. It was here that they recorded this much loved ambient techno track.

Show Me Love - Robin S (1990) [play]
Another classic release from Harlesden’s Champion Records. Apparently Robin S had the flu when she recorded the original vocal.

Terminator - Rufige Kru/ Goldie (1992) [play]
Goldie wasn’t from Brent but he honed his production skills with Reinforced Records who were based in Dollis Hill.

Gal Decor - The Passion (1992) [play]
The vocal for The Passion was provided by Beverley Skeete, a session singer from Harlesden.

Insomnia - Faithless (1993) [play]
Faithless weren’t from Brent, but their label Cheeky was linked to Champion Records.

Trip to the Moon pt.2 - Acen (1993) [play]
Acen was a crossover hardcore artist/ producer active in the early 90s, who released music on the Kensal Rise based Production House label.

Let Me Be Your Fantasy - Baby D (1993) [play]
Another Production House release. Baby D is the name of the group and its vocalist Dorothy Galdez - she still lives in Kingsbury, they still tour.