For our next ‘Top 5 Tracks’ interview, we caught up with Kevin McKay to see what the Glasgow Underground head honcho digs for his Top 5 5amTracks.
The best records at 5am can mean different things to different DJs. For me 5am means that the peak of the party is over and only the hardcore dancers are left.
It also means that the records don’t need to have as much energy as they did at 1am or 3am. And hopefully it means that the people that are left trust you as a DJ by now to take them somewhere unexpected.
Kevin’s new album “No Samples Were Harmed In The Making Of This Record” is out now on Glasgow Underground – https://gu.lnk.to/nosamples.
51 Days – Paper Moon [Touché, 1994]
For me this is the perfect 5am track. I’m getting goosebumps and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up just writing the artist name and track title. Most importantly, all of the elements in this track are utterly addictive and so dancing to it is effortless. The bass is simple, yet powerful. The chords melt your heart and the vocal (sampled from Desire ft. Paul Alexander’s ‘The Playground’) loops around your mind with ease. I could listen to this track for a lot more than the 11m42s that was released. And – as a bonus – at nearly 12 minutes long it’s one of the best I-need-a-wee records to get you out the booth in an emergency!
It was released in 1994 and produced by two Dutch producers, Dobre & Jamez. It was the second release on their own Touché label. They also recorded huge bangers for the same label under various guises (the most famous probably being Trancesetters). For a time, the label was one of those buy-on-sight imprints for me at my local record store. Dobre went on to make huge anthems such as “Give It Up” by the Goodmen and is now in Chocolate Puma.
RÜFÜS – Innerbloom (Sasha Remix) [Last Night On Earth, 2016]
If there is one producer carrying on that loved-up, tripped-out groove today, it’s Sasha. And if there is one band I want to be singing to me at 5am, it’s Australia’s Rüfüs Du Sol. Tyrone Lindqvist’s soulful yet delicate paean to lost love is ideal for getting lost with your eyes closed in the centre of the dance floor, and Sasha’s mix of ‘Innerbloom’ is the kind of treatment that is so emotive it makes you feel like taking drugs (even when you’re not).
Tori Amos – God (The Thinking Mix 2 by Carl Craig) [East West, 1994]
Long before Armand Van Helden got hold of her and twisted her vocals into an XL house double-entendre, her A&R team at East West got Carl Craig in and gave him ‘God’, a raw indie groove filled with funk bass and scratchy guitars. Thankfully he ignored all of that and took Tori on a journey deep into E2-E4/Sueno Latino-style emo/Ibiza house complete with storm FX, breakbeats and a percussive, tech groove that everyone is very familiar with now. It was far too leftfield to play to anything other than an after-party in 1994, but I reckon now the world has caught up with Carl Craig, this would work a treat at 5am.
Isaac Tichaeur – Higher Level (Bicep Remix) [Loft Records, 2016]
I’ve chosen this one but there are a few Bicep tracks that work for my dance floor at this time (‘Just’ being another). When I first heard it, I immediately fell in love with it. I was a bit worried though that it was a warm-up record. Knowing how club-focussed the Bicep lads are, I took a punt and tried it out on one night as the dancefloor was nearing capacity and… boom, the place took off. So, whilst I don’t think it’s peak time, its heavy kick, heavy sub and killer synth loop make sure it is certainly one that works.
Frankie Knuckles / Jamie Principle – Your Love [Trax, 1987]
Just because it’s 5am and we’re going deep it doesn’t mean we can’t have moments with songs that everyone knows. This is probably my favourite house record ever made. I love it as much now as I did when I first heard it in 1989. It has one of the most iconic intros ever; if you’re a house fan, you know that arpeggiated hook the second it arrives. Add to that the simple yet deadly bassline and Jamie’s incredible vocal, and you have something truly greater than the sum of its part. That said, despite it being such a huge anthem, I have always struggled to play it peak time because of its kicked-back groove but at 5am, next to records like this, it is simply perfect.
The rest of my after-hours set…
Chez Damier & Stacey Pullen – Forever Mona [Balance, 1995]
iO – Clare [Cheap Records, 1994]
Demuir – Luvin’ To Nothin’ [Great Lakes Audio, 2017]
Freeform Five feat. Juldeh Camara – Weltareh (Freeform Five & Kevin McKay Reform) [Eskimo, 2013]
Josh One – Contemplation (King Britt Funke Mix) [1-Off Recordings, 2002]
Pleasure Dome – 6 minutes of Dreams [Sex Mania, 1994]
Danell Dixon – Dance Dance [Nite Grooves, 1994]
Nalin & Kane – Beachball (Joris Voorn Remix) [Data, 2010]
e_N – The Horn Ride (Deep Dish On Some Good Crack) [Tribal America, 1995]
Calvin Harris – Flashback (Eric Prydz Remix) [Fly Eye, 2009]November 15, 2019