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Essential Listening: Manchester Anthems

Essential Listening: Manchester Anthems

Graeme Park and Greg Wilson | Features & Interviews

You’d struggle to find two DJs whose histories are more intertwined with the Madchester culture than Graeme Park and Greg Wilson, so who better to grill on some of the stone cold killers that turned Manchester into the very centre of the UK acid house movement? Both plying their trade in the famous club at the height of its powers, the two selectors remain in the top tier of rave-era DJs, respected as two of electronic dance music’s original wave of tastemakers.

Asked to provide us with their top five Manchester anthems for this special Essential Listening piece, Park and Wilson got us in the mood for their upcoming show at The Warehouse Project on Saturday 30th December, where a plethora of stars will show why house music took off with such force in the late 80s. Taking some of the finest tunes from the Madchester soundtracks, the two DJs fought to find the definitive Hacienda anthem; but which track would unite them at last? 

This Is Acid - Maurice
Selected by Graeme Park

"A massive and infectious Chicago house groove."



Klein & M.B.O. ‘Dirty Talk’ (1982)
Selected by Greg Wilson

"This was one of the biggest tracks of 1982 at my weekly Wednesday night sessions across town in Legend, where Electro-Funk had taken off big time. Hewan Clarke, the original Hacienda resident, started playing it there, resulting in New Order loaning the track from them to use as a reference for a recording they were then working on, which transpired to be ‘Blue Monday’ (1983).

Avoid the vocal, it’s all about the instrumental versions of this seminal Italian 12”, which was also a favourite in New York. ‘Dirty Talk’ would continue to be played at The Hacienda as a cult-classic during the later Acid-House era."

Dreams Of Santa Anna - Orange & Lemon
Selected by Graeme Park

"A sublime Todd Terry hip hop inspired epic with tough, chunky beats."



Hashim ‘Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)’ (1983)
Selected by Greg Wilson

"Again, a major track at Legend, but this time it coincided with my Friday night tenure at The Hacienda during the latter months of ’83, so it was a record I introduced to the club. Like ‘Dirty Talk’, it would still be pulled out by DJs there in the rave days.

One of Electro’s great records, it was issued on New York’s Cutting label, which would later bridge Electro and House via the hybrid ‘Let’s Get Brutal’/’This Brutal House’ (1986) by Nitro Deluxe."



The Shaker Song - Playtime Toons
Selected by Graeme Park

"A bassline that makes your entire body and soul vibrate."



808 State - Pacific State (1989) 
Selected by Greg Wilson

"Gerald also had a major hand in this classic, although having left 808 State prior to its release, a rift ensued with his former collaborators when he wasn’t credited, leading to his riposte in the form of ‘Specific Hate’, recorded later that year. Thankfully the hatchet was later buried.

A trip of a track that opened up vistas new, it always struck me as a ‘Stranger On The Shore’ for the Rave generation (this was the evocative 1961 single by clarinettist Acker Bilk, the first British recording to reach #1 in the USA), ‘Pacific State’ like ‘Voodoo Ray’, has its own distinct quality that defies pigeonholing."



Promised Land - Joe Smooth
Selected by Graeme Park

"The perfect end of the night tune with the most positive vibe ever."



FPI Project - Rich In Paradise (1989)
Selected by Greg Wilson

"I first heard this on a trip to The Hacienda in 1989. I was talking to a friend in one of the alcoves when I noticed that he and everyone around him were holding up their hands. I then turned my head to the dancefloor to see that literally everybody was saluting – it’s the most unifying moment I’ve ever experienced in a club. It was the piano breakdown of this track that prompted this hugely impressive show of togetherness.

‘Rich In Paradise’, is a housed-up Italian-produced instrumental take on ‘Going Back To My Roots’, originally recorded by Lamont Dozier, and subsequently covered by Richie Havens and Odyssey."



A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray (1988)
Selected by Greg Wilson and Graeme Park

"It was Gerald and other local black dancers that originally brought House into The Hacienda in the mid-80s. ‘Voodoo Ray’ would meld House with his Electro and Jazz-Funk influences to create his own unique fusion.

The words sampled were actually ‘voodoo rage’, as uttered on a Derek & Clive comedy album, but given the time limitations of samplers back then the g of rage was cut off and thus, serendipitously, ‘Voodoo Ray’ resulted."

“A timeless British acid house music track that is synonymous with The Haçienda.”



Hard to argue with that: A Guy Called Gerald’s "Voodoo Ray" comes out on top.

A Guy Called Gerald joins Graeme Park and Greg Wilson as the big guns come out in force for The Warehouse Project’s FAC51 Hacienda night on Saturday 30th December. Danny Tenaglia, Todd Terry, Kevin Saunderson and more also grace the lineup for the Madchester throwback.

Photo courtesy of The Warehouse Project

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