Sunshine Productions ‎– Take Me To The Top / Just A Melody

Label:
Just Another Label ‎– JAL 01
Format:
Vinyl, 12"
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Credits

Notes

The A side samples vocal from Freestyle Orchestra - 'Keep On Pumping It Up'.

The B side contains a sample from N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton "nigga's with attitude".

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Other: MIKE'S - THE EXCHANGE
  • Other (A): SHOUT TO D.J. IVAN, BIG BITES, RED LID, MACCATTACK, NICKLEBEE, LEE "BEEF CRISP" DRUMMOND, STEVE JOHNSON, ERUPTION F.M. CREW, JAN, LORNA & BRIAN (YOU DRINK CAT FOOD)

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thunderkick127

thunderkick127

October 16, 2018

This is a very strong release, both tracks are excellent and a cut above most of the happy hardcore that would follow.

To me, happy hardcore is the epitome of hit and miss. It's a style to be careful with, with an artist either producing an uplifting track that will make anyone feel good, or it can be terminally cheesey, cringe inducing rubbish gladly to be forgotton. Unfortunately, I think most happy hardcore did fall into the latter category of being cheesey junk. Primarily as it was formulaic and although the formula itself was fine, the ingredients required for the formula needed to be top notch. Unfortunately, most of the time the samples used in the formula were stale and moldy. The result was crappy happy hardcore that really justified the term "cheesey quavers" for the ravers who followed it.

The two core problems that I have with cheesey happy hardcore are 1) gratuitous piano riffs that are clearly not created with any musical knowledge or care and are only included because the happy hardcore formula requires them, and 2) horrible vocals that are also only included out of obligation. Piano riffs that are not enjoyable nor musically skillful are embarassing. I can't begin to sell a track to a person not au fait with happy hardcore by playing a track where the piano sound like a total amateur was responsible. Equally, shrieking vocals are just unpleasant and should be made illegal.

This release, however, is deserving of credit. I'll start with my only criticism being the vocals at the start of "Just A Melody". They really sound badm they're out of tune and wailing. It sounds as if the singer is struggling on the toilet. It is in fact this vocal that is the only reason I give this release 4 / 5 and not 5 / 5.

The horrible vocal aside, the pianos in both tracks are very nice, most notably in the first track where the piano works wonderfully to give the track an immediate injection of uplifting vibes. The drums in both tracks are fairly standard, although, I will say that the phased drums in the middle of the A side were a nice touch. Of course, this technique became commonplace in '94 and '95, but they weren't too common before then. One of the earliest tunes I know of which uses the technique is "Check Out The Bass Bass" by Rhythm section in 1991, which is to be expected from such musical geniuses, but surprisingly the technique wasn't too common until '94/'95. Considering this, I think its use in this track is very effective.

"Take Me To The Top" Is more hardcore than it is happy hardcore, but by no means any less of a track than side A. I especially like dark bassy synth that comes in at the second half of the track, it really works well to give a forboding end to a record that started so brightly.

It's a shame that happy hardcore paradoxically got worse as the style evolved (unlike most other styles) because to me the happy hardcore from '93/'94 was easily the best and this record is good evidence of this. '95 had some excellent stuff too, but beyond that it all too often was disposable junk.
kelvin2010

kelvin2010

April 20, 2018
Full agree with you foogoo, Happy hardcore had it's moments, but had turned far too stinky come 1995, back to sunshine productions, loved the piano breakdown, and loved the mad noise that comes after, especially what they did with it towards the end, cannot remember the B side "just a melody" was a long time ago I owned this.
foogoo

foogoo

August 21, 2016
2 wikkid tracks here, I can't even imagine the rush you'd get listening to these 'on one'. This is what happy hardcore should have been, instead of the load of old cobblers it turned into. 5/5
O_Z

O_Z

December 24, 2012

Always preferred Just A Melody, never heard piano like it in a hardcore tune until Kniteforce a few years later.
xXNovaXx

xXNovaXx

December 31, 2007
"Take me to the Top" is the real star of the show here. Brilliant vocal sample, well constructed breakbeat sequences, nice sub bass. But out of this, the real stunner is the piano. The piano is absolutely amazing, it has one of the best melodies you will ever hear! A top track, with brilliant piano. You will not believe it when it hits you, very uplifting. I first heard the DJ Ham mix, but i still prefer this slightly of the remixes.