We break down 10 classic rave classics and the origins of the samples used to make the iconic tracks. From CJ Bolland, The Prodigy, Joey Beltram and more, the list is a comprehensive look at some of the most influential sample flips in the history of rave.
Many of the rave era’s most pinnacle tracks were crafted from borrowed sounds, as producers sought after new and exciting ways to revamp recycled sounds, a new wave of music would begin to emerge. Many of these samples would become blueprint for modern day warehouse music & their dominance still prevails as they continue to be reworked to this day.
CJ Bolland – Camargue [R&S Records]
Camargue serves as arguably CJ Bolland‘s most influential track from his debut album The 4th Sign on R&S Records. The record was one of the Belgian DJ & producer’s earlier works and the LP displayed his range in a longer format, with formative tracks such as Inside Out, Spring Yard becoming the foundation for modern hard dance records Camargue however took centre stage and has remained a rave classic since it’s release in 1992. The tracks famed chord stabs were sampled from a similarly important techno & trance infusion from SIL (Olav Basoski) on his track Window’s.
Skip to 1.35 to hear the sample.
The Prodigy – Out of Space [XL Recordings]
The Prodigy‘s fourth EP ‘Out of Space‘ was released in 1992 on XL Recordings and still remains one of the group’s most celebrated releases. The song was the one of most successful of the Prodigy’s early works, and it was frequently performed live by the band. The track is famously known for its use of multiple creative samples and has been more recently been sampled by Azelia Banks. The tracks standout vocal was sampled from Max Romeo‘s 1976 single Chase The Devil.
Skip to 0:34 to hear the sample.
Shades of Rhythm – Sound Of Eden (Every Time I See Her) [ZTT]
UK duo Shades of Rhythm have had their fair share of seminal tracks, from Sweet Sensation, Ecstasy, Big Bass Drum & their most influential track Sound Of Eden (Every Time I See Her). The 1991 track served as an early introduction to UK hardcore, with remnants of uplifting house littered within the track’s detail. The track serves as a stunning piece of UK rave history that is backed by the soulful vocals and rapturous piano chords. The track samples US house producer Vicky Martin‘s track Not Gonna Do it. The track samples the vocals from the original New Jersey house track, adding a touch of UK ecstasy to the deep house original.
Skip to 4.36 to hear the sample.
Joey Beltram – Energy Flash [R&S Records]
We return to R&S Records as we feature one of the label’s most famed anthems, from none other than US house and techno icon Joey Beltram. Energy Flash originally released in 1990 is one of the most important techno tracks of all time, the tracks crossover between house and techno makes it a pinnacle moment within the history of electronic music. The track is still played religiously on dancefloors across the globe and has been remixes and reissued countless times. The track samples as similarly important rave anthem from Orbital, with their cult classic Chime. Beltram samples the eerie and skewed string section to devastating effect.
Skip to 6:26 to hear the sample.
Together – Hardcore Uproar [FFRR]
Together‘s 1990 hit Hardcore Uproar remains a pinnacle track in the history of UK rave culture. The track is an amalgamation of numerous samples, crafted together to make a symphony of rave euphoria. The group was made up of Hacienda regulars Suddi Raval and Jon Donaghy alongside Rohan Heath, formerly associated A Guy Called Gerald. Hardcore Uproar was an instant hit in the UK, climbing to number 12 in the UK Charts. It famously samples the Star Wars theme song & Precinct 13 – Listen To Your Heartbeat, but it’s infamous bassline is pulled from the 1980’s synth-pop hit, The Splash Band – The End.
Skip to 1:24 to hear the sample.
Outlander – Vamp [R & S]
Yes, we’re back at R&S Records, but it would be a rude injustice to not include David Lopez Serrano‘better known as Outlander in this list of iconic rave tracks. The London-based producer Outlander had a fruitful career of rave-infused techno and house hits on both R&S and TZ. Tracks such as Steal My Love, Beyond Computation & To You have cemented Outlander’s name in history books of UK dance music, however Vamp will always remain his fundamental dancefloor hit. The track was backed with remixes from Frank De Wulf, Kevin Saunderson & Tony De Vit further solidifying its dominance in UK rave music. The track contains a number of samples from Todd Terry, Lisa Mitchell & famously its iconic stab from Landlord‘s 1989 house anthem I Like It (Blow out Dub).
Skip to 0.00 to hear the sample.
Gat Decor – Passion (Naked Edit) [Effective Records]
Gat Decor‘s Passion EP is by far the British producers best-known work and the 1992 release is still a bonafide dancefloor classic. The release came with two strong reworks (The Naked Mix) and Darren Emerson‘s remix on the flip. While the full EP is a classic, The Naked Mix’still remains the most popular track from the legendary EP. The track samples The Prodigy‘s definitive rave single Everybody In The Place on XL Recordings which was released a year prior to the Gat Decor EP.
Skip to 0:09 to hear the sample.
Origin Unknown – Valley Of The Shadows [RAM]
Delving deeper into jungle territories with UK duo Origin Unknown on their 1994 archetypal track Valley Of The Shadows. Jungle tracks don’t get any more iconic than this piece of magic, as Andy C & Ant Miles join forces for their monarch Origin Unknown. Valley Of The Shadows is an exemplary look into the UK’s melting pot of dance music creation in the early 90s. The tracks slips in between menacing UK hardcore and ethereal jungle, making it a deeply atmospheric masterpiece. The track’s eerie vocal is sampled from the 1980’s British television show QED, in the show’s episode Glimpses of Death.
Skip to 7:18 to hear the sample.
Liquid – Sweet Harmony [XL Recordings]
We’re back on XL Recordings, and for very good reason. Liquid‘s rave anthem Sweet Harmony is the perfect slice of soulful ecstasy as Liquid layers beautifully crafted deep-house over rolling breakbeat rhythms in the most poignantly and euphoric way. This sample is one of the more obvious additions to the list, but in many ways, it makes the track all the more impressive as Liquid turns Ce Ce Rogers seminal track Someday into a different beast as the duo extenuates the vocal and piano into a cavernous slice of rave bliss.
Skip to 2:30 to hear the sample.
SL2 – DJs Take Control [XL Recordings]
Our final addition to the list is hardcore classic DJs Take Control from SL2. Originally released in 1992 on XL Recordings, this little slice of dancefloor history was a four track passage into a world of hardcore heaven. SL2 was originally comprised of UK producers Slipmatt & Lime and T.H.C., the group released a flurry of pioneering rave tracks in the early 90’s such as On Ragga Tip, Do That Dance, Drum Beats, Way In My Brain and more, but DJs Take Control has remained as their most lauded track from this time period. Recently receiving remixes from Shadow Child & DJ Boring, the track has persisted to stay on dancefloors decades after its release. The tracks infamous hook was sampled from house music god Frankie Knuckles under his alias The Nightwriters on his 1987 track Let The Music (Use You) (Club Mix).
Skip to 0:32 to hear the sample.