Sublight: “Alone, with Rotterdam” Classic DJ set

That time when you ran out of  serotonin, but still wanted to go hard.

Sublight: “Rising” Classic DJ Set

Quintessential early 90’s fare, when you could mix genres with reckless abandon and it was all an expected part of the experience. From Psychic TV to Orbital to Kenny Larkin and Mark Gage’s Vapourspace project, this one swings from ambient to deep to soft to minimal to melodic all in the space of a 45 minute single side of a cassette. Recorded direct to cassette from a crappy Radio Shack mixer, just like you’d expect from 1994.

Sublight: “Diving Through Space” Classic DJ set

Early 90’s space music, in a gentle trance…

Sublight: “Junglism” Classic DJ set

An early foray into the broken beat.

Sublight: “Deep Currents” Classic DJ set

The sets of this era are split between dark and light, happy and sad. This was a time of extreme consciousness opening for me, musically and in general, and the schism between opposites is a reflection of the imbalance that exploration was taking.

Sublight: “Dark Waters” Classic DJ set

In choice of music, as well as actual content, a lot of the vestiges of my early 90’s addiction to industrial remained evident. Apart from the usual suspects of the scene at the time, like artists on Chicago’s fabled Wax Trax! records and the many amazing bands and labels closer to home in Canada, there was also darker ambient and experimental content, all of which melded into a stew of dark and hard beats, resulting in an immediate affiliation with hard techno and dark, heavy trance. At the time, Toronto, and all of southern Ontario, were pushing out an amazing amount of home-made content in that range (Plus8, DOVe), and it was this time when I started getting beyond my growing CD collection, and started to buy vinyl. Expensive and hard to play at the time with an old belt-drive turntable with no tempo adjustment on it, it was still hard to pass up what I was finding. Equally, having collected so much Wax Trax, I was becoming immersed in their Warp reissues. You can hear the results.

Sublight: “Placid Placebo” Classic DJ set

A mixed bag of tracks that reflected a voracious appetite for, and growing awareness of electronic music. I think it’s good right up front that I didn’t stick to one style, in the early 90’s I was playing 4-5 genres of music, sometimes even in one set. In our apartment in Ottawa, the parties would run non-stop, sometimes for days, and I would get to experiment with my limited music selection, seeing what fit and what didn’t, and what I really felt passionate about.

Sublight: “Grabba Gabba” Classic DJ set

Many of these early sets were filled with humour and inside jokes, perhaps a reflection of the fact that rave culture and music really didn’t take itself as seriously back then as whatever passes for it now might. As a results, the odd Monty Python skit or Barney record or other quote seemed to make it’s way into the soundscape. Given how comedic hardcore was back then, with MC’s trashing each others’ cities, and parody tracks, this shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. Now the inside jokes about pancreas boxing are a thing of the past, and the Grabba Java coffee shop in Otawa this set was named after is surely long gone…

Sublight: “Peace” Classic DJ set

A very early Sublight set, this b-side of the third mixtape, is filled with ambient gems that feel like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day. Featuring many of the artists associated with Warp’s early 90’s Artificial Intelligence movement of experimental ambient & techno music.

Sublight: “Happy and Fulfilled” Classic DJ set

The warm soundtrack to a cold Ottawa winter of 1994. The B-side of the tape.