21 Years of Gio Goi – Mixed by Mark Knight – Album Review
Written by Michael
July 20, 2010 3:55 pm
If you know acid house, you know GioGoi. As Co-Founder Christopher Donnelly puts it, “I guess it started on the dance floor really, back in the day 1988, when we was down treading boards at the hacienda and different places.
Once the acid house did broke, that was our passion and we started promoting and putting a couple of, you know, illegal acid house parties on.” Anthony Donnelly, the other co-founder, says “that was where we started out, our background, was doing parties, so it was kinda born out of doing promotions [for the] label.”
The iconic clothing brand was cut short though after an argument over copyright issues with Georgio Armani over the use of the “Gio” in their branding. The Donnellys dropped the brand and ceased production, but in 2005 the label was revived after new financial brokers were keen to inject new live into the company. Since then, there has been no word of complaint from Giorgio Armani, and Gio Goi has gone from strength to strength, with support from the likes of Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse, Deadmau5, Liam Gallagher and Plan B. Perhaps it’s the labels ability to span styles and give such wide appeal that has contributed to it’s success, with the label proving equally popular among the indie band scene as the dance music scene.
“Gio Goi…it’s not just a clothing brand, it’s a lifestyle. its basically all about, as we say, you get rock n roll bands – we’re a rock n roll brand. there isnt any big strategy for what we do, everything is organic, it’s gotta be natural, otherwise it doesn’t really mean anything,” Christopher makes clear the intentions of the brand, with Anthony adding “We’re not like other brands, [who] we consider [are] trying to replicate us, we’re doing it honestly”
And then Anthony introduces us to the album, which is split into two halves. The first CD covers 1989-1999 and ix mixed by Graeme Park, whilst the second covers 2000-2009 and is mixed by Mark Knight, who’s recent track Croscindo we featured the other day. CD1 is a classic affair, the acid house flavour predominant and the 90s feel is down to a tee. The progressive classic Joey Negro track Do What You Feel is bursting with 90s flavour, yet still feels funky and fresh. The deep melodies and ballad vocals are iconic. The Inner City track Pennies From Heaven is one of the classic tracks of the early 90s house scene, the atypical pop-house vocals pushing the high notes, whilst accompanied by the high string chords that dominated the sound of the 90s. This is funky, classic stuff, and Graeme Parks mixing is far from shoddy, progressing when necessary and chopping in tracks to change the flavour. Indo’s RU Sleeping? is another uplifting track which those old enough to remember the mid-90s will remember fondly – though sadly when this track was doing the Ibiza rounds I was still in my jammies playing Lego. Moving on swiftly, and Byron Stingilys Get Up (Everybody) is possibly the most annoying track on the CD, the vocals seemingly stuck on a never-ending loop. It wouldn’t matter so bad if the track was short but at over six minutes long we soon found ourselves reaching for the “Next” button.
Joey Negro is soon back for a second instalment with Can’t Get High Without U, this is a much better track, the sound still fresh just like Do What You Feel, a testament surely to the quality of Negro’s production. CD1 is definitely a journey through time and the tracks which mostly still feel funky and fresh will surely be appreciated equally by those who were about during the scene and also those for who 90s house is more unfamiliar territory. Sadly, the CD does still have a general dated feel and it just goes to show that the majority of dance music does not age attractively. But as a look back through time, it’s glorious to reminisce.
CD2 is a more modern affair, covering 2000-2009. First track, Knights of the Jaguar by DJ Rolando is a slow funky number with a slow build up which slowly eases you into Finally by Kings of Tomorrow. The cutting strings are a reminder that the CDs are linked in time, and the sense here is that the mixes are pulling us through the years, track by track – a very cool and nice idea. Everybody knows Finally, no genuine Dance music fan can possibly get away without a shiver down the spine at the vocals, which make us feel like we’re looking at an old photobook and not listening to a new release. Legends Underworld are represented as you’d expect, with their track Two Months Off. This is not a CD for reminding us of the commercial successes as such, for if it was, then surely Born Slippy would have featured. But 21 Years of Gio Goi is clearly not that kind of album, preferring lesser known tracks which may actually represent the timeframe better.
It’s not long before we’re in more recent, familiar territory with Sandy Rivera’s I Can’t Stop sounding as new and funky as it did the day it was released. Mark Knight himself soon has his mitts on a classic, providing a remix of Sandcastles by Ferrer & Sydenham, alongside Martijn ten Veleden. The classic pianos and throbbing bassline, whooshes of air and anthemic vibes are soon upon you, whisking you back to 2005. This is emotional stuff and will inevitably invigorate epic memories of nights bygone for many people. Xpress-2, Skints most famous export beside Fatboy Slim, whisk control into their hands with Kill 100 featuring Rob Harvey. This is the Carl Craig remix which is funkier than the original. Rob Harvey clearly has murder on the brain, his dominating vocals gasping at you exasperatedly, the high-hats and ambient synths hinting at the impending audio cavalcade that is Deadmau5s Jaded. This is a track that reminds you of Zimmermans progressive house background. It’s arguably more accomplished than his latest release Chords and the feel of the track demonstrates effectively the leaps and bounds that house has made since the 80s from pop-dance that occupied the discos to sophisticated deep grooves that have the most glamorous of hot spots in full swing.
21 Years of Gio Goi is a fitting tribute to an iconic label. Both the album, the music and the brand all have their roots in Acid House and the track selection and mixing fits in nicely with this background. This is house music that spans 20 years and whilst the classic synths, high vocals and electronica sounds of house may not appeal to everyone, for the true house aficionado this is a must have album for nostalgia. Some of the tracks have sadly aged quite badly, but it was refreshing to feel that some of the oldest tracks on the CD still sound as fresh as the day they came out. The mixing is solid and the concept of the album is original.
|89-99 Mixed By Graeme Park|
|Byron Stingily ‘Get Up (Everybody)’ (Parade Mix)|
|Cut The Q ‘Who Need A Love Like That?’ (Groove Remix)|
|DJ Sneak ‘You Cant Hide From Your Bud’ (Original Mix)|
|Indo ‘R U Sleeping’ (Todd Edwards Mix)|
|Inner City ‘Pennies From Heaven’ (Norty Boy Mix)|
|Jamie Lewis & Nick Morris ‘Sunshine Hotel’ (Main Mix)|
|Joey Negro ‘Can’t Get High Without You’ (Philly World Mix)|
|Joey Negro ‘Do What You Feel’ (Expanded Vocal Mix)|
|Joi Cardwell ‘Trouble’ (Real Vocal Mix)|
|Kim English ‘I Know A Place’ (Original Mix)|
LFO ‘LFO’ (Leeds Warehouse Mix)
|2000-2009 Mixed By Mark Knight|
|deadmau5 ‘Jaded’ (Original Mix)|
|Dennis Ferrer & Jerome Sydenham ‘Sandcastles’ (Martijn ten Velden & Mark Knight Mix)|
|DJ Rolando ‘Knights Of The Jaguar’ (Original Mix)|
|Kings Of Tomorrow ‘Finally’ (Danny Tenaglia’s Return To Paradise Mix)|
|Mark Knight & D.Ramirez V Underworld ‘Downpipe’ (Original Club Mix)|
|Mark Knight & Funkagenda ‘Man With The Red Face’ (Original Club Mix)|
|Sandy Rivera ‘I Cant Stop’ (Original Mix)|
|Soul Central ‘Strings Of Life’ (Martijn ten Velden & Mark Knight Toolroom Mix)|
|Underworld ‘2 Months Off’ (John Ciafone Remix)|
|Xpress 2 ‘Kill 100’ (Carl Craig Remix)|