Sep 27, 2020

A Full On Guide to Full On: introduction

Full On

When Kylie Minogue moved to Deconstruction Records to release Confide In Me, she gained an indie credibility entirely absent from her Stock Aitken and Waterman past.

And yet, Deconstruction was no less pop. Co-founded by Mike Pickering of M People, they had the big piano anthems of Black Box, K-Klass and Bassheads and M People. Taking on Kylie seemed an entirely sensible choice.

There was one compilation, however, which cemented Deconstruction's underground credentials. It was Full On: Edition One, subtitled "a year in the life of house music". This was Decon sticking a massive flag on the moon, and that moon was underground dance music. Not that moons can be made from abstract nouns, but you get the idea.

Full On Edition One cover
The cover design wasn't great. Here is its Discogs image in all its low-resolution glory. It looks like the front page of a financial company's glossy annual report. "Yah, Damien says the VAT changes have had a peripheral effect on out-sourcing but the bottom line remains pretty solid."

I shouldn't knock the designers, Farrow Design. They have pretty solid credentials, helping define the look of post-Richie Manics, Orbital's 20th anniversary, and recent Pet Shop Boys.

Anyway, I'm not here to talk about whether navy goes with burnt orange. I'm here to talk about the music.

Full On came out in 1992, which made it pre-cool-Kylie but post-Italo-house. 2 Unlimited had taken the charts by storm with their lowest common denominator "techno" sound. Full On had a foot in similar bouncy Euro-house, but there was something so much more listenable about it.

It had Felix and Usura banging out thumping anthems for blocky pre-Windows-95 visuals. It had an early appearance from Justin 'Lionrock' Robertson', laying an early warning shot for the rise of big beat. And it had a nascent appearance from someone who, five years later, would score one of the most memorable top ten singles of all time.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to analyse one track a day and I'm going to call it a Full On Guide to Full On. I'll do two tracks a day if I don't have much to write about. Three if I'm really struggling. You can see the complete track listing on Discogs.

Don't worry: if you never listened to this album, you should still enjoy this. I'm going to shine a light on 1990s dance music by, er, deconstructing this Deconstruction album. At least, I hope so: I haven't written any of it yet.

Stay tuned for the Full On Guide to Full On.

Read the Full On series in, er full.

Read the Full On introduction explaining what the heck this is all about.

No comments: