The Core

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Triple J Club Escape Perfect List 1991: click for the list

Back in 1990 and 1991, the Adelaide-based Triple J radio program Club Escape did episodes at the end of the year called “Perfect List”, featuring its choice of the best dance music released for the year. I’ve just updated my copies of those lists with links to the tunes.

For your listening and nostalgic pleasure, here are the Perfect Lists for 1990 and 1991.

Those old blog posts explain the story, but the short version is that I was one of the program’s presenters in 1990. It was a great time.

Two things come to mind as I look back at these lists…

First, I’m amazed at how few of the links I’d originally set up still worked. Linkrot is a problem for every website manager, but it’s not made easier when people delete their account or when the music distribution companies insist that you have to link to their version and all the others get deleted. I don ‘t know why they think this helps.

And second, well, I’m really hit by the feeling that time has moved on. Those programs were two decades ago. And yet some people want to wallow in their past. I listened to a few of the songs as I repaired the links, but I felt no urge to spend a lot of time “reminiscing”.

Perhaps I’m unusual in that I prefer to live in the present. Or even the future.

Back when I was cool (roughly 1990-1995), I was executive producer of a four-track vinyl release of new Adelaide dance music: The Core EP, named after our magazine The Core. The lead track We Are The Future was by DAMC (Dave McCann) and DJ Brendan. And here it is.

If that YouTube player doesn’t work for you, try directly at YouTube.

Dave writes:

[It] then got licensed to Rabbit City Records UK, released on the Australian EP 12″. You can also find it on a Vicious Vinyl CD compilation. Carl Cox gave this track a lot of spins in 1994.

Dave has also posted a list of all the music he made as DAMC.

Other tracks on the EP were by Aquila (Matthew Thomas), Quantization (Mat Farrington) and Maas Unconscious (a duo whose names escape me just now).

Hey Club Escape fans! I’ve just linked the playlists for Perfect List 1990 and 1991 to as many of the music videos as I could find tonight. Enjoy!

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson reckons Australia needs a Bill of Rights. I reckon he’s right about rights. And that’s because the central issue reminds me of when we were running The Core magazine

The Core‘s sole source of income was advertising, and most of it came from nightclubs. Nightclub managers are [coughs] the most honourable and [chokes] reliable [gargles] businessmen and women who can be found. Their integ… [coughs] [chokes] … sorry, I seem to have something caught in my throat.

They’d brag about how their new club night would be the biggest, brightest thing ever. “It’ll be huge,” they’d say. They’d want to book a heap of advertising — on credit, of course — and wanted discount.

“Sure,” I’d say, showing them our rate card and the discounts on offer.

“We’ll book a full page for 8 weeks then, for that 25% discount,” or whatever it was.

“Sure,” I’d say again. “Just sign here.”

And then they’d freeze.

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Triple J Club Escape Perfect List 1991: click for a close-up

OK, I lied. I have managed to find a hard copy of the Club Escape Perfect List from 1991.

As before, this is a list of the “best” dance tracks released in 1991, as chosen by the crew at Club Escape, the Adelaide-based dance music program on Triple J.

I wasn’t involved in Club Escape that year. I’d already gone on to The Core magazine — and indeed this list is taken from The Core issue 12, from 15 January 1992. So the people to blame for this list are producer John Thompson-Mills (”JB”) and presenter Paul Kitching.

[Update 6 September 2007: I've linked to as many of these songs as I can find on YouTube. Some of them may not be the exact mix played on air, but you get that. Enjoy. And if you find any others, please let me know.]

[Update 27 January 2011: I've just updated all the links back to the songs on YouTube. So many had suffered linkrot over the last few years. Not all of the links will be to the same mixes that were originally played on the radio.]

Top 10:

1. De La Soul: Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)

2. Quadraphonia: Quadraphonia

3. The KLF: Last Train to Transcentral

4. Enigma: Sadeness

5. Rozalla: Faith (In the Power of Love)

6. T99: Anastasia

7. Crystal Waters: Gypsy Woman

8. PM Dawn: Set Adrift on Memory Bliss

9. LL Cool J: Mama Said Knock You Out

10. Sabrina Johnston: Peace (In the Valley)

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Cover of The Core magazine number 6, 27 November 1991

It’s two weeks since I posted the last thing from my deep past, the Script Challenge, and no-one’s solved it yet. So I’ll post something less cryptic, a little less demanding — an extract from The Core magazine, which I worked on back during the brief period when I was cool.

Plus it gives me a chance to reminisce about The KLF.

The Core dates from a fantastic period of my life. I’d been working for ABC Radio for a few years, and along with club promoter Scott Thompson — does anyone know where he is now? — I presented Club Escape, a dance music program on Triple J created by John Thompson-Mills that aired in Adelaide in 1990-91.

Club Escape was hot. We had 11% of the total radio audience on a Saturday night, which means we probably blitzed the 15-25yo demographic. Nightclub owners told us their venues were deserted until the clock struck midnight and we were off the air.

It Was So Much Fun.

But I was getting tired of the ABC.

Dance music enthusiast Acb Tyson griped that there wasn’t a local magazine about dance music, and The Core was born. The first issue hit the streets on Wednesday 23 October 1991, and I left the ABC in February ’92 to concentrate on it full time.

I’ll write more about The Core another time. I’m even tempted to put all of the content online, since it chronicles an important period in the evolution of dance music in Australia. But for now, here’s an article from The Core number 6, published 27 November 1991. Enjoy!

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