Tr One is the alias of Irish DJ/producer Eddie Reynolds. An incredibly talented producer whose work (in our opinion, at least) flies criminally under the radar, his sounds have found a home on some seriously great labels, including the likes of Don’t be Afraid, Lunar Disko and Apartment. Never afraid to speak his mind on social media, he is also well able to poke fun at a scene that all too often takes itself far too seriously. Nonetheless, he’s also scrupulously devoted to his musical craft, as anyone who follows the man himself can surely attest. Just as likely to touch on banging techno as he is deft house sounds, his is a way of working that manages to combine his many influences with considerable esteem. A wicked DJ, he’s also a fitting inductee into our Talking Classics series…
Sha’lor – I’m In Love (ZYX) (1988)
Now this is my fuckin’ jam! I can safely say this one has been a staple in my record bag for years and years. Many an empty dancefloor has enjoyed this during one of the many warm up sets I played over the years. Their loss I say. This really captured that exciting proto era of the beginning of house music but still holding some of the disco and boogie sensibilities of really well put together productions. It really is fantastically put together this one all the way to the Shep Pettibone-like break in the middle. The lyrics are quite simple but suit the chords and lead so well and reaches a fantastic crescendo towards the end. Well worth playing the whole thing.
The drums and bass are slamming on the right system. Yes a loud system – remember that!? No.. me neither. This was recently repressed on Rush Hour and is not very expensive new or used. Well worth picking up.
Romanthony – Testify (Soul Vamp) (Black Male Records) (1994)
Yeah what a slammer. Don’t have it but really want it. I own fuck all of Romanthony’s music which is scandalous and something I need to change. The groove on this is spectacular. Such swing and funk make it impossible not to make you move. That little off beat snare is golden. This is house music and the spirit it embodies. MPC 60 is it?
That 90s era was a spectacular time for house music. People are still trying to create this track nowadays but fail. The way the main parts are chopped and sampled is so good. It’s just something that cannot be created in a DAW. It has that smoky organic making love to the MPC vibe to it. The groove is almost rubbery but rigid. Fantastic use of the gospel sample(s). Very KDJ in places or maybe Kenny took influence from this one!? Strange that there isn’t as much of Romanthony’s music being reissued nowadays because it’s better then the majority of shit being reissued. This one is straight on top of the wantlist – again.
Round Two ft. Andy Caine – New Day (Main Street Records) (1995)
Well I can safely say this is one of my favourite and possibly one of the best deep vocal house cuts of all time. A perfect crescendo of machine soul, dub sonics and a near perfect vocal performance from session vocalist Andy Caine. The strings in particular are so emotional and well programmed to suit the poignant lyrics. I just love how they pieced it together to create the groove. I quite like those drums. Shout about it, shout about it…
I remember hearing this for the first time as a teenager in smalltown Ireland just getting into the deeper end of house and techno and was suitably blown away. It goes to show the depth and talent that persisted in the Basic Channel sound throughout the years. This track is going on 26 years old now which is crazy. My only qualm is how many bad vinyl pressings are out there of this which still gets me as I find most of the Basic Channel crews’ records sound sonically superior to anybody else’s! There are I believe a couple of decent pressings out there which of course are worth the hunt. Drop what you are doing and listen to this entire track. It gets me everytime.
Skatebård Skateboarding Was A Crime (In 1989) (Tellektro) (2002)
This is a big one to be fair! A real slamming groove which would blow the right party away. Blow me away drinking at home in my sitting room? Who knows. Maybe. Anyway I think the couch said something to me. I really do like Skatebard’s tracks. An almost HI NRG sensibility to some but ultimately melodic in the right places. This one you think isn’t going anywhere in particular structure wise but grooves along nicely with that lovely dubbed out effect/riff that hits every now and again hitting the sweet spot.
The ultimate end game of course is the big lead that hits and of course is the money shot. I can almost hear the “yeows”. There is an almost Rob Hood skeletal type vibe to groove in its raw form which I can definitely appreciate. I recently played his “Conga” track before things closed down and it went down a treat. His music always impresses.
Choice aka Laurent Garnier – Acid Eiffel (Fragile) (2003)
Well well what do you say about this that hasn’t been said. What a tune! It captures the elegance of acid and detroit techno perfectly. Those strings are to die for. A symphony for the senses. There has always been a beautiful symmetry between the TB 303, its emulators and big gorgeous pads and this was and still is one of the tracks that merges those elements perfectly. The drums and percussion are great.
It’s quite long though isn’t it? Could easily shave a few minutes off it but then again it’s only 13 minutes out of our mundane lives. The mix is absolutely quality, maybe it’s due to Ludovic Navarre’s deft touch on the console. His music is always mixed so well and you can hear the elemental flourishes really come to life. Respect to Shazz and Laurent Garnier for creating this timeless piece of music. It was great reading about how it came together in Laurent’s Electrochoc book. A must read for fans of Laurent and electronic music in general.
Whirlpool Productions – Gimme (Logic) (1993)
Here’s one I don’t really know. Bit of a Happy records vibe from it! Definitely has the feel of a big festival track in the sunshine with a lot of people asking for the ID. Production is quite good; it comes together quite nicely with those big stabs giving it the energy. Vocal is a bit grating at times but it is a testament to that early Kiss FM like house sound of that era.
Yeah it’s decent… but personally something I wouldn’t really play but would love hearing it dropped in a set for sure. Tell you what though that bassline is heavy as fuck works a treat with that snare pattern. Lovely swing to those drums. You can see how a lot of commercial house tracks going forward used a blueprint similar to this. Definitely has that old skool vibe to it which isn’t a bad thing.
Mike Grant The Struggle Of My People (Mr G Remix) (Moods & Grooves) (2001)
Big jam. Mr G & Mike Grant has always been an intoxicating combination. His remix of My Soul, My Spirit is an all time favourite jam. This one came afterwards for me. An incredible remix. So soulful so fucking heavy. Mr G’s control over his MPC is immense. The way he manipulates the EQ over the chord build would make your spine tingle. It’s a real builder. Very hard to mix out of because anything afterwards sounds a bit limp compared to it plus you just don’t want this shit to end haha! The vocal sample is so immersive. Worked to perfection by Mr G. A close to perfect house track.
I do think Mike Grant is an unsung hero of the Detroit house and techno scene. His own productions and work with his labels have been hugely influential for me personally and has left a fantastic legacy. On to Mr G – who doesn’t love the man?!
Schatrax – Overcome (Schatrax) (2008)
I actually don’t know this one personally but love Josh Brent’s output. Any record I have of his I really love particularly Keep On Loving and The Almighty. His sound reminds me of Mr G’s and of what tech house is meant to sound like. Back to this track – It definitely has that thick sound that would sound fantastic in a subby basement. Love when that bassline drops around the 1m20s mark. Thick as fuck! I also love the lead pad from the beginning. Very icy but warm at the same time. It sounds timeless. In fairness people including me are still trying to make tracks like 25 years later haha. Definitely need to try to pick up that album for when the clubs open again in 2024!
Levon Vincent – Late Night Jam (Ostgut Ton) (2009)
OK it’s cold here in Ireland. I’ve headed out for a walk. I’ve put my beanie on and a big jacket on and to get maximum Berlin vibes from this I’m going to pound the cold concrete and get into the mindset. I go down to my local shop to buy a bottle of Lucozade just to feel something.
In all seriousness though Levon’s music did not appeal to me until recently but once it clicked I did really get it. His control of the machines and use of reverb is very good and not too far away from the way l like to work in the studio. I played his NYC track in the last gig I did before lockdown and it went down a treat. A real heavy burner with a hypnotic riff. Back to this track I quite like it – In particular the way the title Late Night Jam relates to the music on show. It sounds like one of those nights where you turn on the machines and let things happen as such. Sometimes a jam can become so much more. Magic can happen in the moment when jamming and I feel like it’s happened here. Very much so suited to the panorama bar on a dark winter’s night. Levon has a unique sound in between house and techno but it really works on the dancefloor as well as in your headphones.
Mike Huckaby – Baseline 89 (SYNTH) (2012)
Yeah another staple from the record bag. Always goes down a storm. How could it not with that bassline. Sounds even better pitched up a little bit. I’ve a good memory of playing this in the Bierhaus in Galway years back. I love how certain records bring you right back to even remembering the smile on certain people’s faces. Jesus you’d miss it. I’m going to dig my copy out now.
It’s a simple track but perfect. I can’t really imagine any more or less. Possibly one of the greatest basslines in house music? There are two more things that really glue it together for me. One is the little vocal/street noise sample that starts in the first couple of minutes. Sometimes you don’t even think it’s there. Secondly of course is the conga riff just halfway through. It compliments the groove so well! R.I.P Mike. Still one of the cruelest blows from a miserable 2020. Your music lives on.
Shinichi Atobe – Regret (2017)
Now personally we all have an artist we admire and respect but somehow don’t ever buy their music. Shinichi Atobe is that artist for me and it’s no disregard to the man’s obvious talent… it’s just one of those things! I guess I’m too busy spending money on another Detroit record I don’t really need. I’ve heard this track before and have to say it is fantastic. Elegant, emotional and a great groove to match. The interplay between synths and percussion is lovely. Some might write it off as easy and a bit light but I’d disagree.
I absolutely love that single note bass hit on every 1 and 3. It really is the glue on the groove and makes the rest of the track sing. Great production and the build into the flute like melody towards the end is well worth the wait. Will I buy his music going forward? I don’t know… but I will always listen and enjoy.