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DJ Scott Mad Flip

DJ Scott Mad Flip
March 9, 2012

Top 7 Rave Era Female Vocal Tracks

Every DJ should have a secret weapon track or two that unleashes a frenzy on the dance floor.  By “frenzy” I mean a track that makes them scream when you bring in the mix or the drop.  For me personally, I play to all types of crowds and I have a genuine desire to keep them all on the dance floor especially at peak hour.

My philosophy is simple.  Make the ladies sweat.  For some reason when you have the women on the dance floor constantly moving, dancing, screaming, and singing lyrics at the top of their lungs (or equally as hot, with their eyes closed), EVERY ONE is probably going to have a good time.  To be extremely clear, I am not trying to be chauvinistic, perverted or discriminating in any way whatsoever, having played Pride events also.  It’s just that in my experiences those secret weapon floor fillers usually have a female vocal, even if it is a remix.  Some of you understand exactly what I am talking about having had success with the many quality remixes through the years.

These days dance music has seen a lot of exposure in the mainstream and many popular female pop, R&B, and hip-hop, and indie artists have had tracks remixed or have lent vocals to dance tracks.  It is as easy as listening to your favorite radio station or satellite music channel to gain exposure to what is hot, and then downloading it from iTunes.  It was not always this easy, especially before the Internet and digital music.  Here are a few tracks that paved the way for some of the floor-filling female vocalist tracks of today.

Keep On Jumpin’ – The Lisa Marie Experience

There have been many versions of this track that have killed through the years, but I chose this particular version because it samples the original written and recorded by Musique in 1978.  This song did well to represent happy, soulful, vocal house in the nineties and it was perfect for the post peak-hour, sunrise set.

Professional Widow (Armand’s Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix) - Tori Amos

In my opinion, Tori Amos was a hot mess at her peak in the nineties.  She was as sexy and brilliant as she was tormented and angst ridden.  This Armand Van Helden mix maintains enough of the original but adds a funky bass line, congas, and sublime breakdown to create a masterpiece.  This was a peak-hour floor filler back in the day for certain.

You’re Not Alone (Matthew Roberts Cloud 10 Remix) – Olive

On its own the original recording of this track is a masterpiece.  Olive created wonderfully beautiful dub/trip-hop music that had radio pop appeal due to the silky vocals of the lead singer Ruth-Ann Boyle (no relation to Susan).  There were countless remixes mostly progressive and trance, but I chose this funkier housey version because I could transition to and from house, trance, or breaks using the glorious vocal in the breakdown.  Still good even today.

Not Over Yet (Perfecto Mix) – Grace

(State Of) Grace consisted of singer Dominique Atkins, and DJs Steve Osborne and Paul Oakenfold.  They collaborated on several amazing progressive house tracks throughout the nineties, but none more beautiful than this brilliant anthem.  The vocals are pure silk and this mix is my favorite.

Better Off Alone – Alice DeeJay

Alice Deejay were pretty much a one-hit-wonder with this track released in 1999, but if you’re going to have one hit, it may as well be this good.  This was the seminal break-up song for ravers and I had to include it on the list.  We probably don’t need any more remixes of this because of the corn factor, but I’ll play the original only if you are smoking hot.

Inner City Life – Goldie

Goldie is a genius.  I have always loved his style and even his acting in that one Guy Ritchie joint.  He completely destroyed us with this track with its sublime production, but especially because of Diane Charlemagne’s timeless vocal performance.  I didn’t always play jungle, but when I did…

The Gift – Way Out West

Way Out West consisted of DJs Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren, both beasts in the UK progressive house/breaks scene in the nineties.  I played every track they ever had a hand in producing or remixing.  This track was probably their biggest hit.  It was filled with wonderfully lush, euphoric pads, piano and strings, and sweet break-beat.  But it was the vocal sample of Joanna Law’s cover of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” which made the track so special and unforgiving to your dance floor.  This track closed my sets on many occasions.

So there it is once again!  I really wanted to add twenty or so more tunes to this list but creating this makes me want to go home and play these tunes.  On that note, please feel free to leave me comment or a suggestion for another Rave Era list and I will be sure to consider it for next time.  Thanks to those of you who suggested this list because I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  Until next time, happy gigs!

 

Comments

  1. Lewis Lace says:

    These are some really good songs. Goldie’s track is definitely my favorite from this group.

  2. Mak Hill says:

    wicked list :) my personal favorite vocals, Tiesto Feat Andain- beautiful things

  3. Frank Sparti says:

    You didn’t include Tammy Wynette’s Vocals on the KLF’s Justified and Ancient (Stand by the Jamms). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPjggN-KByI

    1. YES, brilliant vocal. The KLF worked with some great classic female vocalists for certain. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Ben says:

    Tori Amos filled me with this weird kind of forbidden desire. There’s a picture inside the liner notes of Boys for Pele – and if you own the album, you know what picture I’m talking about – that made me say, “Dang, lucky pig.”

    To describe the girl as a “hot mess” is an understatement of dramatic proportions. In the late 90s she was as crazy and angsty and awesome as Trent Reznor was pre-The Fragile.

    And this concludes my trip down high school memory lane. Thanks for reminding me how messed up I *thought* I was because I was one of only 2-3 people in my school listening to those two in those days.

    1. I agree, Trent and Tori are brilliant artists and I still enjoy their music quite often. I am a sucker for a classically inspired twisted piano and I’m thankful that I can enjoy it as a result of someone else’s demons! Cheers!

  5. Chris says:

    So many, I actually created a mix tape called Women in House to rival women in song. Abacus – when i fall in love, Barbara tucker, roisin Murphy – never enough, love and laughter, yug – you don’t really love me, Xavier gold – you used to hold me, soul searcher – cant get enough. Just going through my collection now, there something about a great house tune with a soulfull female vocal.

    1. I would love to hear it, maybe post a soundcloud mix and we’ll be happy to promote it. Cheers!

  6. Scott frost says:

    Although overplayed. Delirium ft sarah McLaughlin -silence deserves a mention. And Canadian bks living in ecstasy.

  7. Leetenant says:

    If the topic is “rave era” then lets look at the songs from that perspective. These are all commercial dance tracks which should not be confused with the rave sound which was hardcore/ gabber, london acid techno/ house and hard trance out of germany similar to that of Commander Tom, Nostrum or Der Verfall. I think you could throw Chicago hard house in there like what DJ Bam Bam was doing in the late 90s into 2000. I will admit that the rave scene on the east coast of the United States started to become overly saturated in the NYC/ NJ/ Philadelphia area and they did book DJs who started to play these ultra cheesy dance tracks. They tried to cram the commercial crowd into a warehouse or arena with an underground crowd which was good on a financial standpoint if you where looking to make a boat of cash and get out of the business, but it wasnt special anymore. Let’s find some real classic rave tracks and talk about that instead.

    1. Thanks for the comment, and I definitely see your point. This is my list from my experiences here in the states. You are absolutely welcome to list your favorites of the time and I do change the genre for each list I publish so I would love to include some of your favorites in the future. Cheers!