Electronic music is always looking forward, to the innovative, the bleeding edge, and the newly emerging to pioneer or meld to create new soundscapes. While there are notable exceptions (“One Kiss” by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa was a smash success precisely because it was a nostalgic trip for anyone familiar with ’90s deep house), for the most part, electronic music is a genre that is constantly pushing forwards. Samples from current events are spliced with beats just hours after happening, ways of producing and recording in the digital space are constantly evolving, and the remixing and smashing together of songs and subgenres is an intertextual smorgasbord, seeking out the intermingling of sounds in order to make new ones.
Every now and then, however, comes a song that is a wormhole to the past. “Speed Trials on Acid” does that; with its club banging bass, hi-hat riding, deep house synth that sounds like it was ripped from a ’90s record, it transports the listener to the old school, when big beats were emerging and the culture of raving was just that: a subculture, complete with a world view and philosophy built around the experience of epiphany and love. However, while Fatboy Slim’s m.o. in the past has been to take vocal samples and chop them up to become part of the music itself, Carl Cox’s influence here is to override the track with a monologue. In this case, Dan Diamond’s earnest, deadpan delivery belies the ecstatic epiphany his words are trying to communicate: a world of colours, love, and pure intention.
The song is a slew of Cupid’s arrows through milk crates of breaks and beats from a previous era, one that harkens back to a time when electronic music wasn’t just cutting edge in the sense of producing music in a digital space, but also one that at the time felt like a genuine cutting edge of what society could provide and look like. This is a love letter to the times when house music was a teleportation circle for ravers to a different realm of social and political discourse and experience. At the same time, it’s a love letter that demands to be read, loud and thumping, in the dark.
Run Time: 5:08
Release Date: April 8, 2022
Record Label: World Famous Promotions Limited / BMG