You know that style of music you adore so much? Well, it all started somewhere. And that somewhere is more important than you might realize. The history of dance music is packed with revolutionary tracks, and each of those piqued the interest of countless producers and DJs in dance music. One of the artists that got inspired was Armin van Buuren and now – more than two decades later – he returns the favor. Through his ‘Old Skool’ mini album, you get 5 important lessons in Dance Music history. And we’re just here to provide a little bit of background information…
‘Old Skool’ Lesson 1: Human Resource – Dominator (1991)
‘Dominator’ was a breakthrough record in more than one way. The song was made by Dutch dance act Human Resource in 1991 and it hit all of the major compilations, becoming a worldwide hit single in the process. Moreover, ‘Dominator’ peaked at #10 in the official Dutch charts. The recognizable sound at the heart of ‘Dominator’ – which was made with a Roland Alpha Juno synthesizer and later featured in tracks from Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Steve Aoki – will still be buzzing in your ear drums years from now.
Armin van Buuren: “I felt that it would be cool to really go into the minds of the people of Human Resource, to come up with a version that they would have made themselves if they had the sounds of today available to them. To keep the original sounds there, but just update them to the year of 2016. And the initial reaction of the people around me was that I had to release it.”
‘Old Skool’ Lesson 2: The Ultimate Seduction – The Ultimate Seduction (1992)
The Ultimate Seduction is exactly what its name implies. The song was produced in 1992 by Dutch (Hard)House DJs and producers Addy van der Zwam and Koen Groeneveld, who would later enjoy success together as The Klubbheads. The record itself is said to contain samples from three other classics: DHS – ‘House Of God’, Tricky Disco – ‘Disco 130’, and C’hantal – ‘The Realm’.
‘Old Skool’ Lesson 3: Speedy J – Pull Over (1991)
‘Pull Over’ (first released in 1991) was a career highlight of Speedy J, a Dutch Techno producer called Jochem George Paap. The song was a huge hit among Hardcore DJs and became a steady fixture in the official Top 40 charts in the Netherlands. Little (not so) known fact: Speedy J turned down an offer from his record label to produce more singles like ‘Pull Over’. Why? He didn’t want to be a prisoner of his own style.
‘Old Skool’ Lesson 4: Quadrophonia – Quadrophonia (1991)
‘Quadrophonia’ was the first international hit of Dutch/Belgian duo Quadrophonia, made up of Lucien Foort and Olivier Abbeloos. The song was put out in 1991 and hit the official charts in the Netherlands (#12) and the UK (#14). Later on, the successor of ‘Quadrophonia’ would become the duo’s second hit single: ‘The Wave Of The Future’.
‘Old Skool’ Lesson 5: MainX – 88 To Piano (1991)
’88 To Piano’ serves as one of the most notable tracks from MainX, an alias of House and Techno producer Rene van den Berghe. Interestingly enough, ’88 to Piano’ was a track on the B-side of Mainx’s ‘Future Look EP’, which was originally released in 1991. Nevertheless, the song grew to prominence pretty quickly and even saw a re-release seven years later as part of MainX’s ’99 To Piano (On The Move)’ release.
Class dismissed… But as far as homework is concerned, you’d do well to check out below what Armin van Buuren turned these ‘Old Skool’ classics into…