Chris Nazuka – Joy, Awe, Anguish, Love and Triumph

There were a few years in the mid-90s when Derrick Carter and his Chicago cronies could do no wrong in my eyes, and there’s plenty of great stuff on labels like Blue Cucaracha and Plink Plonk which I’ll feature here one day. But the other Rednail Kid’s handful of solo efforts were always particularly special, and the 1997 Experience release on Classic takes me right back to Cardiff days, hanging out with my old Headspace/Emoticon/Radius partner-in-crime Raeph at his place, getting pleasantly wasted and buzzing off tunes for hours on end.

Across two long, sprawling mixes, Nazuka works a host of drums, synths and samples – including an inspired lift from Talk Talk’s Happiness Is Easy – in a truly masterful way, all topped off by that pitched-down exhortation to ‘kiss the sky’. As the title of this version suggests, it’s an epic, dramatic cut that to today’s ears might veer perilously close to proggy overindulgence, but stays just the right side of the line. It’s certainly not a tune for every occasion, but getting properly lost in a track like this at the right moment, in the right place, is about as good as house music gets.

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