Side 1 of a cassette compilation, compiled 8th August 1998. If Side 2 stretched the C90 capacity to it's limit, Side 1 must surely have snapped the tape...
Your ride begins with Trust by Money Mark, from his 1998 album Push The Button. I knew of Money Mark from his association with Beastie Boys but this record saw him veering into - in my mind, at least - Elton John territory at times. Though thankfully by that I mean Elton's imperial 1970s phase, not the then-contemporary Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle in the Wind 1997, which remains the all-time best-selling single in the UK. Money Mark's track is building, rabble-rousing instrumental, much more in keeping with what follows.
Barry Adamson versus Skylab, Kid Loco taking on both Pulp and Saint Etienne. I previously described the mixtape as "dirty, downtempo beats" and this was very much the style du jour in the late 1990s.
Theo Keating continues to release music as Fake Blood but when I recorded this cassette, he'd released a single called Ooh La La as The Wiseguys. It entered - and peaked - the UK chart at #55. The song's subsequent use in a Budweiser commercial saw it released a year later in June 1999, where it did rather better, entering at #2 and spending 5 weeks in the Top 30. His remix of Desire by Mulu is really good but had little positive impact on it's own chart placing, managing just 1 week at #84 in November 1997.
My introduction to Trembling Blue Stars came by my jangly indie music-loving girlfriend, who was a big fan of The Field Mice and followed Bobby Wratten's subsequent band. I'm very glad she did. I'm only familiar with Trembling Blue Stars' two albums from the 1990s (there were two more before they disbanded in 2010) and they're both things of understated beauty. The Rainbow was released as a single and really shines in it's longer (album) version.
A small confession #1. The original cassette featured an alternative mix of A Little Soul by Pulp, from the CD single. I haven't unearthed and uploaded the shiny disc, so swapped it out for the Kid Loco. It's to blame for the ridiculous running time though I think the segue into Desire by Mulu works better than the original sequence.
A small confession #2. This is the second appearance of The Box (Part Four) by Orbital, following a previous appearance in my Boxing Day selection in December 2021. However, as the link for that one is long dead, I'm glad to represent the song here.
Also making a second appearance on this mixtape is Justin Warfield. On Side 1, he's hiding in plain sight as One Inch Punch; here, he's a guest of Cornershop.
Moby ups the ante with a remix of Honey, his 'comeback' single in 1998 following his thrash metal phase. I've not counted, but I'm assuming the 118 in the mix title refers to the beats per minute. Try making a cup of tea whilst dancing to this one and not making a complete mess. Maybe that's not what Moby intended.
Bringing things to a close is Leila with a track from her astonishing debut Like Weather. It's typical of the album as a whole: beautiful, simple yet stirring chords and synth washes with moments that push the needle way into the red, just in case you were getting complacent.
I'll sign off with an apology to Walter at the excellent A Few Good Times In My Life blog. He left some very kind comments on my original post in April 2022, to which I replied, "I'll try not to leave it too long before posting Side One...!" I think at a little over ten months later, it's fair to say I tried and failed. Sorry, Walter, I hope it was worth the wait...
1) Trust: Money Mark (1998)
2) What It Means (Skylab A Smokin' Japanese We're Chicken In Moss Side Mix): Barry Adamson (1998)
3) A Little Soul (Lafayette Velvet Revisited Mix By Kid Loco): Pulp (1998)
4) Desire (Wiseguys Remix By DJ Touché aka Theo Keating): Mulu (1997)
5) 4.35 In The Morning (Talkin' Blues Mix By Kid Loco): Saint Etienne (1998)
6) The Rainbow (Long Version): Trembling Blue Stars (1998)
7) The Box (Part Four) (Vocal Reprise): Orbital ft. Grant Fulton & Alison Goldfrapp (1996)
8) Candyman: Cornershop ft. Justin Warfield (1997)
9) Honey (118 Mix): Moby (1998)
10) Piano-String: Leila (1998)
Side Two here