To mark the 30th birthday of the Manchester super club that came to define club culture across the world, New State Music and FAC 51 The Haçienda release a three disc compilation. ‘Haçienda 30’ sees the original DJ duo, Graeme Park and Mike Pickering, join original club owner, Peter Hook, in a celebration of the musical influence created by the Haçienda and the world-renowned scene that drew hundreds of thousands of people to Manchester and continues to do so today.
On disc 1, Graeme Park devotes his mix to his ‘extended family of like-minded kindred spirits… Without you there would be no FAC 51.’ He weaves a seamless mix of the finest house tracks and garage remixes, including MK’s Burning and the Mayday mix of De-Lite’s classic, Wild Times. Tracks like the Stonebridge main mix of Shawn Christopher’s Make My Love and Graeme Park and John Crossley’s remix of Cut The Q’s Who Needs A Love Like That hark back to disco with the emotive female vocals of the former and iconic piano chords of the latter. Park gives a further nod to the heritage of modern dance music with Kenny Dope’s remix of Lil’ Mo’ Yin Yang’s Reach; produced fifteen years after the original, it is an excellent update. Disc 1 is full of Park’s personal favourites, with every track evoking a special memory, a response he hopes to excite in listeners.
Next up, the club’s original booking manager and then resident DJ, Mike Pickering, showcases his selection of the finest British and American records that epitomised the Haçienda’s sound, including Hashim’s Al-Naafyish (The Soul) and Robert Owens’ I’ll Be Your Friend. Representing the US, S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M.’s hit, It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day, completely transforms Bill Withers’ 1978 original, (re)creating a classic. British counterparts, X-PRESS 2, smash various vocal samples, a catchy synth loop and all manner of percussion together in the explosion that is Muzik Xpress, capturing the Haçienda in full swing. This is the Haçienda at its best.
Finally, New Order and Joy Division’s Peter Hook mixes some dancefloor classics to create a set that represents both the scene in Manchester and the Haçienda specifically. With tracks like Steve Hurley’s mix of New Order’s Fine Time and Kevin Saunderson’s The Groove That Won’t Stop, this disc is a who’s who of dance music. The Stonebridge Club Mix of Robin S’s Show Me Love is one of those house anthems you can’t help but sing along to and that riff instantly transports you back to nights out in years gone by. But, you just couldn’t create an anniversary mix celebrating the history of dance music and one of its most important performance venues without including Rhythim Is Rhythim’s Strings Of Life. One of the most influential tracks in the history of house and techno, Strings Of Life is as relevant today as it was in the late ‘80s… and just as addictive. Hook’s mix brings out the nostalgia with all those great memories; the hits just don’t stop.
An homage to a venue that gave birth to the bands and freaky dancers of the Manchester scene, inspiring a generation of artists, DJs, and clubbers along the way, Haçienda 30 remembers all those who played and partied at the legendary club. This three disc compilation incorporates many long confirmed Haçienda classics as well as some lesser known but equally loved tracks which came to rock FAC 51 to its very foundations. It is a celebration of three decades of pioneering dance music.
Look out for Haçienda tour dates featuring the DJ’s from the compilation and other regular Haçienda guests coming soon.
‘Haçienda 30’ is available now.
- Ann Bartholomew