June 18, 2024

Beautiful People – ‘If 60’s Were 90’s’ – “Hendrix remixed for the rave generation”

RILLY GROOVY MUSIC      16th July 2021

Picture yourself in a beach shack somewhere on Ko Pha-Ngan in the nineties. If this album had been given the release it should have, you’d have heard this alongside all the Enigma, Pink Floyd mash-ups and Bob Marley. That it didn’t reach public attention is being rectified now, a few decades too late but it’s a great slice from out of time, enjoyable as chill-down music. Plus, as Half Man Half Biscuit said: it irks the purists. Play it while wearing your Joy Division oven gloves.

The album concept is to take chunks of Jimi Hendrix, loop them, chop them, treat them and drop them into a chilled dance setting. Things are lifted out of context and focus more on the relaxed blues than the incendiary guitar burning bits. There’s also an emphasis on vocal chunks, to keep the attention of potentially fried brains. Given how cool Hendrix sounded when interjecting vocals and comments, it’s a no-brainer and the glorious guitar sounds even seem to work out of their place, thanks to the focus on the ongoing beat structure. Wisely, there are a lot of live samples, where Jimi would play with sounds and words, dropping in impeccably laid-back thoughts. It even plods less than his live band was wont to do.

It’s not all Hendrix riffs and other blues guitarists add to the mix, including Mike Bloomfield. The set came out in 1993 and did well for itself briefly in the US before their American label went bankrupt and the album went out of circulation. Now unfrozen, the set is massively expanded with two discs of remixes. The reworkings are of passing interest but I can’t see people revisiting them often, like the main album. 

This is genuinely enjoyable music for a gathering (remember those?) or post-party chill (remember parties?). As a test run, try the opener, the pounding ‘Comin’ To Get You’ or the immaculately chilled title track, ‘If 60’s Was 90’s’. You’ll be sold, man.

About Author