This record holds a really special place in my heart – I bought it upon its release from Brighton’s Inner Rhythm record shop. Being a skint student I was seriously struggling to justify the cost of the double pack. I think (the manager) Darren might have even suggested splitting the cost with another customer who was more sold on the other piece of vinyl. I’m eternally grateful to have taken the plunge as I’ve never really stopped listening to it in the 24 (CHRIST!!!) years since it came out.
Elements of Life was Steven John Craden and Lee Rodriguez, the former being better known as Mr Onester, who have to be two of THE unsung cult heroes of nineties US house music. Probably most well known for the incredible African Dream project that totally expanded my horizons and concept of what house music could be. This is in addition to a myriad of other projects and pseudonyms – spend a few minutes checking out their combined discography, there’s some killer cuts to be heard for sure.
That being said, for me, Elements of Life is the one and, in particular the two tracks ‘Opening’ and ‘Dark Intervals’. These play as one continuous piece of music on the record. It very much feels like a precursor to the darker, more trance influenced sounds of Tenaglia et al but is blessed with a lightness of touch that I found somewhat lacking in the sounds later evolution.
You also get the jazz house odyssey of ‘Innocence and Inspiration’ and the previously CD only ambient cut ‘Are You With me Love’, all properly licensed and remastered from Oxygen Music Works. Essential, as they say.
‘Innocence and Inspiration’ is out on 3rd September 2018 on Mysticisms