Join Me on a Journey
While searching through my classics from 1999/2000, I rediscovered:
I waited for the following track to finish and hoped and prayed the identity of this beauty would be revealed, and low and behold Dave came back on the mic, and gave me the clue that would literally bug me for years:
” ..and before that was Lightforce. Coming up we have a new release from… “
That was all he said. ‘That was Lightforce’. A phrase that meant absolutely nothing to a teenager who was still taking his first steps of his electronica education.
I feared at the time I might never track it down, and if you’d told me at the time I wouldn’t hear it again for another 2 and a half years, I would have feared the worst.
However, I am fortunate that the ‘classic’ year of my genre of choice is 1999, and that because almost everything released around that period had the Midas touch, it is revered in trance circles, and is subsequently easier to find than it otherwise might be. Despite this, it does help if you know what you are looking for, and know where to look. Woolworths was never likely to stock it, and no self respecting music shop owner admitted to knowing little of trance music, so insisted I must have got the name wrong since such a track didn’t exist…
Undaunted, my arrival in university provided 24/7 internet access at decent speeds for the first time in my life, and a new avenue was opened. I downloaded everything and anything kazaa and similar had to offer which was even close to lightforce. As any kazaa user will confirm, I was constantly frustrated by inaccurate file names or tags, such as a file called tiesto.mp3 which could be anything from a 90 second radio rip to a random track from one of the In Search of Sunrise series, which he mixed.
Like all long journeys, I went via a number of weird and wonderful places. One of many lightforce.mp3 files I downloaded I later discovered was a remix by Chris Abbott of Rob Hubbard‘s music from the Commodore 64 game Lightforce released back in 1987.
My search for the lightforce – I’m beginning to sound a bit too much like it was a light sabre not a CD I was after – also introduced me to the now defunct http://www.mp3.com
How long you have used the internet will determine whether your current thoughts are ‘ahhhh yes…’ or ‘mp3.com?’
For those of you who joined the World Wide Wonderland since it’s demise, http://www.mp3.com used to be, as it’s name suggested, the first place to look for new music. Not mp3s of well known artist with record deals mind you, but the shop window of the legions of unsigned producers, just hoping for that big break.
Was the music any good? Some, although definitely not all, was very good – I still have some stored somewhere, on one of my old hard drives, but that’s another nostalgia trip for another day.
The biggest name I can think of mp3.com produced was Kosheen, one of the most popular and accessible drum-n-bass groups I know. Their first album Resist was available free to download on the site for a while, but it wasn’t long before Universal, Sony, BMG, Warner and EMI filed lawsuits against the site which closed a short chapter in the history of mp3s and the internet.
After many a dead-end, it was the radio which came to my rescue. I heard the song, out of the blue, in some guest mix, and it was identified as Lightforce – Join Me which gave me something new to search for. (Just to clarify, I meant I heard it unexpectedly, not Out Of The Blue)
Anyway, I eventually tracked down a proper mp3 of it, roughly 3 years after I first heard it, and about 9 months later I got my hands on the full CDM.
There’s something about elusive items, that makes you value them above their true worth once you own them, simply because of the amount of time, money and effort you spend in finding them. I have since heard a fair few tracks I appreciate more musically, but for sheer nostalgia I can’t beat it.
Music, Trance, Nostalgia, Lightforce, Join+Me, Mp3.com, Music+History, Radio+1, Dave+Pearce.
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