If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard thus far, and if Exodus’ flyer copy-writing speaks the truth, then this tape is “guaranteed to blow your mind.” I can’t be sure of the date it was recorded, only that it was made sometime during the second half of 1991. I am sure, however, this example is the earliest complete recording of a rave in Toronto. If there’s another one floating around out there, please prove me wrong – the more the merrier. I’m also certain this set is specifically Malik’s, given the selection of tracks, mic work and mixing.
I obtained this recording from Captain B. Mental. Thankfully he didn’t meddle with this mix as he did all other Exodus recordings in my possession. Even better news is that this copy was taped from the master so it’s about the best quality you’re going to get. Before you get too excited, keep in mind the original was recorded on the dirty 23 Hop DJ booth’s tape deck and then duplicated for me on another low-quality deck. Then factor in a few hundred plays, 18 years of analog decay and additional loss in quality when converted to mp3 format. Truth be told, it could still benefit from a Dolby Noise Reduction button.
Another interesting tidbit to point out is that, for some reason, the tape deck in the booth wasn’t recording the mic, so a few times throughout the recording the volume dips down when the mic was in use. Do yourself a favor and jack the volume during these times. Thanks to the needle on the live turntable, sometimes you’ll faintly hear Malik speaking. His chants are heard clearly twice: “Brampton crew in the house!” (11:35) and “What’s on your mind?” (22:50). And of course, there are cameos by the whistle posse throughout.
The tape starts off with a few classic tech-house warm-ups: Amnesia by Mr. Fingers, The Dance by Rhythm is Rhythm and I’m Not So Selfish by Techno Grooves on the Mach 2 EP. Then “Oh no, not more bass!” warns us that Altern 8’s Infiltrate 202 is about to kick things up a notch. This tune and a few others on this side are obvious 1991 Toronto anthems, given Malik’s rewinds and mic appearances. He makes sure to take the next mix slow and not rush it, mucking about for at least two minutes blending in White Form by Never Mind masterfully. K Groove’s The Future, frequently described by Malik as “aerobic-style techno,” is smoothly mixed in after being rewound again and again. Back from Detox by Dove People throws a little ragga style our way before Altern 8 makes a second appearance with Activ-8. “Top one, nice one, get sorted” is sampled somewhat conservatively compared to some other nights when it would be stuck in my head until the next time I heard it… a week later. Human Resource’s classic Dominator arrives on the scene followed by Hurricane by Sykosis 451. Then Antheama by Nebula II leaves us in a state of confusion.