DIGGNDEEPR: to Unearth Long Forgotten Gems
Excavation Project #0002
Class 71 – Alba Adriatica (Original Mix)
Four:twenty Recordings, 2008
Words by: Kev Obrien
The long-since defunct label Four:Twenty Recordings launched in 2001, (which seems to have vanished with no trace in 2012) served as a hotbed for forward-thinking house music, releasing early cuts from the likes of Solomun (Official), MANIK, LOCO DICE, and many others, long before these artists became the superstars they would later become.
Despite being an avid supporter of the label, and on their promo list (via Dispersion PR) at the time; it seems that I — along with hoards of others — somehow (embarrassingly enough) completely missed this record entirely when it dropped.
A little nugget of knowledge I was not aware of until the excavation into the mystery that this record is shrouded in, is the fact that Four:Twenty turns out to have been a subsidiary of the infamous Hope Recordings brand (notoriously known as the label Nick Warren serves as A&R for).
Anyhow, on to the subject at hand: the beautiful piece of music which is presented before you.
It wasn’t until recently when I unearthed this gem, which was covered in cobwebs entirely, that seems to have been largely overlooked and ignored by — well, pretty much EVERYONE — in the discovery of this original mix of “Alba Adriatica” by Class 71, which was released on wax in September of 2008, and included what would ultimately become it’s arch nemesis that buried it into the ground early and for good, on it’s B-side, which was a pair of mixes from Move D (which, while done with good intent and well-produced, simply don’t measure up to the original, in my humble and honest opinion.)
I stumbled upon this absolutely incredible chunk of driving, jazzy, nugget of grooving gold last month during an all-night digging session on Juno Download. It was a digging session like most others until I was led down a tunnel (thanks to Juno’s highly accurate and intuitive recommendation algorithm), where I found myself reminiscing days of old, remembering the classics that Four:Twenty delivered, but feeling the urge and need to be delving deeper into the label’s back catalog.
Then I hit the paydirt, and it was about as glimmering as a gem could be, despite the cobwebs it was raveled and tangled in.
If you want to use a piece of house music to define the term “timeless”, ‘Alba Adriatica’ serves as what we here at DiggnDeepr would consider being the ultimate supermodel for all that which represents as timeless.
Weighing in at a dangerously obese weight of fourteen minutes, this rare beauty struts it’s plus-sized booty on the catwalk with style, class, and pure sex appeal, with utmost confidence for the duration. As if the bassline-driven groove wasn’t enough to hypnotize a dancefloor into blissful obliteration, the record doesn’t even hit it’s crescendo until long after most productions would have already been over with, at around the eight-minute mark when an absolutely jaw-dropping sax freestyle drops into the mix and carries on in it’s blowing glory for a meager two-minutes, before fading off into the moonlight, never to be heard from again. Yet those two-minutes are minutes that undoubtedly will be remembered by anyone lucky enough to have found themselves lost in a dancefloor filled with smiles and rising sexual tension as this gem rolls its way out of the sound system.
When I say never to be heard from again, I mean NEVER heard from again. Outside of being included on Glimpse‘s ‘Four:Twenty Mixed, Remixed and Edited’ mix compilation, which was released in 2009, further digging into the mysteries of this marvel of a production went on to discover that this original mix was not once charted or supported by a single DJ on Resident Advisor’s DJ charts, which were arguably at their peak of being looked toward as one of the defining benchmark’s of success for a track (and still are to this day, just with a lesser degree of importance, due to the oversaturation which has occurred in the business in the last near-decade since ‘Alba Adriatica first was dropped and seems to have fallen on deaf ears, while many seemed to have flocked to support the much less-flattering version which was remixed by Move D, who was absolutely about as heavy-hitter as an artist could be, at the time.
It’s this ‘name game’ which all-too-often is employed by labels to a degree of error when it comes to music like this. The general consensus with remixes is too-often focused on “we must get a hot name on this record in order for it to sell”, but many are finding through years of trial and error that today’s market seems to have a “cannibal effect” when even more than one option is placed in front of a consumer on offer. Clearly this isn’t a new trend, with this beautiful piece of music being a prime example, that even 2008’s market — which was when Serato, Traktor and Ableton were beginning their ascents toward their peaks of use in DJ booths — found it hard to digest that there was actually an A-side to this record. People saw “Move D” on the cover and immediately forgot to even play the original mix, obviously.
Well, we didn’t do that. This track has not failed once since and I have played it at 75% of the gigs I have played since.
So, here you have it…. stream it on our Soundcloud, where you can find buy links to the original CDR promo, 12″ and digital versions! Link below!