It raises a grin on the inner smiley face to see songs originally self-pressed and sold from the back of a van given the deluxe double-CD treatment as part of RC’s Ian Peel’s ongoing ZTT repackaging programme. Peterborough trio Shades Of Rhythm started creating music during acid house’s heady late 80s rush and, after selling out the first thousand copies of 1989’s Frequency album, were snapped up by ZTT as a new sound for the future. Enjoying a string of massive 12”s including Homicide, Sweet Sensation and The Sound Of Eden, they peaked with Extacy, reaching the Top 20 in December 1991, while the re-recorded album sold over 50,000 copies.
Like their mates Prodigy, SOR rose above novelty elements, injecting musicality, vocals and on-the-button knowledge of dance music’s rapid evolution at that time, while igniting huge raves such as Raindance and Fantazia. Disc One presents the first ZTT album (plus X-Press 2’s storming house dub of …Eden), while Disc Two ropes together related singles and mixes. It’s an eye-opening sonic smorgasbord of soulful vocals, heavy duty breaks, big pianos, deep house substratas, dark Chicago basslines, chomping acid, glacial Detroit strings, cheeky Soul Sonic Force samples and many delirious hands-in-the-air moments. Recalls a magical time when thousands of beaming punters under one groove believed music was about to change the world again.