Sounds Of The Dance: Jane Fitz's Top 5 Miki Cuts
On October 18th, Jane Fitz returns for her 11th party since becoming our first, and most longstanding, club resident. As with her DJing, the curation of Jane's parties has always surprised, refreshed and informed, and this time round is no different with the first lady of Pickle inviting cult Italian artist Miki to join proceedings.
Legendary 90s producer, prog-house originator, Interactive Test affiliate: to those who know, Miki is one of the all time great Italian artists, a man who cracked the smoky, sexy formula to Italian house, progressive and trance that makes it such perfect party music. As Miki The Dolphin, Major Ipnotic Key Institute, and many monikers besides, Miki released an array of records from 1991 that remain highly sought after today- all of which, Jane tells us, she has collected and spun to death over the years since. Ahead of the party, she's kindly shared five of these special cuts.
Miki – Rave Concept Cover
The very first record I bought by Miki was the Concept EP on Interactive Test. As a former deep house obsessive, i'd spent a lot of time and money collecting old Italian house records. I came across the label first and bought some of the others and stumbled upon this early release from 1991 by accident while in the beginnings of a completist mission. The records I had on the label always had a bit of a wonky edge, but this combination of a driving acid line with those deep pads and congas, was a whole other level of spacey. The Ben E King sample from Stand By Me shouldn't work at all, but it really does, even though it annoys me too. (We later stole the riff for our first Invisible Menders release on Porn Wax as a tribute for inspiring us to jam, as this EP was all made live). Once I heard this, and the rest of the tracks, I knew there must be more weirdness lurking...
Major Ipnotic Key Institute – Seeing Double
One of Miki's many aliases (the first letter of each word spells out Miki), this 12” from 1995 really shows how imaginative he was. Full of stops and starts, strange sounds, spoken word and of course a deadly rhythm, I think this one set out Miki's stall as someone who was prepared to take risks. This one manages to go off in several directions (something that many of Miki's productions during the 90s tended to do) but always comes back to the groove.
DJ Miki - Caterpillar (Do Not)
Hypnotic and weird, I don't think anyone was making records that sounded like this in 1997. Loosely described as progressive trance, I really think by this time Miki (and contempories such as Franco Falsini and Roby J) were really in a genre, and world, of their own. They managed to make records that simply morphed before your ears. This one goes from creepy acid to the strangest out-of-tune violin sample. But somehow rapid-fire percussion keeps this on course. I don't play this everywhere – I genuinely don't think every one deserves it! Out and out bonkers.
Mizaro - Return Of The Jedy
Unashamedly trance but from that golden mid-90s era. Italy was chucking out so many great records from this time, that really pushed at the boundaries of what trance could be. Yes there was the odd drum roll, but they are so multi-layered and richly textured that don't deserve to be lumped in to anything remotely Gatecrasher. Weird mixtures of techno, deep house, experimental, goa and acid with one eye fixed on the dancefloor, this is a sound I truly love. This is Miki in collaboration with Francesco Zappalà and it's his most goa-sounding outing – but at a house tempo. Goa house, then?
Miki - Howl013.1
Released last year on Howl, this was the sound of Miki refreshed for the late 2010s.... all the trademarks are there – sounds that shouldn't work together but do, spoken word samples, a clear narrative that moves through various stages, and that fat trancey stomp. Textbook Miki, I'm glad to add, but with something new to say for a new generation.
Photo credit: Eleanor Hardwick
On October 18th, Jane Fitz and Miki are behind the decks from first to last record, with the Bleep43 DJ's playing in Little Pickle. Limited general admission tickets available below.