Kornél Kovács’ Top 10 Records from 1996

DJing from just 13 years old and being an Red Bull Music Academy grad have served Kornél Kovács well in a musical career which has quietly gone from strength to strength. Co-founder of one of Sweden’s foremost dance imprints – Studio Barnhus – he might not have the reputation of label mate Axel Boman just yet, but by golly does he DJ and produce just as good. Watch this space, KK is a force to be reckoned with. Before touching down in London next month for the Numbers showcase at The Hydra, Kornél has kindly put together a playlist from a vintage year.

Kornel Kovacs plays Numbers x The Hydra on 5th December, alongside Jackmaster, Koreless, Jay Daniel, Mike Servito and Denis Sulta.

“OK, I decided to put together a list of my favourite 12 inch records from the year 1996. Nostalgia is a horrible poison, but ’96 was, from a purely objective point of view, the best year for music ever. No it has nothing to do with the fact that I was super young and easily impressed and had just started buying records back then. Anyway, I just organised my record collection in perfect chronological order so it was fairly easy picking these ’96 gems out. That’s actually a lie but Discogs is a great thing, isn’t it?”

Origin Unknown – ‘Valley Of The Shadows (Awake 96′ Remix)’

First 12” I ever bought, from Mega Skivakademien in Stockholm! The original mix is from ’93 but I actually think this update is better. I remember putting the needle on the record and this world of mysterious sound just engulfed my Mum’s living room, it completely blew me away. If I heard this tune for the first time today I’d probably be like “ah hm, nice use of the think break right there” 🙁

Alexi Delano – ‘Slam That Bass Baby!’

The mid-90s were a very exciting time for Stockholm house music (as is today) and this track, from Alexi Delano on Svek – the main label in those days – sums up the vibe perfectly. This still rocks any party of course!

Thomas Bangalter – ‘Spinal Scratch’

It’s the B-side, Spinal Beats, that really excites me to this day. Best bonus beat ever. It’s just a 909, a Linn Drum and those scratch samples, right? Never heard better sounding house drums.

Nasty Habits – ‘Shadow Boxing’

More drum ‘n’ bass. Blew the speakers with this one. A lesson in minimalism and blowing up your Mum’s hi-fi system.

B.B.E. – ‘Seven Days And One Week’

I only bought this a few years ago, wouldn’t have back then. Stuff like this was all around, on MTV (or its German equivalent, VIVA, that I would watch in Budapest), on the radio and at school dances. It’s the extended 12” mixes that really do tracks like these justice though.

Beenie Man & Lady Saw – ‘Healing’

Loving the 90’s pop dancehall vibe. This is a really sweet and funny duet from two of the absolute greats of that style.

Sade – ‘Love Is Stronger Than Pride (House Mix)’

Actually only heard this ’96 Sade house bootleg in a Sotofett mix a few years ago. Just can’t get over the sheer beauty of this thing. Also, I have no idea who made it – my copy has “Schade” written on it so Schatrax maybe? Does anyone know?

Whirlpool Productions – ‘The Cold Song’

Another recent ’96 discovery. Guess I was so focused on the UK sounds around that time that I missed a lot of the German stuff coming out. Obviously this video got rotation on VIVA back then, maybe I just wasn’t in Budapest right when it peaked. Anyway, perfect track for the season!

Cybotron feat. Dillinja – ‘Threshold’ & Goldie – ‘Still Life (Photek Remix)’

I’ll just finish up with two killer ’96 drum’n’bass classics.

Peace out! Was just kidding about ’96 being the best year for music ever, that’s obviously 2016!

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