The Them On The Hill collective was founded in Sheffield circa 1993 by a group of talented young DJs and party people to put on top notch club nights and warehouse jams in the UK’s ‘rave’ heyday. These parties were renowned and respected as events where the deepest and freshest tunes from Chicago, New York, and Detroit (and music influenced by those cities) could be heard. In 2010, inspired by those past hedonistic days and the sounds that accompanied them, Them On The Hill transformed into a music label focusing on releases and projects from the collective’s members.
The label’s latest release, the Acid Blossom EP, highlights two production outfits giving sonic nods to classic house music and acid house within three top notch tracks. Up first is Cyan C, which is a duo comprised of Simon Tappenden and Cliff Choudhury. Simon is previously known as a member of Pop Out and Play, having released tunes for the likes of Sumsonic, Alola, and Special Needs. Cliff was the winner of Muzik’s Bedroom Bedlam DJ competition in 1998 and went on to become the legendary Danny Rampling’s resident warm-up DJ. Together they deliver their debut cut, “Acid Blossom,” which explores the deeper realm of acid house through its enticingly chunky rhythm and funked-out 303 melodies while exhibiting a surprisingly dreamy touch. The track was also mastered by renowned New Zealand tech-house producer Pure Science who the Cyan C blokes have always held in high regard.
Next comes Raw, better known as DJ Raw (he has stepped away from the decks and dropped the ‘DJ’ part) and a longtime staple of Sheffield’s dance music scene, starting his career on local community radio playing a mix of UK and US house in the 80s. In 1997 Raw collaborated with Callum Wordsworth as Digital Boogie, releasing tunes for DIY Discs, Funknose, and Candy Records. Also, Raw worked with fellow Sheffield DJ/producer Groove Assassin as Vibes Inc., contributing seminal tunes for labels like Glasgow Underground, 4th Floor, Transport, and Black Vinyl Records. Here Raw presents a pair of tracks, opening with the uptempo but still deep-flavored “The House Always Wins.” There’s more funky acid riffage to be found here, complimented by snappy drum machine beats, deep, rolling bass, and hypnotic pads. It’s a pure late night affair. Raw’s second contribution, “Quite Gentle (Love Mix),” shows its classic-sounding feel through punchy synth chord stabs, a tough disco groove, and a lush vocal sample from “Sueño Latino” to help transport the dance floor back to another time and place.
Justin Robertson (The Deadstock 33s) - “Love this EP, all cracking and right up my street.”
Tom Findlay (Groove Armada / Lovebox) - “‘Acid Blossom’ is great. I’m shuffling in my chair as I write this.”
Giom - “Nice production!”
DJ Rocca (Ajello) - “Good acid house.”
Q-Burns Abstract Message - “All three tracks are refreshing, but it’s the chug of ‘Acid Blossom’ that’s won my favor. Superb release!”
DJ Schwa (Shades Of Gray) - “Great summery disco tunes. ‘Acid Blossom’ is nice.”
Murray Richardson (Rebel Waltz) - “Hypnotic house vibes … I like this. ‘Acid Blossom’ is cool.”
Baby G (Dance Disorder) - “Great release, all tracks sounding fantastic.”
Tim “Love” Lee (Tummy Touch) - “Lovely!”
Hippie Torrales - “Extreme groove going on here. ”
Stevie Kotey (Bear Funk) - “Bouncy, bouncy … I love it.”
Dave Mayer (Strictly Rhythm) - “‘Quite Gentle’ is nice.”
Chrissy Murderbot - “Loving this!”
Jan Mikulin (Data Transmission) - “This feels like an unapologetically rose-tinted introspection / reflection on the heyday of clubland and I love it.”
Michael Fossati (Spirit Of House) - “‘Quite Gentle (Love Mix)’ is the one. I’m feeling those deep rhythms and gorgeous melodies.”
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) - “Really feeling ‘Acid Blossom’ and ‘Quite Gentle (Love MIx)’ here. In particular loving the little references to ‘Sueno Latino’/’E2-E4’ on the latter … cracking!”
Additional support from Erol Alkan, Severino (Horse Meat Disco), Space Ranger, Benji Candelario, Makossa & Megablast, Johnwaynes, DJ Harri (Sub Club), Natural Rhythm, Mademoiselle Caro, Vincent Kwok, Dave Mothersole, Jota Wagner, and Craig Stewart.