03/05/2019: “Papua New Guinea” by The Future Sound Of London

Not many songs from the early U.K. rave era can claim the same sort of longevity as this one!

It’s still widely regarded as one of the best songs of its kind, a landmark rave track, and shows a particular mastery in blending ambient soundscapes with a heavy bassline and smooth breakbeat.

The bassline is lifted from the Meat Beat Manifesto’s track, “Radio Babylon”. There’s undoubtedly a big sampling element to the tune, but there aren’t many tunes which sound like “Papua New Guinea”…

The ominous, tribal vocals are from “Dawn Of The Iconoclast” by Dead Can Dance, released in 1987. This creates a huge contrast with the sweeter vocals from 1989’s “Shelter” by Circuit.

As a finished product, it’s hard to argue with the effect. There’s a trancelike, otherworldly feeling emanating from the exotic quilt of samples, far beyond what any of the sampled songs themselves could ever muster.

The song was released as a single in 1991, and reached number 22 on the U.K. Singles chart. It also featured on the 1991 album Accelerator.


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