The best of 1989— Si Sharp -
Every year we compile a list of our favourite albums, but as much as we still obsess about new music, we perhaps retain the most passion for the stuff from our formative years. Different periods resonate for different reasons. Some mean a lot because of the discovery a new genre or moving to a new place. In 1989 we were 14 and were introduced to so much weird and wonderful noise. The best thing was that there seemed to be little in common in terms of sound between most of these bands. In Seattle, the first full length albums were being released on Sub Pop by bands looking back to punk, garage and hard rock. Hip-hop in the US was a year into its ‘golden age’ and one of the things that spurred those artists on creatively, the new availability of digital samplers, was also responsible not only for the explosion of dance music in the UK.
The use of sampled drum loops wasn’t restricted to the house and hip hop scenes. Rock musicians were also embracing them. In the US, industrial rock was entering its own golden age and in the UK, indie rock bands obsessed with modern sounds and culture were furiously looping Public Enemy sirens, funky drummer beats and sci-fi dialogue. Like all periods of change in music, it was exciting and spoke of a very specific time. And it set us at Beat Rehab on a path of being looking everywhere for weird sounds and fringe artists.