Over the past quarter of a century under our two monikers Upshot & Revolution, we have delivered over 2,000 DJ promos to the nation's alternative club nights on behalf of our client labels. The Alt. scene has always been hard to pin down, a multi-genre gathering point for young people who are looking for something more fulfilling the mainstream nightlife culture, a place to dance, sing along, hang with friends and make new ones. A safe haven to enjoy a wide range of music created by bands, producers, solo artists, experimental supergroups, an ever changing landscape that shines a light on the cultural nuances of their particular times. The diaspora of club nights under this banner range from indie, rock, left field dance and electronica, plus all it's attendant splintered sub-genres, a melting pot where you can actually see and feel a public reaction to new music.
Over 25 years, times and tastes have changed, begining at the burning embers of Grunge, through the heady days of Britpop, the mash-up meld of indie and rock and sampling that became Big Beat, the infiltration of Electronica, the influence of the internet age with out-of-nowhere one-hit-wonders, the post-punk revival, DIY to the no barriers multi hybrids of sound that make up todays left of centre artists.
As for the list, there's no particular governing rules, much like the spirit of the alt. club scene it's derived from; a mix of the biggest, most influential, some personal favourites, unexpected hits, and game changers. It's by no means a list of the best 100 tracks of the last 25 years in the alt. clubs, just cribbed from ones who passed from our hands as promos to those DJ's who rocked our worlds each weekend. The only rule was no more than 2 tracks from any given artist. It's not here to be judged, just enjoyed. If you ever frequented an alt. club night over the past 25 years, there might be something here you know and love, or something that you may hear for the first time and fall in love with. That's what indie clubbing was all about, after all. Our heartfelt thanks go to all the labels, artists, management companies, DJ's, promoters, and past employees who made this little niche in the music world happen. It's been a heady ride..
TAKE CALIFORNIA (1998)
With the electronica beats ruling the roost, there was no doubt that Propellerheads were princes of the scene. Their immense album Decksandrumsandrockandroll was one of the truly great electronic dance albums of the era, spawning many dancefloor hits such as 'Spybreak!', 'History Repeating' and 'Bag On' but it was this track that became their hallmark; all driving rhythm, funky keys and dews harp boing creating a track that as we used to say back then - you could 'frug' to. Sublime.
Aussie psychedelic garage rock outfit KGATLW have become one of the true cult acts of the last few years, a band who simultaneously seem to come from another planet and created in your own mind whilst on a particularly wild strain of magic mushrooms. Rattlesnake is their totem, taken from the LP 'Flying Microtonal Banana', one of five (!) they released in 2017, a driving odessey of oddness that - if a DJ was brave enough to play the full 7 minute opus - could open new dimensions. Mind bending.
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
To some, a Mancunian grump past his sell by date, to others, an ongoing genius re-inventing himself and finding new sonic paths to explore. Whichever way you go, there's no doubt that this track was a huge indie club smash in 2011, and is frankly, a banger. The usual pomp and swagger is now mixed with a sheen and polish more akin to U2 than The Stooges, and this track is his high water mark. If judged just on his music and not his mouth, he'd be running the country by now..a majestic track.
Noel Gallager's high flying birds
a.k.a. what a life (2017)
HOBO HUMPIN' SLOBO BABE (1995)
What can you say about this track? A truly unique single that sounds like the lovechild of Bjork and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, HHSB had been a huge hit across the alternative scene in Europe since '93 before it was given a full push in the Uk two years later. Strangely, it sounds more off-kilter now than it did back then, which probably tells you more about the sanitised scene of today compared to then, but either way up it is impossible not to fall in love this twisted funk rock behemoth from the first listen.
KILL ALL HIPPIES (2000)
To most, Primal Scream are represented by their rave-meets-rock opus Screamadelica, but to us, their era between 96's Vanishing Point and 2000's XTRMNTR albums was their true creative height. Revitalised by the addition of the Roses' Mani on bass, the band found new impetus, and Kill All Hippies, driven by Mani's best bassline ever (yes, including Fools Gold) coupled with production from Jagz Kooner and David Holmes, created a rock electonica dystopian beat laden monster of a tune.