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..
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO
Electronic duo James Ford and Jas Shaw were had been making waves in the underground dance scene for a while, but came to the attention of the indie clubs via stellar remixes of acts such as Klaxons, Muse and Air. They releases their immense debut LP 'Attack Delays Sustain Release' in 2007 which in cluded this absolute banger, featuring the immortal line 'I'm a hustler baby, that's what my daddy made me' delivered by Char Johnson. A techy house classic tailor made for the alt. club dance crews.
Post-punksters The Futureheads are best known for their 2005 cover ofthe Kate Bush classic 'Hounds Of Love' but tis first single released a year earler put them firmly on the indie club radar, introducing their angular pop guitar stylings and trademark vocal interplay. It's a bouncy slice of kookiness about starting a new job that slid in well between the prevalent genres of kraut rock and indie pop at the time. The band continued an upward trajectory, but this is where it all started.
FIRST DAY (2004)
HEY MAN, NICE SHOT (1995)
Filter were formed when Richard Patrick - then part of Nine Inch Nails' touring band - hooked up with Brian Leisegang. There's plenty of NIN present in this track, and the 'brooding electronic verses into hard rock chorus' formula showcased here would be taken on by acts such as Linkin Park to great effect. Straddling grunge, rock and electronica, HMNS is pure simmering tension brilliance, and was dipped in controversy after some high profile suicides (Kobain included) adding to it's legend.
HAPPY MAN MEMPHIS VERSION (2000)
Along with SFA, Sparklehorse are my favourite band of all time. Their debut LP 'VivaDixe..' is a work of peerless fragile genius, but also utterly un-dancefloor friendly. I was over the moon when we had the opportunity to work on the 'Distorted Ghosts' EP which offered a rare opportunity for an indie club hit with this version of HM, Linkous in full Americana desert rock mode, starting with his trademark distorted squiggles and interference before turning into as straight up a track as he ever made.
IF I HAD A HEART FUCK BUTTONS REMIX (2009)
Karin Dreijer was a cult figure in the alt. scene as one half of The Knife before going solo as Fever Ray. The self titled debut LP is a master work of sonic architecture, but offered nothing salient for the indie floors. Step forward underground electronic duo Fuck Buttons, who flipped the sensuous opening album track into a smouldering and simmering industrial tech behemoth built around the haunting 'hmm..give me more' vox of the original pounding kick and bitcrushed lead line. Mesmerising.