Renaissance: The Mix Collection
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Renaissance: The Mix Collection is an electronic dance music compilation album consisting of three CDs, each presented as a continuous DJ mix. The album, mixed by Sasha & John Digweed and released in October 1994, was the first in a series of mix albums released under the brand of the Renaissance nightclub. Containing music from the house, progressive house and trance genres, it was intended as a sampler of the kind of music played by the club.
|Renaissance: The Mix Collection|
|Remix album by|
|Released||14 October 1994|
|Producer||Sasha, John Digweed|
|Sasha & John Digweed chronology|
|John Digweed chronology|
On the tenth anniversary of the album's release, a fully remastered version with a slightly altered track listing was released.
The album is considered by many to be amongst the greatest mix albums of all time. Resident Advisor said the album was a "landmark CD of its kind" and "the great Daddy of all DJ mix compilations – the cornerstone for all things progressive, and a massive influence for legions of DJs to follow." The Quietus said the album marked the point of when the "second wave of dance music crossed over to a wider audience" and said the album was "arguably one of the first – and best - DJ mixes of its kind to be released on CD", referring to the album's "then upcoming talents of Sasha and John Digweed blended effortlessly a heady and hedonistic miasma of progressive house and early trance that included Leftfield, Underworld, and Age of Love to freeze in time forever the euphoric nights that would become days that would become euphoric nights again," featuring the album in their unordered 2015 list of their "Favourite DJ Mix Albums". In 1996, Mixmag ranked the album at number 26 in its list of the "Best Dance Albums of All Time". In 1997, Q ranked the album in their list of "The 10 Best DJ Mix Albums...Ever!". DJ Mag included it on their list of "5 of the Best DJ Mixes of All Time".
Presented inside an outer translucent tracing paper emblemed slip-sleeve, a card digipack case unfolds into four faces; each CD section has a separate flap that folds over it, while the case packaging itself folds like a book, continuing the Renaissance theme. Pictured on the front flap is a typical renaissance painting by Michelangelo, while a landscape portrait of a colleseum under a bright blue sky stretches inside the packaging. The CDs are arranged by colour; blue, orange, and green. The story behind Renaissance, the club, between 1992 and 1994 is written on top of the CD flaps. Due to the case's heavy faces only being held by card, it is rare to find an original completely intact from damage to the seams, and also the outer slip-sleeve is often missing.
Renaissance: The Mix Collection is a mix of house, progressive house and trance house of the early 1990s. The songs chosen were supposed to give the listener "an idea of what Renaissance was all about" (quoted from packaging). As suggested by the album's name, it was given the title Renaissance for two reasons. Firstly, it reflected a surge of Italian piano/funky house that was being mastered by the likes of Alexander Coe (Sasha) at the club "Renaissance" in Britain. But more importantly, Renaissance also stands for 'rebirth' or more freely, 'a time of change, and so with the dance music scene heavy on acid house up north, it gave the mature clubber a brighter and more beautiful outlook on what dance music 'should be'.
The album was mixed by Alexander Coe (aka Sasha) and John Digweed – both resident DJ's at Renaissance in 1994. Each CD reflects a different style of music – CD 1 (Blue) has a 'Leftfield' sound to it. Tracks that mark the generally highlighted 'high points' include the hit "Perfect Motion", and a euphoric remix of Blade Runner's ending theme tune, simply titled "Blade Runner". This CD starts with a segue of three separate mixes of Leftfield's 'Song For Life', which sets the tone for the first disc.
The second CD (Orange) has a funky theme to it. It can generally be said this is a house mix, though songs like "Not Over Yet" by Grace can be seen as trance. This CD has been referred to as "what Italian house was all about in a truly psychedelic, bouncy, and fun way". A rare 12" mix included is Kym Mazelle's "Was That All It Was", which has been covered many times over, but the remix included on this album has a house feel to it. Out of the 3 CDs, the second CD is arguably more varied in its mixing between songs than the other two.
The Third CD (Green) has been called slightly darker than previous discs, but at the same time a "more euphoric feel to it than the other 2 CDs, reflecting a typical club situation with a continuous build-up of tension until the end". In this case, the 2 DJ's progress to a moment in which an acclaimed point is met on "Age of Love".
10th anniversary reissueEdit
|Renaissance: The Mix Collection Remastered 10th Anniversary Edition|
|Remix album by|
|Released||15 November 2004|
|Producer||Sasha, John Digweed|
|Sasha & John Digweed chronology|
Both M People tracks were removed from this release and replaced with other contemporaneous dance singles: "Renaissance" with "Stand Above Me" by OMD, and "How Can I Love You More" with "I Can't Forget You" (Fathers of Sound Pleasure mix) by Anthony White. The changes were due to Copyright issues from the record labels.
The re-issued album is not a straight re-mastering, but a whole new session. Though the original blend sequences remain the same, as do all the original elements, Sasha and Digweed re-created the album using Apple G4 laptops to create, what they considered, a better quality version of the original mix, with recording techniques simply not available in 1994, as well as the advantage of crystal clear audio, and spatial separation of frequencies within the song, making it sound more dynamic.
In 1995, between the releases of Renaissance The Mix Collection and Northern Exposure, a second album was released, Renaissance: The Mix Collection Part 2. As Sasha had left the Renaissance club in 1994, the second album was mixed by John Digweed alone.
Original track listingEdit
Track listing as given on the sleeve (although there are errors and omissions which can be seen on Discogs):
- Leftfield – "Song of Life" (Lemon Interrupt mix) – 5:26
- Leftfield – "Song of Life" (Dub for Life mix) – 4:02
- Leftfield – "Song of Life" (Steppin' Razor mix) – 2:16
- Bedrock featuring KYO – "For What You Dream Of" (Full On Renaissance mix) – 6:19
- Rhythm Invention – "Chronoclasm" – 2:37
- Disco Evangelists – "De Niro" (Spaceflight remix) – 6:06
- Memphisto – "State of Mind" (Quiet mix) – 1:43
- Moonchild – "V.O.A.T" (original mix) – 5:28
- Sunscreem – "Perfect Motion" (Heller & Farley's Boy's Own mix) – 10:09
- River Ocean – "Love & Happiness" (X-Press 2's Junior Boy's Own Super dub) – 4:27
- That Kid Chris – "Keep on Pressin' On" (Didn't I Show You Luv mix) – 5:48
- Remake – "Bladerunner"/Inner City – "'Til We Meet Again" (Brothers in Rhythm Perkappella) – 4:24
- Bump – "House Stompin'" (Big Bump mix) – 7:02
- F Machine – "Child Bride" (Feedback Max mix) – 4:28
- M People – "Renaissance" (John Digweed's Full on mix) – 7:41
- Fluke – "Slid" (PDF mix) – 4:43
- Funk Machine – "Let's Get This Party Started" (Party mix) – 5:20
- Fluke – "Slid" (Justin Robertson's Scat & Frenzy) – 5:01
- Corrado – "Trust" (Pink mix) – 5:02
- MBG – "Trance 1" (Oriental Psycho Estmix) – 2:01
- Hysterix – "Talk to Me" (Sasha's Full Master mix) – 7:04
- Annadin – "Angel" – 7:18
- Virtualmismo – "Mismoplastico" (Dirtysyncomix) – 3:30
- Virtualmismo – "Mismoplastico" (original remix) – 5:29
- Fishbone Beat – "Always" (Psychedelic Martini remix) – 3:39
- Grace – "Not Over Yet" (Perfecto mix) – 5:47
- Secret Life – "She Holds the Key" (H.A.L.F. I'm a Believer mix) – 4:16
- Funtopia featuring Jimi Polo – "Do You Wanna Know" (Gut Drum mix) – 5:07
- V.F.R. – "Tranceillusion" (Original mix) – 3:16
- Kym Mazelle – "Was That All It Was" (David Morales' Def mix) – 7:07
- M People – "How Can I Love You More" (QAT mix) – 7:20
- Moby – "Go" (Nighttime mix) – 5:19
- Jaco – "Show Some Love" (original dub) – 6:38
- Spooky – "Little Bullet" (High Velocity mix) – 6:20
- Havana – "Sublime Theme" (dub) – 3:48
- Shawn Christopher – "Another Sleepless Night" (Bassman mix) – 4:17
- Unity 3 – "Age of Love" (Trance Dub & Fantasy mix) – 4:48
- EMF – "They're Here" (D:Ream Dream) – 6:10
- Solar Plexus – "Solar Plexus" – 3:31
- Havana – "Ethnic Prayer" (Euro mix) – 5:32
- 2 Bad Mice – "Bombscare" – 3:32
- Age of Love – "The Age of Love" (Jam & Spoon's Watch Out for Stella mix) – 6:14
- My Friend Sam featuring Viola Wills – "It's My Pleasure" (Rick van Breugel's club mix) – 5:24
- Lemon Interrupt – "Dirty" – 4:03
- Q; October 1997 issue.
- Renaissance: The Mix Collection at AllMusic
- The Complete Book of the British Chart