Kornél Kovács’ 10 favorite ’90s house classics
Studio Barnhus man Kornél Kovács picks a dusty selection of ’90s house jammers, featuring Mood II Swing, Terrence Parker, Pépé Bradock and Danny Tenaglia.
In 2010, Kornél Kovács teamed up with fellow Swedes Axel Boman and Petter Nordkvist to form Studio Barnhus, the esteemed label responsible for FACT favorite 12″s and LPs from Baba Stiltz, Jimi Tenor and of course Kovács himself.
After releasing The Bells in 2016, Kovács became highly sought after on the festival circuit, playing house music that sidesteps simple nostalgia, honing in on the genre’s low-slung funk backbone. His mischievous streak is on full display with this month’s Metropolis EP, a bumper 12″ that features a trio of rave-y belters tracks named after some of Stockholm’s most important nightspots.
With that in mind, Kovács has picked ten of his favorite ’90s house tracks. “It turned out to be a daunting task,” he tells FACT. “In part because that sort of thing is such a large portion of my music collection, but also because I realized I’ve been moving away a bit from that sound lately.”
There’s “too much retro fetishism” at the moment, according to Kovács, so he’s picked some “timeless classics and a couple more obscure things.” He’s also quick to say that the list is “pretty stupid” for not including Boo Williams, Roy Davis Jr, Ron Trent and Armand Van Helden.
“I tried to keep it varied while staying true to the classic 90’s house sound,” admits Kovács. “All of these tracks are massive personal favorites that I will never stop playing.”
Kornél Kovács is performing at The Peacock Society Festival in Paris on Sunday July 7. For more information and tickets head here.
‘Drink On Me’ (Original Version)
(Profile Records, 1990)
“Setting it off right at the first year of the century with this eternal classic from a young Kerri Chandler. It’s one of my favorite songs ever, regardless of genre. Groovy, psychedelic, deep, silly; it’s got everything.”
Mood II Swing
‘Move Me’ (Alternative Mix)
(Music For Your Ears, 1995)
“Obvious choice perhaps but this is a 100% perfect piece of music. Drum loop, bassline and a vocal sample – all you ever need. Doesn’t get simpler or better than this; slays floors to this day.”
‘Feel It In The Air’
(83 West Records, 1997)
“Been feeling this lately, it’s good for the festivals. A great and relatively obscure example of the ’90s filter sound. New Jersey producer on a Toronto label, and I think this was big with the original UK garage scene too [‘Bring Me Down’ was huge – Ed].”
‘Slam That Bass Baby!’
“Sweden in the house! Eternal classic on the great Stockholm label Svek. Beautiful, chaotic sample mayhem.”
‘Dance, Dance, Dance’
(Definitive Recordings, 1995)
“The great Nick Holder showing us how to properly slice a disco sample. It’s simple and fun, but there’s something brutal about the precision of it all and a hint of sadness behind the groove, like in all Nick Holder’s best tracks.”
Saeed & Palash
‘Afterdark’ (Bump-O-Matic Dub)
(Addictive Records, 1996)
“Discovered this one recently after hearing Baba Stiltz play it in a back to back we did. I wanted to throw a tribal house jam in here and this is as good (and, again, simple) as it gets. Love the cheeky vocal sample.”
Seven Grand Housing Authority
‘Love’s Got Me High’ (Blunted Street Soul Mix)
(Intangible Records & Soundworks, 1995)
“I just fucking love Terrence Parker so fucking much – his new stuff too. This blew me away when I first heard it; it’s one of the best sample flips ever, snatched from a Jamie Foxx live performance.”
‘When You Love Someone’ (Club Mix)
(Maxi Records, 1993)
“This one is sexyyy. It’s Danny Tenaglia on the beat, but so much lighter and breezier than his usual output. Was released on Maxi Records, one of the great New York house labels that also put out some of Pal Joey’s best work and classics like Sagat’s ‘Fuk Dat’.”
(TRIBAL America, 1994)
“Eric Kupper in the house! Everyone is crazy about ‘Organism’ from the same record but this is my jam. Bass is deeeeep.”
(Kif Recordings, 1999)
“Super classic but if there’s even one person out there who hasn’t heard it before then my inclusion is justified. I also had to throw something French in this mix for obvious reasons. Plus it makes sense as the last selection – we just went from 1990 to 1999!”