fri 14/06/2024

Album: Steve Mac - Bless This Acid House | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Steve Mac - Bless This Acid House

Album: Steve Mac - Bless This Acid House

Old sounds meet new tech to create a bumping set by Britain's house music perennial

Are you on one, matey?

Some rock bands base their career around being musically fluid, an ever-changing what-will-they-do-next? conundrum. Others, such as, famously, Motörhead and The Ramones, simply go on doing their thing, honing it, repeating ad infinitum, with an almost zen devotion. The results, at their best, are vigorously on-point.

It’s not only rock bands, though. Some of those swept up in the 1990s rave-olution also knuckled down, stuck to the cause, purposefully focused. One such is Steve Mac and his new album combines aspects of old and contemporary production to salute the history and ongoing potency of house music.

Mac, not to be confused with the same-named master of nightmare cheese-pop, was once part of successful DJ-producer duo Rhythm Masters, and more recently released tunes as These Machines, scored the West End musical of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, and set up the label What Jack Said, named after a pulsing techy banger on this album. He’s maintained a solid, Ibiza-friendly clubland career for over two decades, remixing a plethora of famous names and even achieving a Top 20 hit in 2008 with weirdly hypnotic Irish dance-themed novelty tune “Paddy’s Revenge”.

Bless This Acid House sees Mac slamming out bangers. They’re not all 24-carat diamonds, there’s filler along the way, but it's mostly chunky 4/4 whoppers that hold the attention. Tipping his hat to house music’s beginnings he has guest voice-overs from Chicago originators Robert Owens, Marshall Jefferson and the late Sleezy D, as well as, even more effectively, Detroit singer Alana Maria paying tribute to her home city on the rip-roaring, in-yer-face “The 313”.

He also eagerly embraces the druggy, brain-whacked nature of original Eighties acid house on cuts such as “Summer of Love”, the “Voodoo Ray”-ish “My Mind”, and “This is Acid Mate” which, like Orbital’s recent-ish single “Smiley”, indulges in heady rave nostalgia using news clips from the era. And, of course, the whole album is lashed with the sound of that era’s totemic piece of kit, the Roland TB-303 (or its various later iterations), squelching and squiggling ear-drums to orbit. All in all, a joyfully bangin’ retro-futurist collection that sets the pulse racing and the feet moving.

Listen to "The 313" by Steve Mac featuring Alana Maria

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters