S IS FOR SPOOKY

Spooky were progressive house pioneers Duncan Forbes and Charlie May. They were on seminal label Guerilla Records and in “Gargantuan” produced one of the most influential progressive house albums of the early 90s. A bit odd really as it’s quite a weak album.

Not to be confused with the New York DJ/producer of the same name, London-based duo Spooky consists of Duncan Forbes and Charlie May, who began recording for William Orbit’s Guerilla label in the early ’90s after Orbit discovered the pair in a record shop. Best known for providing one of the first big blasts in the London progressive house movement, Spooky’s debut, Gargantuan, is an enduring classic of the style, fusing thick analog production with deep, melodic house phrasing and sturdy rhythms. The group’s reincarnation after Guerilla dissolved as an experimental techno/electro act in the Warp/GPR tradition surprised fans and detractors alike, but Spooky have been as successful with more recent releases such as “Schmoo” and their 1996 follow-up to Gargantuan, the fervently experimental Found Sound, suggesting there’s more to the group than mere novelty and timing. Found Sound, for it’s part, is a deliriously percussive update of ’80s electro with an almost austere musique concrete foundation, indicative of Forbes and May’s professed admiration for minimalist composer such as Steve Reich and Arvo Part, as well as non-Western percussion-based musical traditions such as gamelan and the Indian raga. In fact, most of the drum and melody sounds on the album were either constructed from scratch or sampled from real-world objects such as sheet metal, flowerpots, even the group’s studio’s heating unit. Found Sound followed the release of three singles on the group’s own Generic imprint (a subsidiary of A&M, with whom Forbes and May hammered out a deal following Guerrilla’s demise), and was itself followed by a European tour (opening for 808 State) and a double-pack single, “Bamboo,” featuring a Dave Angel remix and a live version of the Gargantuan classic “Little Bullet.” May later joined trance DJ Sasha, and worked on programming for the popular mixer’s Xpander EP. ~ Sean Cooper, All Music Guide

Rather than go for just stuff from the “Gargantuan” era, I’ve gone for mostly slightly later work, starting with one of my most favourite progressive house tracks:

Spooky – Stereo   highly recommended

William Orbit – Water From A Vine Leaf (Acid Bath Mix) by Spooky  

Spooky – Clank  

Bonus track:

Spooky with Billie Ray Martin – Persuasion (D.O.P. Mix)  

Buy product

~ by acidted on November 13, 2009.

4 Responses to “S IS FOR SPOOKY”

  1. […] 1992, and Billie released her first solo record in 1993 together with the progressive house duo Spooky, a cover of Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Persuasion’ transformed into a dark […]

  2. […] occassional series focusing on some of the early progressive house heroes. First up Spooky, who, like so many, were on Guerilla […]

  3. […] glories with Electribe 101 (here) and evokes memories of her classic collaboration with Spooky (here). More on Billie […]

  4. […] #37, Spooky (Charlie May and Duncan Forbes – more here) who remain one of the most famous production outfits of the mid-1990′s progressive house […]

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