Ever since I fell in love with Merwyn Sanders and Eric Lewis' Virgo album a few years back, I've constantly been searching for any other material that they laid their hands to. Unfortunately for their fans, their partnership with Trax owner Larry Sherman only lasted for another two 12-inches and a couple of compilation cuts, with their 1992 single under the Ace & The Sandman moniker being the best of the bunch. Until now, those who wanted to procure the full version of A-side cut on vinyl would have had to either shell out for the original wax on Trax subsidiary Saber, or pick up DJ Deep's highly recommended City To City Part 2 sampler, so it's a pleasure to see it appear again on virgin vinyl. Rather knowingly, its B-sides have been left well alone (they weren't much cop in the first place), but the epic deep acid of "Let Your Body Talk" is worth the entry price on its own. With subtly modulated 303 lines weaving through its delicate pads, syncopated bleeps and rolling rhythm, there are few better ways to persuade the dance floor to surrender their bodies to the rhythm and let their cerebrum be soothed by waves of opulent synthesis.
The inclusion of a previously unavailable mix of Jamie Principle’s "Bad Boy" is also sure to make this an essential purchase for vintage house aficionados, what with this particular version being a Ron Hardy reel-to-reel favourite. Those who have already heard the track in question on Youtube may be disappointed to hear that it's been chopped down to an abridged but adequate five-and-a-half minutes, but full credit goes to Rush Hour for finally getting this superior version out on vinyl. As to be expected from a reel-to-reel tape that has been sitting around for 23 years, the sound quality on it isn't the best, with the punched up tops and bottoms drowning out the impact of the midrange, but it's perfectly playable and I suspect that the mastering engineer has done a great job with the raw material. Indeed, you can even hear a different track bleeding through just as it comes to its abruptly edited end. The original mix that follows it is much cleaner, camper and Italo-inspired, and while that may suit some DJs, Principle's seedy vocal ("Well you might call me a queer/well you might call me a freak/But what you want it comes high/the price for me is not cheap") is infinitely more suited to the grinding, low-slung groove of the unreleased mix.
Principle's "It's A Cold World" is another sought-after Trax rarity, first rearing its head as "Bad Boy"'s accompanying A-side back in '87. While the two tracks share a similar synth-pop and Italo-tinged sensibility, "Cold World" substitutes jauntiness with melancholy without losing any of the jack. The falsetto vocals and chirpy bleeps may not suit the tastes of more serious house jocks, but if played to an audience of vintage house heads, expect to hear at least a few people singing along at the top of their lungs. It's yet another sterling reissue job by the Rush Hour guys, and one that should please even the most the hardcore of Chicago house collectors.
Buy Various Artists - House Of Trax Vol. 3 at
Tracklist: Various Artists - House Of Trax Vol. 3 A1 Ace & The Sandman – Let Your Body Talk
A2 Jamie Principle – It’s A Cold World
B1 Jamie Principle – Bad Boy (Unreleased Mix)
B2 Jamie Principle – Bad Boy (Original Mix)
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