The story of dance music is littered with hidden heroes and underground activists whose immense contributions have been overlooked, ignored and under-documented. Tony Boninsegna, a producer who made and released countless classic cuts and forgotten gems during the acid house and rave era, is one such example.
Melding elements of all that was popular in underground clubs at the time to create his own dancefloor-friendly sound worlds, Boninsegna amassed a huge catalogue between 1986 and '94, while hiding his involvement via an array of oddball aliases and opaque pseudonyms. Boninsegna's story first came to light four years ago when he appeared in Join The Future: Bleep Techno and the Birth of British Bass Music, Matt Anniss's critically acclaimed alternative history of UK dance music in the rave era. Now Cold Blow has joined forces with Musique Pour La Danse to deliver a much-needed anthology of his greatest productions and
co-productions - many rare or hard-to-find - for the first time.
Featuring 24 restored and remastered tracks stretched across two volumes on vinyl and digital, including a handful of previously unreleased tracks and mixes, and accompanied by detailed sleeve notes by Anniss, NotesFrom The Underground 1986-1994 is a joyful celebration of one of British dance music's most under-appreciated artists. The full breadth and depth of Boninsegna's rave-ready catalogue, as well as an indication of
the sheer volume of aliases he utilised during the period, is explored in detail across the two-part compilation.
Fittingly, volume one features two previously unreleased recordings that mark his earliest explorations of the emerging house sound (both as The Rhythm Squad, with Richard Compton), alongside touchstone releases such as Zeco's 'The Witch Trials' (a 1989 production that marked his first outing on vinyl), celebrated workouts recorded with regular collaborator Mykey Tee (Lab Technicians' bleep-inspired 'We Gave U Life', Big Showdown's epic 'They're Here' and AEK's mind-mangling, bleep & breaks number 'Lick It'), and genuinely overlooked gems (the proto-tribal house of Pierrepoint's acid-smothered 'Tonnerre' and saucer-eyed rush of Estudiantes' 'Let The Music Into Your Mind').
It all adds up to the definitive musical retrospective of a genuine underground, rave-era hero whose time in the spotlight may finally have arrived.