If you have been a fan of electronic music over the last twenty years or even if you are just getting into it, chances are you've come across Global Underground. Their legendary mix compilations helped to define an entire generation of electronic music culture and still remain iconic. Mixes from the likes Sahsa, John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, Dave Seaman, Paul Oakenfold, Lee Burridge, Danny Howells and other legends still sound just as good as they did back in the day.
The label is still kicking and has dropped a stunning 20th anniversary compilation complete with vinyl, 3 CDs and a coffee table book. This will no doubt be an essential piece for hardcore fans of the label.
The label also just wrapped up two massive shows complete with photo exhibits and legendary DJs, one in Amsterdam for ADE and the other in London.
We got the chance to catch up with the labels co-founder, Andy Horsfield for a quick interview to talk about the big 20.
Check out a selection from the compilation below along with a complete track listing.
Electronic music culture has changed quite a bit in the last 20 years. How has this affected the label and your feelings about the music?
Well, the culture has expanded definitely, but I think the passions are still the same, our love for house music in all its various forms and of course the passion to dance 'til the sun comes up and beyond.
20 years is a huge mile stone. What’s next for GU?
Well, we will continue to work with the very best artists in the world and of course support the best emerging talent through our Nubreed series and our artist label GU Music.
With the explosion of Electronic Dance Music in the USA, many of the new fans have no understanding of the foundations of the culture. How do you approach that as a label? How are you bringing in new fans in the US and across the globe?
The thing is new fans won't have the knowledge that older fans do, but it's just a learning process, people will discover the history and heritage of our culture in their own way in their own time, we don't need to force this down their throats like some right of passage.
Who are some of your favorite DJs right now that are coming up?
Well, there is some amazing talent around, but as always at GU we support artists not just "plug and play" club DJs, so people like Just Her and Denney are doing amazing things at the minute.
One of the greatest things about the label aside from the great talent you always curate is the idea of the destination and the wonderful coffee table book style inserts you do. With the decline of CD sales, how do you plan on presenting your product in this age of streaming?
The thing is over 60% of our sales are still on CD, which is unlike any other dance label around and that's because our fans love albums in a physical format. However, streaming will never give you the full GU experience as you say, without the photos and words it just can't. Of Course, we can deliver our music to consumers who choose to experience our releases that way.
Tell us a little bit about the 20-year compilation and exhibit? It seems like a massive undertaking?
HA! Yes, it has been. Both the ADE and London Photo Exhibitions have been a huge success for us. For the album, it was important to me to not only look back but also look forward with "The Future" CD which showcases some of the finest emerging talents from the last few years.
Out of all the albums you’ve put together, what one album would grab if you could only take one?
Global Underground Twenty - Tracklist
01 Moby – Pale Horses (Apparat Remix)
02 Yousef – Come Home (Sasha Matterhorn Intro Remix)
03 Simian Mobile Disco – Hustler
04 Joris Voorn – Ringo (Rework)
05 Superpitcher – Heroin
06 Guy Gerber – Belly Dancing
07 Darren Emerson – Crash Jack (Original) / (Manuel De La Mare Remix)
08 Dino Lenny – I Feel Stereo
09 Henrik Schwarz / Âme / Dixon feat Derrick L. Carter – Where We At (Version 2)
10 Audion – Mouth To Mouth (Scuba’s Orbital 93 Mix)
11 Dubfire vs Oliver Huntemann – Diablo
12 Timo Maas presents Mad Dogs – Better Make Room (James Holden Remix)
13 Jim Rivers – Stone (Henry Saiz Remix)
14 Nic Fanciulli – Materia (Robert Hood Remix)
15 Pig & Dan – Eiffel Nights
16 Finger Fest Inc. - Autoporno (D.Ramirez Remix)
17 Radio Slave - My Bleep (Roman Flügel Remix)
18 Oliver Huntemann - 37°
19 Booka Shade – Charlotte (Booka’s No Pain No Gain Mix)
20 UNKLE – Heavy Drug (Surrender Sounds Mix)
01 Kris Menace feat. Fred Falke – Fairlight
02 Sound 5 - The Hacienda Must Be Re:Built (Tim Davison & Nicko Izzo Remix)
03 Elekfantz – Diggin’ On You (Solomun Remix)
04 Hybrid – Theme From Wide Angle (Dark Skies Remix)
05 Lostep – Burma (Sasha’s Invol2ver Dub)
06 Vector 13 – Rise
07 Adam Freeland – Silverlake Pills (Gui Boratto Remix)
08 Dave Seaman – Gobbledygook (Jori Hulkkonen Remix)
09 Trafik – Find Me (Guy J Dub)
10 Bluefish – One (Bluefish Pitched Back Mix)
11 Dune – Boomerang (Quivver’s Boom Q Dub)
12 Roland Klinkenberg feat. DJ Remy – Mexico Can Wait (Gabriel Ananda Remix)
13 Anil Chawla & Dale Anderson – Leftorium (Petar Dundov Remix)
14 Silver City – Shiver (Ewan Pearson Bari Girl Remix)
15 Situation 2wo – Way2tite (Redanka’s Reversion)
16 Greens Keepers feat. Colette – Keep It Down (Radio Slave Dub)
17 Gus Gus - Crossfade (Maceo Plex Remix)
18 Carlo Dall’Anese & Gui Boratto – Beautiful Song
19 Bushwacka! – Healer (House Mix)
20 Sébastien Tellier - La Ritournelle
CD3 THE FUTURE
01 Denney feat. Kayleigh Stephenson - Another Day
02 Habischman - Hoodoo
03 Just Her - Follow You Down
04 Dale Middleton - Disappearing Act
05 Arturo Hevia - Raices
06 FOTN - Celeste
07 Third Son - Europa
08 Several Definitions - Glint
09 Jaap Ligthart and Alice Rose - Lost In Love
10 Ańii - Rusty
More About Global Underground:
The iconic British label’s series of DJ mix albums from the likes of Sasha, Solomun, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Tenaglia, Deep Dish, and many more, helped document and then define electronic music culture from the mid 1990s onwards, playing a leading role in the explosion of international dance music. They were the first label to put DJs on the cover of DJ mix albums and, in addition to helping turn them into international superstars, GU are responsible for releasing the music from hundreds of previously unknown producers – something that remains one of their raison d'êtres.
Global Underground broke new ground by visiting worldwide destinations and putting a spotlight on their nascent club scenes, at a time when dance music was still pocketed across a handful of emerging territories. The hallmarks of a Global Underground release are beautifully shot photography and extensive sleeve notes, and the older album releases have become collectors’ items, with many currently exchanged for significant sums online.
Global Underground’s high-profile media campaigns reached beyond international dance media, and the label were the first to get DJs like John Digweed into the Los Angeles Times, or Sasha into the UK edition of The Times. Global Underground’s first DVD featured over two hours of international footage, including a documentary filmed for Channel 4 that reached over 2 million viewers when it was originally broadcast in 2000.