Dick’s Picks: ‘Praise’ Inner City 12″ vinyl single with rare Carl Craig and Derrick May remixes

Dick’s Picks: Easily overlooked UK 12″ vinyl that features two stunning techno makeovers from Detroit ‘big-boy’s Carl Craig and Derrick May

INNER CITY Praise (1992 UK 4-track 12″ vinyl single, picture sleeve. Full sales info here

So what’s it all about?

For the uninitiated, your involvement with pop/dance/crossover act Inner City might well be limited to that time you danced to ‘Good Life’ at a cousin’s wedding, however, dig a little deeper under that oh-so-smooth Inner City pop/dance sheen and there’s a whole world of underground dance goodies waiting to be discovered!

A bit of background

In the mid-’80s in Detroit a handful of DJs/musicians began to create their own take on dance music – fusing the best elements of disco with early ’80s UK synth-pop, a whole heap of Kraftwerk, a side order of European electro-pop and Italo disco and not forgetting visits to the underground dance clubs of their near(ish) neighbour Chicago, and, hey presto! Techno was born! Kevin Saunderson, the man behind Inner City, was alongside Derrick May and Juan Atkins part of the original triumvirate of  Detroit Techno heads….another Detroit native Carl Craig was hot on their heels.

When ‘Praise’ was released in the early ’90s, multi-formatting was king, each Inner City release would be available in a plethora of mixes that cynically aimed to cover all bases in terms of persuading punters to part with their hard-earned readies! For this 12″ the ‘big ticket’ remixers were Future Sound Of London, a UK duo that had hit the rave motherlode with their break-beat driven and Dead Can Dance sampling ‘Papua New Guinea’ – ‘CHOOON’ as they used to say! Their gloriously 15 minute (yes, 15 minute) progressive house take on ‘Praise’ is the A-side here (rounded out with a FSOL dub version too).

Flip the 12″ over and first track, Carl Craig’s the Intergalactic Dub is where the ‘fun’ begins, 5.21 of relentless drum programming, looped break-beats, keyboard vamps, vocal snippets and edits give the track that unique, mantra-like groove that Mr Craig was sooo good at…

….and if that’s not enough Detroit action for ya’, strap yourself in for Derrick May’s 8.26 mix – it’s a prime era ‘Mayday Monster’ with flanged/panned drum fills a-plenty, Derrick’s trademark stop-start edits, some wonderful keyboard lines, oh, and no kick-drum until about four minutes in!!

It’s been said that May was disappointed that his version was relegated to its ‘lowly’ b-side status (I’m not surprised) and is cited as one reason why he pretty much gave up producing around this time, he’s still a top DJ and ambassador for ‘high-tech-soul’ throughout the world and one-time understudy Carl Craig has continued to produce, remix and DJ…….

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