's Bomb the Bass
pet project pumped some of the best acid house straight into late-'80s dance clubs. Best known stateside for the seminal "Beat Dis," similarly groundbreaking slow-beat club groove, and the Burt Bacharach
cover "Say a Little Prayer," Simenon
's brand of acid-laced rap and snappy sampling kept sweat flowing coast to coast. Unfortunately, by the time the band's second album appeared in 1991, Bomb the Bass
was all but forgotten in the beginnings of the grunge backlash. However, the sonics have continued to percolate, hence the welcome appearance of the U.K. compilation Beat Dis: The Very Best Of
, which serves up a healthy hodgepodge of hits and a neat tweak for aging ravers' long-lost brain cells. In no particular order, Beat Dis
unravels 1988 through 1991, commencing with the 12" version of "Beat Dis" and ending with the absurdly short "Megamix," while hitting all the important points in between. First-wave favorites include the aforementioned "Say a Little Prayer" and "Shake It," while the 1991 incarnation weighs in mightily with "Dune Buggy Attack" and the British hit "Winter in July." An extra welcome bonus is the inclusion of the nearly metaphysical and ever so slightly menacing "The Air You Breathe," which emerges remarkably undated in comparison to some of the servings on offer. And, while it's true that heavy house and its culture are now tossed off as just another shallow moment in the increasingly angst-ridden musical scape, Beat Dis: The Very Best Of
remains a potent portent of where the climate is probably headed in the endless turning of reinvention anyway. Besides, there's nothing fallow in a few great grooves.