Throwback: Nicole J McCloud – Runnin’ Away (Glenn Underground Mix)

Dating all the way back to ’96, Glenn Underground’s rework of Nicole J McCloud’s Runnin’ Away is a sublime 10 minutes of unadulterated, unpretentious and untouchable 90’s house music.
There has been a big ’90’s revival’ in the past couple of years. The sound was pushed into the mainstream mainly by some great tunes and DJ sets by Bicep, among others. This influenced a wave of contemporary producers to subsequently create their own interpretations of the style and  more than a few older heads to realise their vinyl collection had multiplied in price due to demand on Discogs for forgotten vinyl-only classics.
Anyway, this is where ‘Runnin’ Away’ comes into play. Hidden away in the latter half of Marcellus Pittmann’s (absolutely brilliant) XLR8R Mix from 2011, this track is an example of just how good a piece of retro house music can be. It ticks pretty much every box that this genre requires:
1) Four-by-four kicks with a garage-esque hi-hat rhythm layered on top. Check.
2) An uplifting piano line and some strings thrown in for good measure. Yup.
3) Cut-up vocals of a diva wailing her heart out about some unidentified man doing her wrong. Most definitely.
Ticking all the boxes makes it easily identifiable as retro house, but its beauty lies in the simplicity of the track. Glenn samples a few different verses of Nicole’s vocal and switches these different snippets in and out, the pianos swell to life at points and are muted at others. Interestingly, in contrast to the modern interpretations there is no ‘drop’; a bassline adds the perfect amount of weight to the track without ever threatening to dominate.
This is not a DJ tool. This is just 10 minutes of about as good as the 90s get.

John Hardy


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