A vintage TBT this week. We’re looking further back than our own vaults and celebrating a seminal slice of pure rave music.
#raveanthem indeed. 25 years since its production, it wasn’t actually released as an official single until this time the following year, 1992: Wrapping up the year that truly galvanised the band’s influence on everything that’s followed, Out Of Space came off the back of the Top 20 hit Fire / Jericho and their seminal rave document Prodigy Experience.
Punching the UK charts at number three, it was ubiquitous. It preached to the already converted disenfranchised masses gurning somewhere in fields around the UK and shocked the nation’s families who’d religiously watch Top Of The Pops with young kids who were forever infected by unmatched levels of WTFness and go on to become ravers a few years later.
Just as Charly and Everybody In The Place had done previously, Out Of Space ensured that electronic music wasn’t going to be sidelined or ignored. It wasn’t going to loiter temporarily in the passing youth fad shadows but was a serious movement that can infiltrate mainstream culture that would change music forever. And it didn’t have to compromise.
Its sing-along Chase The Devil sample united crowds, and no doubt boosted Max Romeo’s bank account with royalties. Those iconic opening chords and that sinewy sci-fi riff caused spinal meltdown en masse. Those skippy breaks and Leeroy Thornhill’s dance gave birth to shuffle culture’s great great grandfathers and, of course, THAT attention-craving Kool Keith sample… Out Of Space really did transport you to other dimensions.
While some first-generation rave forefathers (nascent hipsters if you will) mugged off the Essex crew for the playground samples of Charly the previous year, and the music itself had reached immensely dark new levels with hardcore spawning new breakbeat constructs that would quickly become known as jungle (Goldie’s Terminator was released this year too, for example), no one could could deny the brilliant dramatic ravey absurdity of Out Of Space. Everything about it is hype. Keith Flint once said in a Quietus interview their ethic was “to have the loudest beats, the best bass lines and the biggest sounds.” Job done.
25 years later, job still done. It remains as pure and concentrated as it did 25 years ago. In the hands of a creative DJ, it can still be dropped in a dance now – pretty much any set (bar perhaps those crucial gospel house or ambient chiller sessions) – and it will guarantee kick off behaviour. Not even ironically.
No matter what generation you’re from, what your keystone genre is, whether your mum and dad first raved to it or you’re an old timer-turned-rave-lifer, to put it simply: if Out Of Space doesn’t, at the very least, put a smile on your face then you are dead inside. Or just really not that into electronic music.
The parallels between the era’s divisive politics and policies and what’s happening right now aren’t to be ignored either. The best music is made during the hardest of times. Forget everything for just three minutes and forty-three seconds and just enjoy (then keep scrolling for a few classic Prodigy UKF uploads)