The 90s rave scene in the UK is heralded as a golden time in our cultural heritage. In recent years the euphoric sound that encapsulated the period has been making a comeback. Now, Noizu’s latest release, ‘Summer 91 (Looking Back)’ transports us back to 1991, giving us a much-needed taste of joy from the past. In a year where we hope to be able to step foot on a dancefloor again, we think this hit will be pretty big. We caught up with the artist to see how this all came about.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the house sound of the 90s inspires everything the artist touches. With the likes of Basement Jaxx, Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy offering that piece of energetic influence. But the artist was thrown into the industry pretty quickly. After the success of his debut release ‘Lasers’ in 2017, he was touring the US and Canada within a year, propelling his status.
‘Summer 91 (Looking Back)’ is a release that’s full of euphoric energy, it was originally released last year and quickly gained traction despite the absence of festivals and clubs. RCA records realised the potential the song had and it’s since been re-released with fresh vocals that gives the song more energy. To this day the songs success comes as a bit of a surprise to Noizu, as he explains, “I was worried to release it because I had never done a song like this before. I remember we put it out quite quickly on my label and it got such a good reaction, way better than I thought it would. The song kept building and building until it got signed by RCA Records. It was a dream come true really, considering the song was made in lockdown with no clubs to hype it up.”
Vocals have always been a talking point in the dance world amongst producers, some love them and some prefer not to use them. Noizu was originally in the latter but when RCA wanted to experiment, he’s glad he said yes. “We chose to add more vocals when RCA signed it. They loved the original but thought we could do more damage with extra vocals.” The artist proclaims, “I am very fussy with vocals and sometimes I think it ruins songs adding more vocals, but I think in this case it has made it better. I hope I can play this at festivals this year!”
‘Summer 91 (Looking Back)’ encapsulates a time where people felt truly free. Perhaps that’s why this sound is becoming more popular again, particularly during a time where we no longer have the freedoms we once had. This single allows you to escape and gives some hope that we’ll all be dancing and hugging each other again sometime soon. “I wasn’t actually there in the 90s going out raving and seeing this music live, but I did grow up in the UK listening to that music, it does feel part of our culture.” Noizu comments, “I think this sound is big again because it’s nostalgic and to the people who like raving, that was always seen as the golden era. Since lockdown and club shutting maybe this music triggers a feeling in people.”
This isn’t Noizu’s only big hit to date, in 2018 his collaborative single ‘Rave Alarm’ with … picked up Annie Mac’s ‘hottest record’ accolade on Radio one show. A moment that proved totally surreal at the time and one that was repeated recently. “That was mad. It was my first single on my label that had just been set up, so it was an amazing start.” He comments, “for me Annie Mac has always been one of the best tastemakers in dance music so having her support is amazing. She made ‘Summer 91 (Looking Back)’ her hottest record last week and I was over the moon. I couldn’t stop listening back to her show.”
There’s no doubt ‘Summer 91 (Looking Back)’ will be a hugely popular song over the course of the next few months. It sees Noizu starting 2021 as he means to go forward, marking a year “making up for lost time” for 2020. Alongside running his own label in ‘Techne’ something tells me that Noizu the future looks busy for the artist.