Zanzibar always gets short shrift. But then what are ya gonna do
when you're sitting in Newark, New Jersey, just a train (and cab)
ride away from The Paradise Garage? Even the club's most famous
resident, Tony Humphries, knew the score: He made just as much
of a name for himself at Larry Levan's temple and on
New York's KISS FM. He was from Brooklyn, thank you very much.
But Club Zanzibar was undoubtedly his home. And a unique brand of
house music was fostered there, one that was distinct from
New York. Gospel-infused tunes, as heard on Humphries' Choice,
typified the early days. But then, as time went on, something changed.
Light mixed more often with dark. Welcoming house sat directly in
the mix next to prickly techno. There was a palpable tension.
Stephanie Mills wasn't telling us we can get over. Romanthany
was falling from grace. This was the sound that Humphries
brought over to his equally as influential residency at
Ministry of Sound in the early '90s.
And it's the sound that a young Matthew Styles grew up listening
to on tapes and (a few lucky times) in person. Humphries and
those who followed: Blaze, Kerri Chandler, Chez Damier, Ron Trent
and more. They're all here in spirit or literally in this mix celebrating
Zanzibar in 1993, a collection of tracks (and one very up-front promo) that
he would have given to the owners in the hope of getting a gig at
the finest The Garden State had to offer.