It's not my intention to feature records I have been involved in on the RiL series but this is truly a record I love and a bit special so I decided to feature it anyway. The Classic EP was compiled by Chez Damier and consists of tracks he made with various producers he met on his travels. It was released in 1993 on Serious Grooves. I absolutely love the two versions of 'Forever' he made with Stacey Pullen on the record and I was involved on the 'Dedication to Joss' track. Joss refers to Jocelyn Higgin, who was my long term girlfriend during the early basics years. She was killed on March 12th 1993 along with Alistair Cooke in a car crash on the A66 just outside Penrith. They were travelling to Glasgow to attend a back to basics show at The Arches. After her death I left the country for a few months and went to New Zealand. Chez had met Jos (which was the way she actually signed her name) when we both visited New York in 1992. We spent an incredible night at The Sound Factory with Chez. When Chez came to tour in the UK early 1993, he stayed with us and got to know Jos well. We also went in the studio together at Square Dance studios in Nottingham (not London as the label says) and worked with Martyn Watson on the track that became 'Dedication'. We only had one day in the studio so we didn't think we had finished the track. We ran off a demo mix to listen to and Martyn gave us a cassette tape demo. While I was away Chez decided to dedicate the track to Jos and put it on Classic EP. It was a lovely gesture. He must have cut it off the cassette tape!
The record became a self fulfilling prophesy and did indeed become a classic house record, it was especially big in the emerging US west coast and San Fran scene of the mid 90s. It has been out of print for many years and worth a lot of money on discogs. We heard Serious Grooves were planning to re-release it and both Chez and myself were not sure about this idea. I felt that some things are best left untouched in their original time and place. I was also not wanting to reduce the value of the record for people who had gone and spent a lot of money on it. We had a month of talks with the label and the record was shelved while we discussed it. Eventually Santonio Echols and his brother from Serious Grooves decided to go ahead with the re-issue and now I'm glad they did. To see it go to number one on the overall best seller chart on Juno just in time for the back to basics 22nd birthday was just too strange and a great way to honour Jos' memory. We all die but music lives on.