cone magazine

Review /\ Mark Nicholas – Sacred Space EP

Review banoffee Pies mark nichols ep

This latest release on Banoffee Pies Records comes courtesy of unsung 90’s house veteran Mark Nicholas, who brings a smorgasbord of musical genius to the table with this incredible 10 track LP.

This record is an amalgamation of tracks of all different styles and genres. Unearthed from a musical treasure trove of unreleased gems, the initial plan was to request just one track from Nicholas, which would appear on a various artist series of 12”s. However, upon realising what an important discovery this hoard of music was, the only possible outcome was to create a full album in order to showcase this multitude of forgotten anthems, and henceforth, Sacred Space was born.

Nicholas’ own Ringrose Recordings label first rose to the surface back in 1998, and the highly sought-after Low End Theory Pt. 1 12” amassed something of a cult following amongst eager heads over the years. The refined analog grooves left behind were just the tip of the iceberg. The Banoffee Pies team began to excavate through Nicholas’ back catalogue, discovering in the process that his unique sound perfectly complemented the style that both the label itself and the parties they throw consistently encapsulate.

In the process of doing this they quickly drew the conclusion that one track would simply not do Nicholas justice. A full LP was then painstakingly crafted in an attempt to provide the most diverse and enjoyable selection of tracks, whilst simultaneously showcasing his distinguished skill set. The fact he refrains from tethering himself to one sound accentuates the colour and personality that identifies his music.

Every track is so beautifully balanced, you can hear the age in the music which inspires sentimentality but at the same time it’s clear these tracks would not be out of place in any venue today. For example, the pulsating techno beat of Ginger Giraf would go down a storm at The Warehouse Project, and arguably my favourite track of the LP, Disco Groove, with its authentic sound and effortless groove, I imagine would be received with praise at Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club at Motion. One thing that remains consistent throughout is the pure, organic nature of the songs. Even though the genres and styles differ greatly there is cohesion from beginning to end.

This album really does go a long way to showing the world what Mark Nicholas was and still is capable of. Considering that not long ago these records were hidden away gathering dust it is an absolute privilege that we are able to enjoy and share them once more.

Sacred Space will release as a double LP limited to 500 pressings.


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