Essential 1990 UK Techno/Electronics album, repressed in it's full 2LP glory, plus the additional unreleased track 'Infititesimal'. Also including is the track 'Distant Drummer' which was released as a 12" back in the day.... TIP!Sometimes, through a combination of misfortune and bad timing, a fine record will go largely unnoticed on its original release. If it’s good enough, though, it will be rediscovered and reappraised through the hard work of record collectors. N.A.D’s The Dawn of a New Age, an unheralded British deep house classic, is one such example.
Originally released by Tony Thorpe’s short-lived house label BPM Records in 1990, The Dawn of a New Age was on sale for little more than a week before it vanished from record store shelves, the victim of Rough Trade Distribution’s demise. BPM folded shortly after, consigning N.A.D’s first and only album to the annals of history as a little known and little-heard obscurity.
The misfortune that beset the project arguably denied listeners more material from its hitherto unheralded creator, an English producer called Mustafa Ali. Before recording The Dawn of a New Age, he had created an early UK house classic, 1988’s “Close Jack Encounter”, as L.E Bass. Thorpe saw potential in Ali, and included his “Distant Drums” – now regarded as one of the first examples of British deep house of the period – on his House Factor compilation.
Thorpe then had another idea. He asked Ali if he fancied recording an entire album in a week. Ali agreed, offering to record a concept album inspired by two of his greatest passions: science fiction and his Islamic faith. The producer was as good as his word, and produced the stunning The Dawn of a New Age, full of audible references to both, in seven days.
24 years after it was created, N.A.D’s forgotten debut album has become something of a ‘must-have’ for electronic music collectors. Mint copies fetch upwards of £60 (70 Euros) on the second hand market. Now, a whole new generation of house music lovers will get a chance to explore its intoxicating blend of melodic deepness and electronic futurism, thanks to a timely reissue on Rush Hour.
Unlike much similar material of the period, The Dawn of a New Age still sounds fresh, futuristic and far-sighted. At times, it sounds like a British take on the Burrell Brothers, Larry Heard or L.B.Bad; at others, it could be an unlikely collaboration between The Black Dog (then impressing with their Virtual and Age of Slack 12” releases) and Ben Cormac (Dream 2 Science, Cozmic, Newcleus). It is arguably one of British electronic music’s best-kept secrets – until now, at least.
There’s exciting news for fans of Ali’s particular brand of far-sighted electronica, too. He’s now back in the studio for the first time in 14 years, and plans to release a new N.A.D EP later this year on Tony Thorpe’s Studio Rockers label.