When Southern Soul
Meets Acid House

July 2022
Words by Shola Aleje

Discover the late Southern Soul tracks that sparked the UK’s Acid House scene in 1988.

This playlist has a key focus on the later years of the Southern Soul scene, the music played in those rare groove clubs and early warehouse nights in the late 80s that went on to become the acid house scene. Club and pirate-radio DJs from Danny Rampling, Carl Cox, Terry Farley (Faith and Junior Boy's Own), Norman Jay were taking their Soul Boy spirit into a new era of club culture. Barry White’s classic ‘It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me’ opens the playlist and was the track Danny Rampling would regularly open his club nights with. 

Also included are tracks linked to the New York and Chicago (home of Acid House) scene pioneered by veterans from Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan, Jesse Saunders to ​​David Morales who were instrumental in the success of these scenes, plus releases from iconic labels such as Acid Trax and Sleeping Bag Records.

There’s also a nod to one of the biggest and most commercial crossovers at the time, the release of Soul II Soul’s 1989 album Club Classics Vol. One - released bang in the middle of the acid house explosion and an album filled with that pure rare groove sound over a dance beat.

Also peppered through the playlist are those late 70s releases which had a resurgence thanks to Norman Jay’s Shake n Fingerpop nights, which focused on revivalist American funk and soul and features artists from Lyn Collins, Voices of East Harlem to Leroy Hutson.

...and this quote from Danny Rampling really sums up the thought process behind this playlist: “Acid House was played at the first Shoom and half the crowd were into rare groove, funk, hip hop and that’s what the other DJs were playing that night. Not everyone warmed to Acid House immediately so it wasn’t the most successful night to begin with… however within a few months many joined the party and wanted to experience the new music.” - Ministry of Sound online