T-Coy was the brief Manchester-based dance trio of Hacienda DJ Mike Pickering, A Certain Ratio‘s Simon Topping, and keyboardist Ritchie Close. After the split of Topping and Pickering’s group Quando Quango, the two hooked up with Close and set out to make sounds inspired by their shared love of House music. What happened, though, was that in spreading their love, they kicked off a new genre and style of dance music. Though they only released four 12″ singles, several of those songs have become classics of the Acid House movement. Title track “Carino” is nine minutes of repetitive bliss, wherein one finds a jazzy keyboard and piano melody over a pulsating rhythm. Listening to it at home, its nine minutes pass quickly, but on the dancefloor, it’s a song that would seemingly last forever. Its dance groove would soon be heard in other Manchester groups, most notably Happy Mondays–while the two 2010 remixes of the song show its direct connection to the band that started the Manchester 1980s dance trend, New Order. The rest of the tracks are very much of a piece with Carino, all dance groove, Latin percussion, and sexy piano licks. It’s hard to sit still when listening to Carino, though, because these sides are highly contagious and utterly enjoyable, especially “Catalonia” and “I Ain’t Nightclubbing.” Furthermore Carino serves as a nice slice of musical history, a glimpse into the legendary and notorious Hacienda. Sadly, the band would come to an end when Close died in 1991 after contracting Legionaries’ Disease on a trip to Spain, and the two moved on to other projects. That said, the legend of T-Coy lives on, and is well served by this compilation. Pump up the volume and enjoy the music!
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