Insomnia (Monster Mix) – Faithless (1995, Cheeky Records)
27 years later and this still does it for me. That slowed down drum beat, slowly building as the synth kicks in. I bet there is not one person reading this who hasn’t at least once in their lifetime stuck their hands in the air as the beats and that arpeggio (is it an arpeggio..?) kick in, seconds after Maxi Jazz mutters “I can’t get no sleep”. Anyone who says no is a liar, or simply hasn’t had a life anywhere near interesting enough.
You see when ‘Insomnia’ first came out, dance music was sort of terrible, or rather it was in a terrible state. M People were considered to be cutting edge, the infinitesimally awful ‘handbag house’ had taken over the clubs. Drum and bass was kind of kicking around, but it hadn’t really exploded and even Big Beat hadn’t really taken off. So when ‘Insomnia’ arrived it didn’t just stand out, it came accompanied by bells, whistles, cheers and a right old hooha and unlike ‘handbag house’ it simply refused to go away, the dancefloor equivalent of the Duracell Bunny if you like.
What made ‘Insomnia’ different was that it was a song that wasn’t actually about staying up all night raving away in some outsized shed. It was a song about what happens after a night in a club finishes. It was a song about the come down. That weird feeling when you get home at 6am and the world is waking up and having breakfast and you are putting your pyjamas on knowing that in about two hours you will be up anyway. Faithless warned you about the feeling you would get, but it told you within a track that was itself a complete euphoric rush. The clever bastards.
The track at the top is the full nine minute version (although there is a 27 minute version around now, if you really can’t get any sleep) but if you prefer your rushes somewhat shorter here’s the radio edit
Insomnia (Radio Edit) – Faithless (1995, Cheeky Records)
And here is something else by Faithless, which I only include because it reminds me of Trigger Happy TV.
Drifting Away – Faithless (1995, Cheeky Records)