High school homework for me meant evenings spent recording acid house, dance and chart tracks off the radio, building libraries of cassettes for more in depth study on my walkman during my twice daily paper rounds.
Midweek was the Evening Session on Radio 1 (1FM as it was known then), and the weekends would be Stu Allan on Key 103 (Manchester) or No Sell Out Live, with Phil Bowker and Davy T on Radio City 96.7 (Liverpool).
I’d have an at least weekly visit to the record shops in the town centre to see what new releases and imports were in stock, and the beauty of being into acid house and dance was much of it didn’t chart, so the genre’s 12” singles would often be in the 99p racks in HMV and Our Price.
Driveaway by Sunsonic featured on one of my most listened to tapes (I still have it) along with a number of other classics of the era, but I never bought this track, and never learned anything about Sunsonic at the time.
They’ve been a mysterious “one hit wonder” band to me for more than 20 years.
The miracle of the internet means I can now learn about them, and purchase the 12” vinyl so for the first time I can hear the full track start to finish.
Back in the day, I was a huge 808 State fan and collector, and the first thing I learn from the sleeve is that the version of Driveaway I loved as a teenager is the “Masseymix” – by Graham Massey of 808 State of course.
Little wonder it connected with me.
Turns out Sunsonic were previously called The Flowerpot Men, and subsequently called Juno Reactor, and the original version of this track was taken from their Melting Down On Motor Angel album.
Juno Reactor signed to Mute Records in the UK before supporting The Orb on tour and have since produced 7 albums and scored music for several hollywood films including The Matrix and Lost In Space.
Not quite the “one hit wonder” I perceived them as then, but either way, this collaboration with Massey is as solid a 12” single as there was from the era and the genre, and whatever may have come afterwards for all involved, this extended reworking is worthy of celebration in its own right.
Cat No: PZ103