If you were pushed to name just one track that has defined the Australian dance landscape, there’s a good chance you’d answer ‘Sweetness & Light‘.
The 1993 track by Sydney producers Paul Mac and Andy Rantzen — known as Itch-E & Scratch-E — not only perfectly captured the essence of the vibrant underground dance culture, but also introduced this culture to audiences that had never experienced it before.
‘Sweetness & Light’ exploded into the mainstream, landing at #21 in triple j’s Hottest 100 and taking home the first ever ARIA award for Best Dance Release in 1995. Infamously, Mac used his acceptance speech to “thank all of Sydney’s ecstasy dealers, without whom this award would not be possible.”
Even 24 years later, ‘Sweetness & Light’ still has the power to pull even the toughest wallflowers on to the dancefloor. And now the track has been given a new life, with local label Motorik giving it a fresh remaster and a vinyl release.
“The re-release of ‘Sweetness & Light’ kicked off when our artist For Life did a bootleg remix for their live show,” Motorik manager Declan Piggott told inthemix. “We were so struck by how faithful it was to the original we knew it had to be released.
“We knew the only way we could release it on vinyl was to own the license. Fortunately the licensing gods were kind to us where the previously copyright owners license had expired. So we jumped on what feels like a once in a life time opportunity to pay homage to key members of Sydney’s underground history.”
To complement the release, Motorik grabbed some time with Mac and Rantzen to discuss the track’s legacy, Sydney’s dance history, and whether a track like ‘Sweetness & Light’ could exist in today’s scene. See what they had to say below.
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