Various Discotheque Volume 1: The Haçienda

Just as NYC’s Studio 54 ruled the debauched club circuit in the late ’70s, Manchester’s Haçienda was the club to go wild in a decade later. Co-owned by members of New Order, the Haçienda opened its doors in 1982 and though best known for the Ecstasy craze of 1988 and ’89, as this compilation proves, it held a giant presence for the better part of the ’80s. Discotheque Volume 1 explores the history of the club, traversing through the years via the diverse play list: electro, Italo house, hip-hop, new wave, acid house, techno — essentially anything tasteful and innovative that would get people moving. Heaven 17, Mantronix, A Guy Called Gerald, 808 State and Cybotron — with the classic "Clear” — are just a few of the names appearing that show the depth of Manchester’s finest DJs. As a history of the club, a few cuts from the ’90s seep in, and the likes of Deep Dish and David Morales try to taint the mood, but thankfully they stick to the plans and don’t really ruin the euphoric buzz. Even with a peculiarly slim Factory presence (only New Order makes the cut) Discotheque Volume 1 no doubt captures the essence of this historical landmark. Nicely presented in precise packaging that embodies the club, perhaps the greatest thing about this collection is the in-depth liner notes by Tim Lawrence, which along with the music, really make you feel like you’re there in 1987. (Disconcert)