Mood II Swing’s top ’90s house tracks
by Andrew Mason
The duo of Lem Springsteen and John Ciafone, better known as Mood II Swing, are your favorite producer’s favorite producers. Beginning as studio wizards who contributed to early Masters At Work cuts (like “I Can’t Get No Sleep” and MAW+Xaviera Gold’s “Gonna Get Back To You“) and numerous underground productions under pseudonyms like The Club Kidds, Wall Of Sound and Full Swing for legendary NYC labels like Strictly Rhythm, Eightball and Nervous, they established themselves throughout the 1990s as kings of the tough, rhythmically complex, funky house cut. A Mood II Swing remix was, for many DJs, the first place the needle was dropped on a new record.
After reaching a critical and commercial pinnacle with their work on Ultra Naté’s “Free,” a huge smash in the summer of 1997, the duo gradually disengaged with an increasingly commercial music scene that was far from the vibrant underground community they’d come up in. Recently, with the post-millennium resurgence of interest in early ’90s house music, John Ciafone and Lem Springsteen have joined together once again to showcase their music in DJ sets.
They will be doing just that as part of Brooklyn house and disco heroes Razor-N-Tape’s 5-Year Anniversary party this Saturday, spinning a special set that will showcase the best of their groundbreaking and infectious sound. To get you in the, um, Mood, they’ve given Wax Poetics readers a rundown of their top ten favorite ’90s house cuts.
10. Mood II Swing feat. Carol Sylvan “Closer” 
9. Ultra Nate “Rejoicing” 
8. Kerri Chandler “Rain” 
7. DJ Pierre “Let the Music Take You Higher” 
6. Black Magic “Freedom” 
5. Cajmere feat. Dajae “Brighter Days” 
4. St. Etienne “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” (Masters at Work Dub) 
3. Barbara Tucker “I Get Lifted” (Go to Church Mix) 
2. Robert Owens “I’ll Be Your Friend” (Original Def Mix) 
1. Masters at Work “Voices in My Mind” (MAW mix) 
Tickets to see Mood II Swing, along with Session Victim, Ron Like Hell, Jacques Renault, Al Kent and the R-n-T team of JKriv and Aaron Dae are available here. More info about the party can be found on the Facebook event page or here.
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