Posts from 8th September 1999

8
Sep 99

80. OPUS III – “It’s A Fine Day”

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Tom Ewing’s Top 100 Singles Of The 90s

At a pinch you could have imagined this shiver of wide-eyed, wide-pupilled kinder-folk being plucked out on guitars, with Kirsty Hawkshaw being contextually transformed into some wild, wildly annoying, forest sprite. That’s the beautiful – and frightening – thing about dancefloor music: the way the simplicity, regularity and purity of its sounds allow you to surrender to music that you’d otherwise take as cloying or dumb or worse. Even I, not somebody who usually needs excuses to embrace the obvious, would have baulked at the suggestion that a shinehead imp singing about how it’s “gonna be a fine night tonight” could be anything other than faux-Bjork gurgle.

But so it was and is: Hawkshaw’s vocals (later used by Orbital to career-best effect on “Halcyon”) are a fabulous fairytale coo, lilting atop a solid breakbeat dub backing. The effect is one of ravely reassurance – heard amidst the further-up, further-out frenzy of contemporary hardcore, “It’s A Fine Day” sounds even more special, a precious lullaby for a sleepless generation.