Jul 15


Popular35 comments • 3,103 views

#887, 13th January 2001

ruidasilva This Cassandra beats her mythical namesake: people demonstrably listened to her, it’s just hard to remember what she sang. You’d have been forgiven for thinking the allocation of dance number ones at this point was working on something like a quota system: a slot needed to be filled, every twenty or so weeks, and some arcane quango had landed the job of deciding exactly which tracks would qualify. So “Dooms Night”, “Sandstorm”, “Kernkraft 400” all narrowly missed the top, and Rui Da Silva gets the nod. But really there’s no mystery as to how “Touch Me” got here – it was a clubland hit, and doomed attempts to clear a Spandau Ballet sample meant it had plenty of time to build demand such that 70,000-ish people nabbed it when it did finally get a wider release. The rest is simply luck, and a gap in the schedules.

“Touch Me” is a humdrum, overcast track, which threatens to build to something but then backs off into a noncommital house throb. Cassandra’s vocals are full-blooded but her melody is monotonous – her one-note drilling on “we can only understand what we are shown” is the weakest excuse for a hook we’ve met in a while. There’s more to like about Da Silva’s ominous backing, with the “Chant No.1” sample a ghost in the mix, though its presence wouldn’t suddenly have turned “Touch Me” into a classic. The video finds a crew of fetching urbanites crowding into a flat for a smeary, faintly druggy house party: just as this aspirational fun starts getting sexy, some sod heads up to the roof for a bit of fire poi. Appropriately disappointing for this false start of a record.



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  1. 26

    Apart from the rather Hallmark intro, surprised how much I like this one considering how slushy, unimaginative and drawn-out I thought this genre had become by now. And this is very adult, tasteful mock-Renaissance architecture compared to the winning brutalism of Sandstorm and Zombie Nation. But there’s enough Balearic/Iberian/whatever menace and passion in this one, however contrived, for a generous 7. You can divide that by 7 if it was summer 2001 #3 hit Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the Sky. Hell fire, dancey trancey stancey things of that ilk are so take-me-to-church cynical they make me physically sick.

    Footnote: Rui da Silva is the first artist on Popular since Jim Diamond whose physical form I had absolutely no idea of. Until I Googled what he looked like today. Christ on a bike! He looks like a Portuguese Stuart Maconie! Open letter to the world: if such a thing doesn’t exist, please don’t ever invent it.

  2. 27

    “Lembre-se de Vesta ferver-in-a-bag frango piri piri e Raleigh Chopper Bikes na forma de hattrick de Eusebio contra a Coreia do Norte? Eu amo 1966.” :D

  3. 28
    Chinny Reckon on 6 Aug 2015 #

    “There’s more to like about Da Silva’s ominous backing, with the “Chant No.1” sample a ghost in the mix, though its presence wouldn’t suddenly have turned “Touch Me” into a classic.”

    The ‘Chant no.1’ sample is in the original mix on my (full release, UK) vinyl. It’s in this radio edit as well.

    According to this , http://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=2854 Rui Da Silva was fined for unauthorised use of the sample, but where was it removed? Am I missing something?

  4. 29
    STEVEN S on 6 Aug 2015 #

    I have never heard it before in my life (and I’m not particularly into dance music), but this is great, so moody and atmospheric. Pure pleasure for the ears. I’d maybe give it a 9.

  5. 30
    Ricardo on 9 Aug 2015 #

    As a Portuguese (and living in Portugal at the time; still am), I can tell you this: even with a previous bonafide club smash in his hands (along with DJ Vibe in 1994, with “So Get Up”, using the Underground Sound of Lisbon moniker), no one apart from the club cognoscenti knew Rui from Adam around these shores in 2001. With all the news filtering from the UK and as “Touch Me” reached the summit, he was suddenly turned almost into a national hero, with mainstream media in a rush to interview him and the song reaching saturation airplay at radio.
    With Rui drifting back underground with time, he duly lost that mainstream attention in Portugal too. But for a good three years, believe me: Rui was being treated like royalty whenever he got the chance to go back and visit his own motherland.

  6. 31
    Edward Still on 10 Aug 2015 #

    I must say I quite like this in it’s released form, which is the only form I have heard it in. Atmospheric and yearning and the comments about listening on headphones anx it being perfectly suited to a wibter release from up thread are spot on.


  7. 32
    Sausagebrain on 11 Aug 2015 #

    This is the first number one of my lifetime that I have no memory of. None whatsoever.

    And it will take a lot more listens before I remember one thing about this flavourless, plain Ryvita of a number one.

  8. 33
    Erithian on 15 Aug 2015 #

    Have to admit I was struck by this comment on YouTube: “This video captures everything at that time and place. The loft parties, the vibes, the intimacy of a small party like that where you knew everyone there but not too well to rule out a hookup after a lil MDMA, watching the sunrise in the cool cover of morning dew. My 20s… ”

    Like so many YT comments it just shows you can be nostalgic for anything if you were the right age for it. But although “you had to be there”, and although this track features clichés I’ve always disliked – that ubiquitous five-stab house-piano phrase, the psst-psst in your right ear – I found myself quite enjoying it by the end. Liking the insistence of the “one-note drilling” vocal Tom refers to and the deployment of the Spandau sample. Maybe I’m just in a receptive mood this morning. Don’t recall it from the time at all though.

  9. 34
    Handynummer Orten on 31 Aug 2015 #

    Cass with Rui da Silva is being re-released on October 30th. Cassandra Fox left Island Records, and decided not to move forward with the re-release of Touch Me. She went on the Faithless Tour instead.

  10. 35
    Rich on 30 Dec 2015 #

    #14 “Boys And Girls” by Pixie Lott climbed 73-1 about five years ago, and I’m quite sure it hasn’t been beaten since.

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