Dec 08


FT4 comments • 923 views

20. Praga Khan – Injected With A Poison

Like ‘The Magic Friend‘ earlier on, I found this a bit too intense on the first listen – acid squelching, whooping vocals courtesy of Jade 4U, and a scary man singing about poison. And piano breaks. And an underwater electric whisk. And one of those duck-calling kazoo things. Crikey! It was like the aural equivalent of the first time you ever mixed up cocktails using whatever you could find in your parents’ drinks cabinet*: spontaneous, tantalising, full of variety and enjoyably naughty, but quite harsh on the senses and inevitably made you feel a bit sick. Luckily I am now older and wiser and have the constitution of an ox when it comes to brain-melting Belgian techno, and DEAR SWEET JAYSUS this song is just brilliant.

Most rave tracks provide diminishing returns on repeated plays (see ‘On A Ragga Tip‘), but ‘Injected With A Poison’ still amazes me on every listen. The tempo is a whopping 149bpm**, a bit of a slap round the chops after woozy old Shut Up & Dance (I can hazard a guess which was more responsible for dudes ‘overheating’ in nightclubs). In an attempt to keep up, the constituent parts of the track each manage to build up to a crescendo in just four bars, before switching over to something completely different – like Praga Khan is trying to colour in the sections atlas-style so no two adjacent countries are the same.

To avoid the danger of spiralling off into the giddy whirlwind mess of ‘Everybody In The Place’, the track grounds itself every so often with a quick 4/4 ‘barp-barp-barp-barp’ to get its breath back. While there must be at least eight things going on at any one time, ‘…Poison’ manages to cement this kitchen-sink collection of noises and nonsense on to this titanium techno skeleton, allowing it to keep the momentum and power needed for Ultimate Bangingness.

I’m not surprised Mr Kahn has happily dined out on re-releases of this for the last 17 years – how on earth could he come up with something better? If I ever met him I would not only shake his hand but present him with a fvcking medal. This song makes me want to dig out Ableton and get cracking on some ferocious loops of my own.

The video is suitably eye-watering, with Amiga graphics and garish Global Hypercolours aplenty:


*Unless your parents are tee-total, of course. Then things end up a bit more like this because you’ve overdone it on the caffeine.

**If that’s not quite fast enough for you, try this.


  1. 1
    katstevens on 12 Dec 2008 #

    After all that gushing it probably won’t be a surprise that this is the song which inspired this project in the first place. At first I just wanted to dissect the song with a shiny critical scalpel and get to the nub of what exactly made it so awesome. Then I got a bit more ambitious and decided to attempt it for all the songs on Rave ’92. And then of course I end up waffling on about childhood anecdotes for 19 posts. Never mind!

  2. 2
    Billy Smart on 12 Dec 2008 #

    “Never mind”? You’ve chosen exactly the right way to do it, Kat! It’s going to be fun when Popular gets to the nineties…

  3. 3
    AndyPandy on 12 Dec 2008 #

    This was on one of the last Top of the Pops’s I ever remember watching and it was the period when the pop charts were being over run by hardcore (but nowhere near to the extent they should have been considering the majority of the tunes were either bought in specialist charts, listened to off mixtapes, off compilations or recorded off the pirates). This was a period when it was rumoured you could get in the Pop Top Ten with 10,000 sales and tracks like Acen’s ‘Trip II The Moon’ and The Scientist’s ‘The Exorcist’ just to take 2 examples were rumoured to have done 40,000 and barely grazed the top 50.
    Even so Record Companies/TOTP/Radio1 were running scared and brought in these crap rules that you had to recreate hardcore tracks live on the telly…basically impossible. And it was the time when IMO the charts lost their final shred of credibility and I never looked at them again.
    Oh and I’d give this an 11 if I could…

  4. 4
    Gareth Parker on 24 Jun 2021 #

    #3 = Andypandy – 11/10 for Praga Khan. I’d certainly go along with that and agree with you there.

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