#6350 – Wayne G ft Stewart Who? – Twisted
(12-inch single, 1997) (Discogs tracklisting)
“Excuse me. Do you fuck as well as you dance? Are you as hot in the bedroom as you are on the dance floor? Oh really? See ya. Later.”
As I recall, Wayne G was the Saturday night main room DJ at Heaven, while Stewart Who? wrote acerbically about the London gay scene for QX Magazine. Thus they were in prime positions to observe, document and satirise the pumped-up, drugged-up, sexed-up Bacchanalia which surrounded them every weekend, as gay London club culture approached some sort of apex of freewheeling, devil-may-care mayhem and excess, before the laws of diminishing returns started kicking in towards the back end of the decade.
Unlike any other records that it would have been mixed into at the time, almost all of which were lyric-free, “Twisted” has a story to tell. The title of the main mix places the action at a specific time and place – 6am at Warriors, the none-more-hardcore Sunday night/Monday morning successor to the legendary FF sessions at Turnmills in Clerkenwell – but in reality, it could have taken place at any one of more than a dozen regular club nights.
Above Wayne’s generically banging hard trance backing track, Stewart intones, with lethal accuracy, the deadpan internal monologue of a wasted, greedy, narcissistic, superior, misanthropic and ultimately lost soul, shirtlessly spinning beneath the lasers at peak time, his only priorities in life pared down to sex, drugs and dancing.
The effect is both comic and unsettling. Comic, because those of us on the scene at that time – and I was absolutely one of them – could recognise this character instantly. Unsettling, because his thought processes veered rather too closely to our own, at our worst moments. If the most effective satire holds up a mirror, then this wasn’t a mirror that anyone would want to stare into for too long.
Or, as the back sleeve chirpily put it, in big bold type: “Once In A While, A Track Comes Along That Everyone Can Relate To… This Is It!”
Completing the original 12-inch package, there’s an accapella, an instrumental and a wholly reworked remix of considerably lesser impact.