A 90s Dance Music CD you could WATCH: HitzFour Ampfarm

Cover art - Hitz FM CD 'Ampfarm' showing a rendered Ant growing loudspeakers on a farm

It was September 2000, when Hitz Melbourne released one of their final compilation CDs – HitzFour Ampfarm. Like most CDs released by hopeful FM stations in that era, it had plenty of dance tracks.

But this one offered something more.

Before I get into that ‘something more’ let’s have a look at the artwork.


Well it was just over a year since the release of these two films, and I suspect there might have been a little inspiration in the air. What do you think?

DVD covers of Dreamworks Antz and Pixar's Bugs Life
Antz and A Bugs Life – released a year before Hitz 4: AmpFarm

Getting back to the CD itself, AmpFarm is the last of the double-CD Hitz FM compilations. Each volume (starting with HitzOne in 1998) featured an array of club, hip hop and pop hits, plus a megamix of songs.

Speaking of megamixes, after James Ash did the honours for the first 2 times, this 4th CD features a megamix by the men of the moment (back in 2000) – Smash n Grab. Andy and Glen released a bunch of singles and remixes under that name, before moving onto other groups and releases in the coming decade.

Following on from HitzThree’s mix of house, trance and Eurodance – HitzFour continues in a similar vein. 99/Y2K staples like Madison Avenue, Fragma and Amber appear, alongside artists like Soulsearcher, Timo Maas and The Vincent Price Project.

If anything I would have preferred a bit more pop/hip hop/indie stuff in the mix (like HitzOne’s track listing or The Original Hitz Volume 2). But later Hitz CD’s went very much in a house/trance direction, so there’s no point crying over… spilt… beats.

HitzFour Ampfarm – the documentary

But after all the music talk – this feature is about something else. A documentary. A ten minute CDROM documentary, called A Slice of Hiztory. It appeared on disc 1 of the release – and to get around those year 2000 technical limitations, had to be split into 2 halves.

The doco was hosted by Matt Orchard (The Australian Music Show) and produced by Rod Cuddihy (aka “The Talking Man”). It featured a number of (then) present and past Hitz volunteers, along with news clips featuring the station. They speak candidly about the early days of Hitz and the frustrating later years as lobbying and delays started to take their toll.

Here, for the first time – I present an updated version that combines the 2 halves into a single viewing.

Hope you enjoy this genuine.. ‘Slice of Hitztory’.

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Author: Gabe McGrath

Gabe McGrath is a radio creative and freelance writer. He helped set up 89.9 Hitz FM Melbourne in the 90s. This youth radio station caused a sensation and 30 years later many a 90s kid will smile when 'Hitz' is mentioned. Gabe is working on a book about that era and now blogs about Hitz Melbourne. GabeMcGrath.com includes tonnes of streaming audio recordings, photos, stories and behind-the-scenes info.

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