December 4th, 2013 by Pete
Been a while since I posted something sufficiently rare that it’s not even listed on Discogs! Here’s a wicked little ragga jungle record which fits that bill. What makes this EP interesting, aside from the scarcity and format (not many jungle 45s out there), is that it seems more from the dancehall/ragga scene than from the jungle scene. It’s possible a jungle producer was involved since the production is definitely better than, say, this record factory remix album, but I don’t see anything indicating who on the release. Also, the label claims this EP was “Made in Jamaica”, but the distribution company is listed as being in the UK. Maybe that’s just a fake-out and this is actually a pure UK product, but if not, it seems a bit unlikely that it would be produced in the UK, shipped to Jamaica for pressing (bearing in mind the target audience there would be limited since the whole EP is jungle), then shipped back and distributed in the UK?
Regardless of who was involved, “Jungle Ina Mi Heart” is definitely a pretty nice tune. Solid coldsweat/amen break combo, big bass which cuts through surprisingly well given the record format, and a few vocal chops and edits throughout. I definitely prefer the dub version, since that contains vocals but they’re much sparser and don’t dominate the tune as much. Both are pretty nice though. IF anyone has any info on who actually produced this, please leave the info here or feel free to correct the newly created discogs listing.
Blacka T – Jungle Ina Mi Heart EP
Rather than post one download, here’s both tracks in streaming format.
November 30th, 2013 by Pete
Oh my word… what a mix!!! DJ Stretch just played a set earlier tonight (Saturday) as part of Radio Frontline, and it damn near broke mixlr from all the comments and “likes” it was getting. Featuring practically all the big Tom and Jerry hits, including a bunch of unreleased dubplates and some unreleased remixes/edits.
For the few who don’t know, Tom and Jerry was an alias of Marc Mac and Dego of 4Hero / Reinforced Records. Unlike some of marc + dego’s other work which was quite deep, intelligent and introspective, the Tom & Jerry stuff was aimed strictly towards the dancefloor… so sharplly you’d think they were using a laser guidance system! From record one, these guys had a clear formula with these tunes: combine belgian style hoovers, euphoric rare groove and soul samples, ragga and classic female vocals, massively chopped breakbeats, and heavy duty bass.
This combination allowed them to knock out tunes in a frighteningly short amount of time; I forget the exact amount mentioned in interviews, but it was less than an hour per tune I think? possibly 30 minutes or less for some! Despite that, there’s quite a lot going on in the tracks, and just about every single one is an absolute anthem which ends up being a standout track in whatever mix its featured in. It just goes to show how, at least with dance music, purity of vision and strong simple ideas can really make for some of the best tunes rather than overwrought complexity.
As an indication how much of a MUST LISTEN this mix is, I’m not even posting my mix from this weekend (which was a bit random and not totally to my liking), and posting this set instead. You can dig around for my set if you want, and maybe I’ll post it eventually, but first listen to this and bask in the greatness that is “The Cat & Rat”!
November 28th, 2013 by Pete
I’m spinning tommorrow as part of Radio Frontline Weekender, kicking things off with Antidote and N-Flow (Ruffskool). Check out the lineup for this weekend, looks sick!! DJs and producers from Reinforced, Production House, Brain, Moving Shadow, etc etc. Click the link below to check the full schedule, then tune in tommorow on http://radiofrontline.net
Facebook Event (for updates + more info)
Radio Frontline Website
November 27th, 2013 by Pete
Last month Tim Reaper posted a Digital tune from Octopus Records here, and Droid (from weareie.com and sometimes writer here) pointed out how good the Override EPs are on that label. I’ve been meaning to post one of those and finally got around to it – definitely a personal favorite EP of mine for dark jungle of that era. Produced by Klute under an early alias, this tune is pretty in-line with his 95-96 material, especially reminding me of some bits of the Certificate 18 EP he did around then. This tune in particular almost sounds in parts like 94 darkside, were it not for the more laid back (dare I say jazzy?) elements and Life Could break. Even there though, that break isn’t used in a clunky later jungle/early dnb manner, more just another wicked breakbeat in another wicked track. Fans of early Source Direct/Oddysee, early dark Photek etc, pay attention! It’s also for sale online for under a pound so go buy a copy before you even click this link…
Override – Critical Phase
November 24th, 2013 by Pete
Been a while since I’ve posted a mega grimey obscure 92 white label, hopefully this one fits the bill. One for the anoraks and not-on-label crew, this EP is by god-only-knows-who (anyone want to fess up?) and ranges in tempo from almost housier speed on one track to full 92 hardcore. There’s a fair bit of variety to the tracks, though they mostly feature some pretty (most likely unintentionally) chaotic beat mashing, sounding like just about ready to fall apart at the seams but never quite doing so. This tune has more solid breaks than the others.. as the name might indicate, it’s got the solid sonic template of reggae sounds, blipppy bass, hip hop vocals and heavy duty breaks… always a solid combo in my book! Plus it’s actually not too pricey and easy to get, cheaper than any new EPs coming out for sure.
To make it clear, this EP is definitely NOT something I’d play a random listener to win them over to the oldskool sound, but if you like your hardcore extra grimey and rough-and-tumble, give it a go. There’s a fair bit of variety in the other tracks so feel free to check them as well on youtube.
Unknown Artist – Jahs Calling
November 23rd, 2013 by Pete
Here’s a nice somewhat hard to find tune courtesy of the Tim Reaper. “Mind Games” is probably one of Photek’s more well recognizable early tunes, done under his System X alias. Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, the sounds no doubt will: a 93-94 amen smasher with dub fx, deep atmospherics, and the classic Quest “Mind Games” bit from the end of that tune. This Cool Hand Flex remix seems pretty rare and is limited to a CD only compilation, rather than any vinyl releases. I wouldn’t say it tops the original(s), but that’s due to the strength of those originals and not any fault of the remix! It’s definitely a good tune by itself, featuring one of those trebly 92-94 De Underground/CHF Amens plus some ragga snippets and cold sweat breakbeat. Not sure why it never saw the light of day on a regular vinyl release? Either way, enjoy it here, and good luck tracking down that original CD it was on.
System X – Mindgames (Cool Hand Flex Remix)
November 20th, 2013 by Pete
Sunday’s radio show was pretty good. I was recovering from earlier in the weekend so it’s mostly laid back 94-95 with occasional jumps into amen smasher territory before dialing it back down. Unfortunately I didn’t keep track of the records at all and they’re in some random order spread across the crates near my turntables, so no tracklist for now. Maybe I’ll try to figure it out before refiling them all.
Dev/Null – Blog to the Oldskool November 17th, 2013
November 18th, 2013 by Pete
Blog to the Oldskool Rule #2:1 If I end up flaking on posting tunes for more than a few days, post a personal fav / real ripper of a tune when I finally get back to posting. It’s been 11 days since I posted a tune (a week since Tim’s last post) so, well… you do the math
“Non Stop” is a total bargain bin gem/ personal favorite of 94/95 jungle, by the guys behind Rude & Deadly (“give me a dubplate” etc). While the other Rude + Deadly / Da Dogz tracks seem much more frantic or jump-up-esque to me, this one is a bit more complex and moody, while still being extremely energetic in parts. Built off an instantly recognizable breakbeat+vocal loop (“come on!”) from Hyper-On Experience “Lords of the Null Lines”, this tune throws quite a few samples at you: the aforementioned hyper-on bit, think + kool is back breaks, several nice melodies and pads, Vivian Lee “Music is So Wonderful” vocal snippet (as used in Vibes + Wishdokta “Obsession”), some hip hop vocal bits (or maybe from a movie?), several unidentifiable-by-me ragga vocal bits… the list goes on and on.
All of these elements are deftly strung together and layered up, with some well thought out ebb and flow / push-pull to the track. Sections relax and get stripped down for a while, before exploding back with yet more frantically chopped sequences. There’s even little stabs of amen in there (attn: Tim Reaper). Finally, just when you think they’ve thrown every possible permutation of those samples at you and the track is fading out… in comes a nifty little coda at the end, in the way of some kind of 118 bpm dancehall/breakbeat thing.
This rip is a bit rough around the edges, but this tune is so cheap and wicked, NO EXCUSES: if your taste in 94-95 jungle is anything like mine, buy the damn thing! I might just go buy a second copy for when this one gets even more worn out.
Da Dogz – Non Stop
1 Rule #1: Don’t post stuff which is already sale digitally, and take tracks down asap if you see them put up for sale digitally later.
November 11th, 2013 by Tim Reaper
So for a change from all the dark/ragga roughneck amen jungle that usually feature in my posts (much to Pete’s disappointment), I thought it’d be good to post something from the “intelligent” end of the jungle spectrum. What I have picked is a fond favourite of mine, a tune by Dub Technicians aka A-Sides & Mikey James. Released in 1996, this mix of “Incognito” featured on a CD compilation on Quality Price Music, a label for Strictly Underground related compilations. The tune itself starts off setting a very understated vibe with sublime ‘whistling’ pads over rollout breakbeats & a simple 808 bassline. You soon realize why it’s named Incognito, when a sample of Incognito “Shine On” drops (already used in Blame’s mix of Justice – Soothe My Soul), playing the tune to make a new riff of it in the breakdown. This is where the tune takes it up a notch on the euphoric ‘hands in the air’ scale and gets your spine chilling & your neck hairs standing on edge while the track builds & builds, before calmly taking it back down to that original understated vibe.
Dub Technicians – Incognito (Rollers Mix)
November 7th, 2013 by Pete
Here’s another track I probably should have posted around Halloween, but forgot. I don’t really feel like waiting a full year until next Halloween to post it, so, here goes.
As the name indicates, “Child’s Play” is a classic 91 horror-themed breakbeat tune along the lines of tracks by The Psychopaths on Elicit or maybe That Freddy Krueger Holy Noise track. It might also be AKA that Child’s Play sampling hardcore tune which is ISN’T 150 Volts – Hi I’m Chucky. Release in the States on the Nu-Groove sublabel Rhythmatic Rage, it was made by Peter Presta, a well known NY house DJ who also released on labels like Strictly Rhythm and Nu Groove itself. This track was written in that magic couple year period where NY producers like Frankie Bones, Tommy Musto, Lennie Dee, Ralphie Dee etc were absolutey killing it with post-freestyle breakbeat-y house tracks, giving some of that energy that ended up in 92 hardcore but at a slower bpm. Aside from the Child’s play samples, there’s plenty of other familiar bits showing up – the “party!” chant and “whoo!” as used in a million house/techno tracks at the time (including Joey Beltram’s “Panic” which was released on the same label), “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose” break with some more bleepy electro sounds mixed on top. Really nice stuff, maybe a bit slow and skeletal for fans of later jungle but if you love your 90/91 stuff this will be surely be up your alley!
The Reel Master – Childs Play