Here’s a fun 92 tune I’ve been waiting to play in a mix, but since there hasn’t been a good opportunity and no tracks have been posted in a while, I’ll force myself to post it up in full.
I first came across this tune in a mix by the brilliant Chris DJ Sav (RIP). A lot of Chris’ later mixes focused in on super oddball, off kilter tunes with a strong “so wrong it’s right” feel (eg my personal favorite stuff). Plutone’s tunes highlights this well. Despite being released on some slightly more established labels, and seeming to be a relatively big german techno/rave act (I think they were on a big loveparade comp if my memory serves me right), a number of their tunes were super mental sounding, with buzzsaw synths and interesting change-ups. This one in particular goes from a more standard (but harsh) ravey melody, to a sort of brutal atonal pattern that sounds way harsher to me than most 92 stuff of the time… almost more in-line with some dark PCP type thing. Definitely NOT for everyone, but a cool track for those into darker more “out there” hardcore stuff.
Oh yeah, normally I try not to mess with the sound of posted tunes, but I’ve applied some compression to this one since the dynamics always felt a bit off to me…certain parts sounding way louder than others. Hope it doesn’t ruin it for anyone, but it definitely makes it a bit of a smoother listen for me. Plutone – The Damned II
Thanks to everyone who locked in on Sunday! As much as I want to post the sets up ASAP, I’ll give you a couple of nice tunes first, starting with this wicked 92 track by Rennie Pilgrim and (I assume) his brother. For me, this tune is all about the main breakbeat. It seems like, just a few years after this (94), everyone was mainly focusing on think, amen, sesame street and maybe 2-3 more “acceptable” breakbeats in various combinations. But in earlier tunes like this, you often had a wider variety of breaks present, including the main one which comes in 14 seconds in and ends up being layered with a classic amen variant. Perhaps this is because some of those earlier breaks might not scale up or sound as good when pitched to 165-170 bpm. Regardless, it’s certainly nice hearing them in this context. Aside from the breakbeat, this tune is chock full of classic rave stabs and samples that sort of careen from part to part. There’s not much in the way of subtle flow and delicate songwriting, just banging (and cheap!) 92 hardcore that is well worth checkingt.
Here’s a nice Bay B Kane related track that I’ve been into as of late, which I think is a bit overlooked – I certainly overlooked it until recently.
Even on the EP it’s featured on, at least two other tracks (“How should I Start” and the “Let Me Feel It Once More” remix) are much better known. Still, this tune is fun and has been great to throw in mixes as of late. The primary melody and vocals are from Subliminal Aura “Ease the Pressure (Hypnotic Trance Mix)”, but with killer Bay B Kane breaks-n-bass added in as well as some more bleeps. Definitely a fun surprise if you’ve got this record for the first two tunes but want something different to play.
Here’s a cool 92 one-shot release by a one-shot artist. Nothing too mad, just nice hooky samples bordering on novelty but still within reason for me, plus good changeups and solid production for a 92 one-off EP. If I remember right, this was on my wantlist for quite a few years, nowadays it seems a lot cheaper than it used to be but it’s still not a bargain bin track. I guess more people are seeking out the rarest stuff and the more atmospheric jungle style tunes, so some 92 whitelabel type releases like this get overlooked. Shame since both sides are belters – the flip has a catchy hiphop sample and some fun programming, but this is the one for me. Aside from standard hardcore stabs and breaks, you get vocals from Ecstasy – “Don’t Play Me”, and of course the cheddar vocals from Ultravox – “Hymn”. No idea on the artist behind it, anyone got some info? Regardless, a good solid 92 obscurity to keep an eye out for. Zeno Zip – Mind Games
Here’s an underrated whitelabel that used to get played by Brockie and Randall, but I don’t really hear many people playing now. I think maybe Ben Nebkins pointed me to it? Or maybe I grabbed it on my own, I forget now. Either way, it’s not one that would stand out if you’re looking for the craziest, most mashed up or hands in the air tunes out there. Instead, it’s slightly more understated, with this B side being my pick of the two tracks. Utilizing classic vocal snippets from Candi Stanton (also used in Altern8 – Infiltrate 202) and Jocelyn Brown (as in Bizarre Inc – I’m gonna get you), this B side gives us slower, chuggy hardcore with layered breaks, snare rushes, bleeps and bells. Good stuff that stands the test of time well.
Here’s a nice never-before-released tune from 92 which I saw posted a few places (b2vos, discogs)… definitely worth nabbing while it’s available. Originally the artist wanted to do a limited vinyl press, unfortunately I don’t think the demand was what he wanted. As mentioned in the last post, 92 stuff doesn’t seem to be as popular as it was just a few years ago, with a lot of people focusing on later jungle. Still, this is a wicked track, and I’d definitely buy a copy if it ever made it to vinyl. For now, the artist has graciously provided WAV downloads, so I suppose anyone really committed to vinyl can get a dub cut. Continue reading… DJ Cherokee – Headstrong
When it comes to various oldskool styles 90-2000, it’s no secret that 1994-97 stuff has been getting a lot more shine these days. It used to be 92 was all the rage, then darkside seemed kind of trendy for a bit, now anything atmospheric / vibey is the one. That’s not to take away from any of these styles, I love them all and especially play a lot more 94-96 since it’s a lot easier to fling in a mix without outlandish key clashes etc. But lately I’ve been missing full on 92-for-the-sake-of 92 stuff. So here’s a few posts in that style. Nothing “Beautifully crafted”, just fun crazy rave-y tracks.
To start, this track is by Nick Power of the famous “Music Power” shop. Nick was an underrated producer who did a ton of good tunes, all of which were on smaller labels (including ones he ran himself). Of those tunes, this is probably one of the most sought after. I never bothered to buy it before since it was always pretty rare and pricey, and I always considered it more than a bit cheddar. But someone recently threw a copy of the later bootleg pressing in with an order I received (Thanks man!), so I gave it a few plays. Sure enough, it’s not a shabby tune. Solid samples, good sound even on the bootleg (ripped here). Really, it comes down to whether that “Cops” themesong bugs you or you think it’s kind of fun. It definitely seems like the sort of thing which might be corny or groan inducing at first, but if you hear it enough in a mix could get stuck in your head easily.
Nick Power has some interesting stuff to say about it on discogs:
This is a track i put together in an updated drum n bass style back in the day. Only 500 pressed to test the water, as i sent this to the producers of the USA TV show “COPS” in the hope that they would use it as a new ‘kooler’ theme tune, and that i would make 6 or 7 pounds. I never received a reply, and the track never got a general release.
I wish i had some left then maybe i could have made 8 pounds now at least.
Teknicks Dex was a tekno track that i put together in 2 mixes. So titled from Take Nick’s Decks. Touch ’em and i’ll kill ya!!
I may be slacking on tune posts lately, but when I do post them I mean business… this tune is a personal favorite discovery of mine from recent time: totally underappreciated / unknown 91-92 style bleepy acidy breakbeat stuff. What makes this tune for me is the combination of aforementioned sounds with sinister pads, weird noises and creeping strings: I’m always a sucker for dark tracks like this. Absolutely no clue on who Ross Pehenallas is, I’ve never seen this tune in any mixes etc (though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s an unknown ID request *somewhere*), no other releases from the artist or label. The other tracks are all pretty solid acid-y hardcore if I remember right, nothing too extreme and all a bit more 91 tempo, but good stuff. Perhaps that’s the issue, as this is dated in discogs as being released in 93. If it had been released then, it might have been a bit tougher to fit with other tunes. But regardless of that, this tune… wow. All glorious snaps crackles and pops left in as there’s NO reason not to nab it since it’s ridiculously cheap and easy to find. Frankly, I’ll be a little bit insulted if I check Discogs marketplace in a few days and don’t see at least one or two of these sub-2£ copies gone. Ross Phinellas – Aboriginal /blog/audio/Ross Phinellas - Aboriginal
Here’s a 92 track I’ve never heard anyone talk about / haven’t heard in mixes, but which was on my wants list for years. It wasn’t a top want so I wasn’t heavily digging for it, but I never really saw copies for sale either. Sort of one of those smaller tunes which seemed to have disappeared into the ether. That all changed around October of last year, when a ton of copies started to show up online, all from one Discogs seller. As of writing this there’s 25 unplayed copies for sale, all listed at 2.99, all from the same seller who sold me mine back then. So I guess anyone else who wants a copy won’t have to wait as long as I did.
Tune-wise, this EP is fun and ravey 91-92 type stuff – nothing too out there or grimey sample-or sequencing wise. Nice stab patterns combine with a snippet from the classic Loleatta Holloway “Love Sensation” acapella and the Terminator breakbeat (I forget its real name) in a not-atypical but definitely enjoyable way – a solid mixing track for sure. The artist and label behind this did a few other similar EPs which were a bit earlier and hence even more in the 91 hardcore mold, also decent but I don’t rate them as much as this tune. They’re a bit tougher to find, but who knows, maybe some boxes of those will show up some day as well?
In case hardcore hip hop isn’t your bag (per yesterday’s post), here’s a favorite hardcore tune I found thanks to an ID which Nebkins got for an Easygroove mix… Yet again, Dennis Easygroove coming through with the absolutely wicked obscure selection. Lots of DJs were digging back then but it’s especially amazing what sort of records Dennis was pulling for his sets… one of the reasons he’s possibly my favorite DJ from back then.
The EP this tune is on is otherwise a bit more of a electronic/dub affair, but this tune in particular is a great acid ragga hardcore jam. The overall tone of the track is pretty understated, with a nice repetitive laid-back breakbeat (more live drumming than heavy processed hiphop break), and classic dubby bass. However, there’s tons of other elements stacked on top: mental acid squelch lines, strained synth flourishes, rhythmically gated vocal snippets and choir samples, lion roars, even a doppler effect (the physics principle not the artist) noise. It’s like the “everything but the kitchen sink” hardcore principle at work, but with the added benefit that all the elements fit together perfectly well and the result doesn’t sound too busy or frantic. As a final bonus, due to the obscurity factor, this one is cheap: right now there’s 2 copies for a pound each and 2 US copies for $2.50 (shame I already own it… tempted to nab these and resell to friends around here). This track might still be a bit less “full-on” than some hardcore fans prefer, but to my ears it’s a total gem and something I’d love to work into in any late 91/early 92 style set. LS Diezel and Launch Dat – Rougher Than A Lion