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Tag: 1993

PBB – Greetings Remix

Here’s something I ripped ages ago but then forgot about… I’ve had it stuck in my head the past few days though, so give it a listen! Classic track by a beyond-classic artist on an underrated label (Limited E Edition, the sub-label to Ibiza), this has a lot of the classic Ibiza elements down – crispy breaks, bleep synths, classic soul vocals (according to Discogs it’s the “let no man put asunder” vocal though I don’t remember this line?) , etc. Good stuff!

PBB – Greetings Remix

Theory – Funkin Since 11

Damn, back to slacking with the tune posts…. here’s an odd obscure-for-the-sake-of tune to make up for it. No idea about this one, other than I’d never seen it before so took a chance on it. It’s supposedly a US record (according to Discogs), though I don’t remember whether there was any indication about that on the record or if someone just made a guess when listing it on discogs. Music-wise, It’s a sampleadelic hodgepodge of various riffs, acid squelches, questionable vocals, etc; total “Throw the whole plate at the wall and see what sticks’ style. Also, the first sample in the tune sounds like the intro of the Liquid Aliens EP, might be the same source sample? Not sure what else to add really, it’s just an odd, fun tune that I doubt other people have heard, so give it a listen.

Theory – Funkin Since 11

Original DJ Vibes – Skin Up

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been motivated to post a tune on here. Last night I was rooting around a bit and found this tune, and couldn’t wait to play it in a DJ set.

Original DJ Vibes is a really underrated producer in my opinion, from earlier hardcore days through to jungle stuff (and even some early dnb if I remember right). He just cranked out tons of tunes (mostly on his own labels) during that time, and the hit/miss ratio is pretty damn good! This EP is no exception, with this tune in particular showcasing elements I like the most about 92-93 hc/jungle (the rugged experimentalism / “anything goes” nature) before things got a bit more stripped down and stabilized in the 94-95 era. Here, you get some good but standard elements like the ragga vocal and some of the pads and background sounds. But there’s also a weird water drip sound integrated in with the breakbeat, and the break itself sounds extra crunchy, leading this tune to sound maybe even a bit more 92 than 93. Finally, though it’s a minor detail, there’s a nice edit about 24 seconds in which reminds me of a rugged BRAIN RECORDINGS b2 side tune: one of those “so wrong it’s right’ type parts where an entire sequence is pitched up and down without regard to tempo, making everything go intentionally off-kilter for just a second. Love it!

Original DJ Vibes – Skin Up

The First Instalment – Enity A1

Here’s an interesting mega-obscurity supposedly on Entity Records. I’ve only ever seen two copies before. Gotta say, it’s one of these ones where you can kind of understand why it didn’t get a full release, but still it’s a fun tune with some nice moments and an absurd amount of samples chucked in the fray. Some of those samples are pretty nice, like the little timestretch break layered with the beatboxing most likely sampled from Kaotic Chemistry “Illegal Subs”, or the “Dedicated to all those who like it hot” line from MC Moose. Some a bit more ropey, like the extended Alexander O’Neil “If You were Here” bit. Probably not going to jump to the front of anyone’s wantlist, but a fun tune for sure if you ever chance across a copy!

The First Instalment – Enity A1

X Amount Crew – “can’t do it alone” [unreleased, 1993]

Some of you will know I’ve been planning to write this for some time…

I was inspired in part by fellow contributor Droid, who linked on Subvert Central about this fascinating article on reggae & acid house in the late 80s

LONDON ACID CITY: When the Two 8’s Clash — John Eden

Basically it’s time to post about this amazing unreleased tune I’ve had on tape for many years, that turned up recently (ish) on dubplate!

It comes from this radio recording I have of Brockie on a sunday evening, alongside MC Dett & Navigator, which I later narrowed down to a date of 5th Sept 1993. For the last tune of the night, Brockie drops from the top this pretty awesome ‘hardcore’ stomper, with clattering breaks and massive bass, and as it starts, Navigator on the mic says: Coming from the X Amount Crew… and it’s done by me the Navigator… 10"  dubplate pressure… And it goes out to the Flinty Badman — requested this one.

Later, on picking up the “The Victory” 12" and discovering it was something else, I assumed it was probably some other release I wasn’t aware of yet… With the advent of the internet, it wasn’t long until I stumbled upon the details of this, which finally solved the mystery, I thought:

Eventually, making an effort to track down a copy, and eagerly getting it on the decks at home, to my disappointment I discovered it was not on it! — although, not for long because turns out it’s four slices of top-notch tunage that, amazingly, I’d never heard before (does anyone know of any sets they appear in?)

X Amount Crew — Wild And Free EP
Close-up of Wild & Free EP

So, what does the Uncarved article cited above have to do with this unreleased tune? Well, it’s a fascinating insight into the intersection between reggae sound culture and the emergent rave scene in 1988, in particular going into detail about the north-east London based Unity Sound — and brought to my attention the fact that Navigator and Flinty Badman were both originally a part of.

This was somewhat of a revelation to me, and intrigued, I hit upon this article Navigator — The Evolution Of A London MC (and associated video) — which amongst other things revealed whilst on the sound he originally went by the name Specky Ranking "The" Navigator — explaining the credit on the Wild & Free EP (not two people like I had originally assumed!)

In addition, having risen to some notability with Unity Sound, and finding himself at a crossroads on how to continue as a vocalist, Navigator goes on to tell about hearing Lenny De Ice “We Are I.E.” for the first time, and the impact it had on him (a story he also relates in the documentary “A London Somet’ing”)

Rare image of Specky Ranks “The” Navigator toasting on the mic, with Unity Sounds

Then all of a sudden, I hear this track called "We Are Ie",
and I hear this b-line…
and I’m like yeah — that’s a proper b-line…
and that was the point when I was like, yeah — that’s what I wanna spit over

MC Navigator — from "The Evolution Of A London MC" [2012]

It’s interesting because when you listen to this unreleased tune (and the tracks on the Wild & Free EP), you can definitely tell an influence taken, that sort of – very saturated, enveloping bass, and crisp breaks right at the forefront, very much with a similar force of impact.

By the time of mid to late 1993 though, that prominent four-to-the-floor given as a counterpoint, reminiscent of “We Are I.E.”, was finding it’s way out of vogue, and with a change in the popular form of the music one can only guess a release was decided against, in favour of the more ‘jungle’ styled “Get Your Body” and the anthemic “The Victory” by DJ Dextrous.

It’s a shame in some ways that the music never stayed like this. On the other hand, we were given the classic jungle sound that became such a phenomenon that it’s hard to complain too much.

Of course, other members of Unity Sound would also play key roles in the development of jungle/drum & bass. Flinty Badman went on to form Ragga Twins with Deman Rocker, Peter Bouncer would lend his vocals to a number of important tracks, and even Ribs, the traditionalist founding selector of Unity Sound, would go on to receive credit for a tune on the celebrated “Champion Jungle Sound” compilation.

victory champion
The Victory 12″, and insert of Champion Jungle Sound LP

Interestingly, there may be a bit more to the story than this. One of the unusual things about the “The Victory” / “Get Your Body” release is there are two different catalogue numbers associated — side A is etched ‘XA002’, and the other – marked ‘XA001’ – has been gone over to make into a ‘2’. This suggests the possibility that this unreleased tune was infact the original intended ‘A’ side of this release, and that maybe some as-yet-undiscovered test press could well exist!

This is something borne out by the aforementioned dubplate having the “Get Your Body” tune on the flip – which, allegedly from Grooverider’s collection, moved surreptitiously on ebay into the hands of a nameless collector for a princely £££ sum…

So, without further ado, and incidentally making use of a choice sample taken from Philly-soul classic “At Peace With Woman”, I present to you my cherished clip, as broadcast live on Kool FM, late summer 1993. Enjoy!

NB. You can read more about UK sound culture, and the amalgamations pioneered by those such as the Ragga Twins, and indeed Shut Up & Dance, here:

DJ Kev – Happy Trax Vol 2

In preparation for Tim and I doing another darkside-meets-happy set (this time w/ me doing the happy stuff), here’s a happy favorite from quite early in the genre (93). I wish I could take credit for dredging this up myself, but I’m pretty sure it was in some Easygroove set or another, no doubt mixed with a german gabber track or ridiculous darkside tune. The elements here are simple but effective: an extremely loopy amen (no choppage here), a classic rave piano, that 28 gun bad boy fx sound, and a vocal snippet from Echo Minott – Murder Weapon (which received 2 volumes of its own jungle remixes on Jet Star), looped up in a catchy manner. That and MASSIVE bass which sort of helps you appreciate the skeletal nature of the tune (all the more room for that sub to break through). Another nice aspect of this tune is that the whole thing gets in and out quickly – the same few elements could have been tedious if this had been drawn out to, say, 6 and a half minutes, but at under 4 minutes it’s just long enough to mix properly but not long enough to get boring. A nice cheap fun bargain!

DJ Kev – Happy Trax Vol 2 B

Redskins & Dan Man – Don’t Worry

I’ll be the first to admit that, when it comes to what I post on this site, things aren’t exactly weighted with regard to actual jungle history. Though basically all this music is from that era, and there’s lots of cool and interesting stuff here (I wouldn’t bother posting it otherwise!), these tracks are all aggregated from the perspective of some weirdo US guy who has been collecting these tunes over many years removed from the pirate radio stations and huge UK raves taking place. As such, some tracks I post may happen to be popular, but by and large a lot of the stuff posted is just interesting to me based on its own merit, rather than its importance at the time. If anything, there’s a heavy focus on tracks which may NOT have been paid attention to back then.

Then again, every now and then you have tunes like this one, which I think everyone can agree are killer – from the most elitist “you-had-to-be-there-or-it-doesn’t-count” types, to people who care less about who played what when and just want to hear good tunes. This track typifies the early jungle sound pushed by labels such as Ibiza, Kemet and Redskins. Discogs says it’s from 92 but I’m thinking this might be more of a 93 track (or at least late 92) – it certainly featured more in 93 mixes to my knowledge. There’s not a ton going on here, but it all melds together perfectly – breaks layered up neatly (think plus a few more – soul pride? kool is back? someone help ID these), reggae vocals (singing not toasting), synths thick with vibes (not too dark not too happy just DEEEEEP), and an extended Malcolm X speech sample. Definitely a must have for fans of jungle looking to see where it all came from years before “Incredible” or stuff like that.

Redskins & Dan Man – Don’t Worry

Swift & Zinc – Other Side of the Moon

Here’s a personal favorite I’ve had for ages and ages, to the point I can’t even remember when and where I got it! I do remember it was in my first ever oldskool mix I recorded (alongside hyper-on, that cymbols of raveology tune and plenty of other stuff I’ve written about on this site) many many years ago – back when I was collecting but didn’t even have a proper DJ setup. It’s got a nice mixture of heavy amens ala most Brain Records stuff of the time, some unsettling and harsher sounds (machine buzzes, timestretched sounds which end up sounding pretty alien and dissonant), and a frantic “Come On!” sample chant taken frmo the end of that famous Public Enemy sample “…and you thought the beat slowed down….c’mon!!”. Along side these, there’s also some big breakdowns and dramatic pauses that give you a break right when you start to need one. In particular, the melodic breakdown towards the end with a vocal bit from Satoshi Tomiie – “Tears” (really nice use here) works well and adds more depth to the track. Considering those and some of the dramatic empty breakdowns, this tune almost starts to remind me a bit of some of Cool Hand Flex’s best productions of that era, though it still clearly has Brain Records Studio / Bizzy’s production style all over it. I dunno, am I crazy thinking that?? Regardless, big respect to Ben/Zinc and Swift on this one! Worth nabbing even if it ends up costing a bit more than your average new record.

Swift & Zinc – Other Side of the Moon

Persons Unknown – Release Yourself

Here’s a favorite of mine (aren’t they all?), on the Parliament Label which was Rob Haigh from Omni Trio’s label, and a sublabel of his in-house label, Parliament Music. According to Discogs, this release is by the crew who did the Skyo and Mak and DBL Productions tunes on the label. On Discogs and RDB, Syko and Mak are listed as Mark Birse (aka DJ Mak), and a guy named Simon McCutcheon. However, I remember chatting with Si 2 Bad (aka Simon Colebrook) at Bangface Weekender this year, and he mentioned this record was something he was involved in. So, I’m not quite sure what’s up, maybe all three of them were? The “proof” that it’s by McCutcheon and not Colebrook seems to trace back to this comment on youtube:

Simon McCutcheon 6 years ago
If anyone’s looking for original PM (Parliament Music) or Candidate vinyl reply to this message as I have some of the original vinyl still boxed up and never distributed.
Simon AKA Persons Unknown AKA Syko (Syko & Mak)

Producer identifies aside, “Release Yourself” is a cracking tune!! In fact, the whole EP is one of those nice versatile 92-93 EPs that provides great bang-for-the-buck, with four solid tracks each in a different style or mood. It’s as actually hard to pick which tune to post here, with the top two candidates being his one and A2, “Time To Get Raw Pt 2”. “Time to Get Raw” would normally be my top choice, since it features frantic break-work, laser sounds and intense scratching – a bit like a dystopic b-boy alien battle as captured by an amiga! Normally the crazier and more frantic a track is the more I like it. But this one wins out by a hair, just because it has a similar raw feel but the gritty breaks and fx are nicely balanced by catchy vocals and pianos, giving you both sides of the hardcore spectrum in one tune. Definitely one to look for!

Persons Unknown – Release Yourself

Elis Dee feat Tera – Can’t Believe It’s Real

Here’s a personal favorite from 1993. Ellis Dee really killed it from 92-95: the Ellis Dee Project, Rhythm Section stuff, those Whitehouse + related jungle eps. This is one of my favorites, done in conjunction with Tera aka Tobie of Serial Killaz. It was quite hard to pick a side to post – the flip is a choice extremely dark and moody 93 amen track. But this tune’s got to be the one – the break and feel are just a bit more distinctive and it sits nicely between either dark or melodic tunes.

Using the same sample as Potential Badboy – “Work the Box” (possibly sampling from it? someone please clue me in) but adding more elements on top including a little nice melody and a vocal sample saying “I, I can’t believe it’s real, I can’t believe it’s happening”. It’s pretty overlooked in comparison to some of his other 93-95 singles which can fetch a bit of cash, so well worth nabbing if you like your 93s.

Ellis Dee Feat Tera – Can’t Believe It’s Real