Here’s a nice choppy amen tune by Deja Vu FM Don DJ D-Lux. Not much to say about this one, though it’s produced and written by DJ D-Lux, it’s on a Brain Records related sublabel and definitely has that brain studio drum production. I remember finding this one when buying records at Bizzy B’s studio years ago, and being really impressed by the melodic timstretched drums in the beginning plus the break chopping in general – really nice enjoyable stuff, coupled with a super simple but effecitve diva vocal line. Big respect to DJ D-Lux for this, he also did a number of other good releases on Brain (plus a 95 one called “Mr Bond” which I’ve got and like a lot).
Here’s a great 95 tune which is reasonably easy/cheap to find. Choppy but sparse intro beats roll along with C+C Music Factory Vocals on top (the same acapella as “through the vibe”, though diced a lot more here). Finally massive amens bash their way in alongside subby bass, crash accents and a number of spacey incidental / synth sounds. Really a cool track in my opinion, big and choppy but still spacious with room for mixing. Also, the more laid back & spacey synths end up contrasing nicely with the manic drums. Rough Tone (a label actually run by a member of UB40) is probably better known for their earlier releases, like DJ Ron’s Crackman Remix and Ellis Dee & Swan-E “Ruffneck Bizznizz”. I previously posted two early ones, namely TNT “Last Sucker Drops” and MC Lenny – AJD. However, some of these later jungle EPs are real gems as well, and reasonably easy to find (I see DJ Fallout “Storm Warning” and the Nut Nut EP for sale quite often). Definitely worth checking out!
Here’s a crazy dark jungle track I meant to post yesterday… apparently quite pricey these days too (copy for 100 pounds on discogs right now). Sky Joose did some great records on ibiza related labels, Slam! and well as Jet Star… this is one of the two Jet Star EPs he did. Not too much going on in the tracks, but everything you need – a beyond-classic Rakim sample, some ragga vocal bits, chopped amens and dark synths and effect sounds. I’ll never get sick of that tried + true combo, and I’m sure (based on the record scarcity) that I’m not alone! Sky Joose – Tales from the Darkside
Well, that was a nice vacation from posting… time to start chucking tunes up again though! Be sure to check the site next few days, I’m going to try to post a fair bit of stuff.
First up, a nice 93 track all about the drum programming/processing. Amens get pitched up and down, doubled up, timestretched, delayed with a tiny delay time, etc. For the bulk of the track there’s not even a pad in the background – just varied amen gymnastics with a solid break and big sub layered in. No idea about the artist behind this, I think he only had one EP out, however the label did a number of other great Eps (year of the dragon, ranski – dream of horns etc). All in all not the most mental thing ever but a nice change of pace from more melody or vocal dominated tunes and that break layered in with the amen is too good (ID please?) Da Dread – Subconscious Fears
Amen fans, today is your day… some serious 1995 choppy jungle here! No idea who wrote this EP, however I played the b side of this on one of my last jungletrain radio shows. that side is a great track for mixing, with a drop full of absurd pitched amen snare rolls… but the rest of the track doesn’t really live up to that first drop in my opinion, with the music sort of working it’s way down into more solid chopped breaks (good for mixing though). In contrast, this A side “Give it Up” is a bit more consistently crazy throughout. Mega chopped/delayed amen and cold sweat breakbeats fire away on top of some somewhat standard but still good atmospheric noises and vocal samples. A brooding synth drops in partway through, before it resolves back to the crazy breaks-plus sub combo. The track as a whole feels like it could use a lot more midrange (production-wise sounds a bit more 94 than 95), but it’s a serious tune and still sounds good enough when I blast it at home (haven’t heard it on a system). EOV – EOV001a
This is one of those personal favorites I’m a little reticent to post since it’s not an easy/cheap tune to find and isn’t so widely known. Luckily for you guys, I ripped this a while back and am too sick/busy/lazy today to rip something else, so up it goes. “Vision” is a deep 95 amen smasher by Big Vern who also did the Vicious Crew – No Politics EPs along with quite a few other great jungle eps (check that link for a better writeup on him/his other tunes). While the beats are well done in this track, it’s all about the music and atmosphere for me… a lengthy intro with creepy bells and pads, the classic “bad bwoy” ragga vocal sample firing away ontop, some layered think/cold sweat breaks keeping things tidy until the amen madness finally kicks in around 1:20… those main amens here are a bit trebbly, but that leaves plenty of room for some BIG sub bass booming away underneath and for it to build to eventually layering in the think+coldsweat intro breaks alongside the amen. Actually, I kind of wish all the breaks dropped together at once for maximum effect right at 1:20, but the way it’s written gives the track room to progress so that by the end it’s going pretty damn insane (layers of breaks pitching up and down, etc). Definitely one to look for!
Sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve been stuck with more audio ripping issues… digital clicks all over the place, both through a USB->audio preamp device (clicks whenever a reasonably loud signal goes through), and through a standard USB recording device (random digital clips). I *think* I’ve got it kicked now, using an old laptop which seems to handle audio a bit better… let me know if you hear any digital clicks in this rip though! (versus light surface noise + vinyl pops).
To make up for it, here’s a top favorite of all time – a wicked and bad tune by Intense aka Babylon Timewarp. This record (and this track in particular) are absolutely tip-top shelf jungle with moody pads, well layered breaks etc. “Time Space Continuum” is probably my favorite due to the melody and epic breakdown section taken from the movie “Army Of Darkness”. I’ve seen that movie a couple of times since getting this record, and every time now I have to rewind the scene featuring it to listen to that part again… secretly wishing the rest of this tune would kick in!
Intense did quite a few great records, starting with the Drowzee EP (“the tournament” is a longtime favorite), and continuing with this and the “Paradox” EP which are two of their better known early ones. They went on to do some more jazzy intelligent stuff on Good Looking, including some tracks with saxophone by (if I’m remembering correctly) one member’s dad? At least I think that was how the story went. Not as much my cup of tea as the harder earlier stuff, but some good tunes there nonetheless. Also, there was at least one later track I know of which harkens back to the darker, earlier sound: “Destruction”, off the Solar EP on GLR:
Pretty crazy this came out on GLR in the 00′s, huh? Definitely an underappreciated gem I remember playing nonstop when it came out.
More recently, Dan Duncan from Intense has been doing a minimal techno project called Pig And Dan which is quite popular (nice guy to boot!) Also, Sublogic issued a never-released tune by Intense two years ago, which is sort of a hybrid of the track I posted here and “paradox”. Unfortunately it’s out of print and seems to be going for a bit right now on discogs. Maybe Will has a copy or two kicking around though (I should probably check before posting this since I’m not sure if I ever bought that one!)
It’s Christmas Eve, rather than posting an X-mas track like Santa Hardcore and the 7 Midgets, here’s a totally crazy 95 amen smasher for people who don’t see their family much and are currently being reminded why. Some aggressive choppy intro beats lead to a vocal snippet of Robert Deniro from “the Untouchables”, crashing into some of the most brute force crazy low-bitrate amens I know of… not necessarily the most intricately sequenced, but just brutal chunky maximal break parts beating you over the head again and again. This one’s been a set-ender of choice for me recently, good for going out with a bang. Merry X-mas, will try to at least get one more post in before the new year.
Out of all the tunes I bought on this recent UK trip, this might just be my favorite… absolutely lurvely deep 95 intelligent jungle rumored to be by Jonny L (who did a remix for Boogie Beat around that time, so it’s not out of the question). “I’ll be there” has a nice melody which sounds like it might have been lifted from some detroit techno or house track (ID anyone?), coupled with frantically chopped amens restrained with filter trickery ala T Power’s output around the time. In addition to the filtering, the bassline is relatively sparse and spacious, leaving extra room in the tune and (for me at least) keeping it well within the realm of “intelligent” jungle/techno of that era. All in all, an amazing track which I’d rate alongside some of my favorite Good Looking tunes from then. Baraka – I’ll Be There
One for the deep choppy break crew…. 94 jungle track by the killer combo of A-Sides and E-Type. Released on Strictly Underground sublabel Rollin Records, “Analogue Pressure” combines heavily edited layered breaks with orchestra stabs, deep pads, and, as the title indicates, sick analog squelches. This sort of deep atmospheric 94-95 stuff doesn’t seem to get nearly enough props and seems to go for little compared to ragga jungle and rougher tunes at the time (copy of this currently on sale for 2.5 pounds OBO), no idea why as EPs like this are absolutely wicked and still hold up well. Great flow between the various sections of this track, of which there are quite a few (definitely not a “one trick pony” tune, or a “one trick” pony tune either)
Damn… why can’t I walk down the street tonight and hear stuff like this in a local club? TIME MACHINE PLZ K THX.
Comments, questions, unreleased oldskool trax to: Follow @blog2oldskool Blog to the oldskool Radio on Jungletrain.net every second and fourth wednesday of the month, 19:00-21:30 EST/1:00-3:30GMT Attn labels/artists featured on this blog: I run this because I love your music and want more people to know about it. If you want your track(s) removed, just email me and I will remove them right away.