Back on the 25th May, summer was taking hold, the moon was waxing, and it was time to throw all cares to the wind and bounce around to old breakbeat records, so I posted a mix of hyped up, ragga-flavoured tunes of the broken persuasion. A lot of people said they liked it and some were unwise enough to ask for more. So here we are at midsummer, with the moon waxing again, the Dog Days fast approaching, and an introspective, waning-moon industrial mix under our belts; it feels like it’s time for another breakbeat mix, this time of more recent vintage and of an even more banging nature.
This is a mix of breakbeat for big rooms — arenas even. The tracks are maximalist, flavoursome, dirty and above all huge fun. Where the reference points for the tunes on the last mix were ragga and hip-hop, here it’s funk, acid and, with not a trace of irony, hard rock. While you can mosh to many of these tracks as much as dancing to them, this is not music for acid teds. As with all great pop music, whether Sinnitta or Sonic Youth, Sister Sledge or Psychic TV, there’s a cartoon element to this music which absolves it of any responsiblity other than to evoke that transcendence that comes from dancing about like a loon and bumping into strangers.
Breakbeat’s not hip. But as the blogerati know, it’s no longer that untouchable, following John Eden’s widely read defence of it. As he said at the time, “It isn’t cool, but I worry about people who worry about that stuff. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” I seem to remember Simon talking about breakbeat sharing many of the same features as our beloved ‘Ardkore: music that’s functionally designed to generate a buzz, a low-brow, orgiastic impertinence that revels in sounds and effects that are bound to irritate many listeners, while inducing grins of recognition from its targets. I therefore wanted to do a mix of favourite breakbeat pile drivers that emphasised the textural connection with ‘Ardkore without going the ragga route. Instead, the tracks in this mix represent a battle between funk and rock for the possession of dance music’s soul, with acid refereeing. It’s a blast.
Big Room Breakbeat
Kasha Ft. Sarah Nelson: U
Classy hyperkinetic soul to start off.
Leftfield: Dusted (Si Begg Mix)
Yes! The Leftfield plodder from the LP no-one listens to gets twisted into industrial funk mentalism by hit-n-miss studio genius Si Begg.
Basement Jaxx: Jump’n’Shout (Boo Slinger Dub)
The extra ruff mix. Familiar I know but there’s some interesting wrinkles here…
HardKnox: Come In Hard
From one pub in Brixton to another. Absolutely mental heavy metal mash-up. I fucking love Hardknox.
Dylan Rhymes: Naked and Ashamed
No I never heard anything else by him either, but this is the apotheosis of hard rock acid house.
S.I. Futures: I’m the Bomb (Grievous Angel Edit)
The revenge of the funk. Awesome track. Dude.
Fatboy Slim: Michael Jackson
Saint Norman — who is still the most fun and therefore the best non-reggae DJ I’ve ever seen — in fine Negativ-land-sampling style.
Plump DJs: The Funk Hits The Fan
I’ve danced around the kitchen with my wife to this track more than anything else in the past year. That’s really all you need to know about this one.
Plump DJs: The Gate
This is just a buzz track. Nothing else. It’s pure ear-candy. Obviously it’s just a re-working of an extremely well-known acid breaks track but that kind of versioning mentality tjust makes me love it all the more. Originality is the enemy of creativity in dance music.
Chemical Brothers: Loops of Fury
Just another huge, pounding, head-shredding buzz track. With extra guitar solos. It’s the dance music equivalent of Deep Purple’s Highway Star (the version on Live in Japan). The corruscating Hammond lines are replaced with wave upon wave of overdriven synths, and it’s just killer.
Way Out West: King of the Funk
Under-rated act, Way Out West. Must’ve been that shite trance mix CD Nick Warren did. Still, this is a fabulously funky integration of dance music and metal.
Si Begg Vs T Power: I Like That
Something twisted beyond all recognition to bring you down.