Garage Tape 2000

I’ve been promising this for ages. Now the Devotional Dubz mix is finally out – thank god, took forever! – I can start clearing out some of the backlog of other, less vital mixes. First up is my first ever 2step mix, even predating the Abstract 2Step mix. It’s from – as you can tell from the pic of the sleeve of the tape – August 2000, so it’s from when most of the classics had come out and the scene was turning very 4×4 (as chronicled on the 4×4 Heaven mix) and very aggy, as the police shut off all the garage raves, and scene turned into grime, and later, dubstep. Oh and house as well, with brilliant DJs such as DJ Roo going house, never to return – wonder if he’s bought Do You Mind yet…

So, this is a live mix, off tape – dubbed to my Mac via my lovely new toy, a mint condition Nakamichi CD2 tape deck, which I have plans for! – and therefore done all in one take, live, no edits. In fact I had to turn the tape over half way through, irritatingly in the middle of It’s a New Dawn. So that’s actually one edit then – I wasn’t going to leave a gap was I? So the mix isn’t perfect, there’s a couple of clatters, and the sequencing isn’t as neat as I would have liked, but it’s still a massively vibey little piece. And there’s some tunes in there that I’ve never really heard anywhere else – they’re all probably old news to someone like Ben UFO, but In the Air Tonight (yes a cover of the Phil Collins song and Belaeric classic!), Rinse Out and Bad Acid weren’t big on radio at the time and don’t seem particularly canonical. Sadly I don’t have access to most of these tunes since they’re all in storage for the next few months, so I can’t redo the mix, but I think you’ll really, really enjoy this little thing. In fact, this tape has been a car journey favourite for me and my wife for the last eight years and surely there’s no higher recommendation than that.

Get it HERE. 170Mb 320.

Tough 2Step Mix August 2000

DJ Chubbstarr & A. Fernandes feat MC Preshus: Rinse Out (1999)

Same People: Dangerous (1998)

Missy Elliott: She’s a Bitch (1999)

M Dubs feat Lady Saw: Bump’n’Grind (1999)

Ramsey & Fen: Love Bug (1997)

The Bomb Squad: Bad Acid (1999)

DJ Zinc: Super Sharp Shooter

Carlito’s Revenge: Real Man

DJ Zinc: 138 Trek (1997)

Carlito’s Revenge: Jump Up

Section 13: Freak the Funk (2000)

<can’t remember> It’s a New Dawn (Feelin’ Good) remix

Sevi G / Groove Chronicles: In the Air Tonight (1998)

Dem 2: Baby You’re So Sexy (Big Time Scary Dub Mix) (1999)

<can’t remember>: Let it roll

Two Ton Bad Boy: Worries In The Dance (1999)

Basement Jaxx: Jump’n’Shout (Dem 2 Remix) (2000)

Artful Dodger: Woman Trouble (1999)

If anyone can fill in some of the blanks I’d be grateful…

Devotional Dubz Mix Volume One

The first Devotional Dubz mix is now up on the FACT Magazine site. Do please check it out. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Here’s some backstory.

In the summer, I put out Lady Dub, the first of the Devotional Dubz series of dubstep / dark garage refixes of r’n’b tunes, which was the counterpart to the harder ragga techno styles on the double album, Belief is the Enemy, that was released at solstice. Lady Dub is a refix of D’Angelo’s nu-soul classic Lady, or rather of DJ Premier’s remix of it; it turned out to be fairly popular, helping to propel the garage revival that we’ve seen this year. It also offered a different vision of dubstep, one that reaffirmed the form’s original tolerance for sweetness and vocals while offering the biggest booming 808 sine waves I could manage.

Each Devotional Dubz release will have a DJ mix that acts as a kind of sonic manifesto; therefore the first one focuses on the other side of dubstep, the landslide, horsepower, mala side that traces a lineage back to soul and dancehall and broken beat, just as jungle traced a lineage back to r’n’b as much as to bashment. It includes exclusive refixes and blends of r’n’b tunes, alongside unreleased Grievous Angel garage tracks that have previously only been heard on Blackdown’s Rinse show, and some special edits of dark garage classics. It’s lush, it’s spacey, it’s skippy, and at the end it’s unremittingly heavy, but all the way it’s pure garage flavour.

Turn it up and feel the sunshine. Volume two will be out in a few months when I’ve got some funky stuff out of the way.

00:00: Jill Scott: Slowly Surely (Grievous Angel’s Erzulie Edit)

02.20: Craig Mack: Brand New Flava (Grievous Angel’s Iron River Edit)

05:19: Grievous Angel: Lady Dub

08:07: Jill Scott: Watching Me

09:30: Vaccine: Wishful Thinking (VIP Mix)

12:03: DJ Abstract: Touch

15:18: Jill Scott: Crown Royal (Grievous Angel’s Fucking In Sunshine Edit)

17:07: Jill Scott: My Love (Grievous Angel’s Deeper, Tighter Edit)

19:29: HorsePower Productions: Gorgon Sound

21:56: Grievous Angel: Lady Dub (2Step Remix)

25:10: Groove Chronicles: Be Happy

28:09: Grievous Angel: What We Had

31:47: El B: Bison

31:58: Groove Chronicles: Faith In You

34:13: Dru Hill: Freak Like Me (El B Remix)

39:11: El B: Two Thousand

40:34: Our Lady of Rage: Afro Puffs

42:00: Grievous Angel: I Love Dem

49:13: Ends

New mix – Social Circles Bizzle

I’ve been caning old 2003-era Social Circles gear recently. I just can’t enough of it – that moment when garage had turned grimey but wasn’t quite grime, was feeding into what would become dubstep, and was utterly banging and incredibly danceable. Following the brilliant 2step revival that we’ve seen this year I would really like people to make more in this style. It’s bloody hard to do though.

Anyway this mix is nice and short at 25 minutes and is all decks, no Live and no FX, and though I say so myself it’s fucking great music. Give it a go.

Here.

Tracklisting:

Sticky – Who Are You (2004)
Sticky – Boom Shell (2003)
Mr Fidget – Fidgestrumental (2003)
Simon Sez – Shut Your Mouth (2003)
Donae’o – My Philosophy (Bounce) (2003)
Sticky – Ganjaman (2002)
Sticky Feat. Viper* – I’m On The Mic (2003)
Maxwell D – Serious (Jameson Remix) (2001)
Sticky Feat. Viper* – I’m On The Mic (Instrumental) (2003)

Soon come: a techno-y dubstep mix (when I can work out what the track listing is!), a Devotional Dubz special (for on the wire… if they get themselves sorted out, otherwise I’ll just stick it up!!), another garage mix, a VIP Grievous Angel mix for Electronic Explorations (delivered), a mix for the Boomnoise and Pokes show (delivered), a grime mix (was nearly done… then I got a load of new records) and probably a Narrows style 4×4 mix cos I’m using those tunes to teach my seven year old how to mix :). Plus a couple of very, very special ones I can’t talk about…

Lady Dub is back from pressing plant, out soon

Tons of boxes

I spent a delightful day at the distributor yesterday, stamping and marking each and every Lady Dub in the world. The finished vinyl was back from the plant a bit quicker than we expected so I hotfooted it over to Manchester – and there they were! Box after box of beautiful, crisp virgin vinyl. 

 

Each copy now has the Devotional Dubz logo stamped on the bag (quite a nice bag for a plain white, actually), together with a mark on the centre. Most of them are like the pic below – “Lady” or “Lady Dub” in ink on the a-side, plus a somewhat distorted, flaked out logo stamped on the b-side.

The majority have some level of unique marking. For example quite a few just have this written on them:

Tat says “Rollage” in case you can’t make it out. There’s a bunch of different stuff. 

It took hours, but it was worth it. I did debate with myself about whether it would be better to leave them as pure whites with just the logo on the bag. But in the end I decided more was actually more in this instance. The image on the bag does actually look really good – as you can’t quite see judging by this pic:

And the distorted logo on the label looks great, I think:

Lets hope this one sells – I’m mad keen to get on with the next two.

Belief is the Enemy is IN THE SHOPS

Yeah – it’s out, a couple of days early!

Sounds of the Universe calls it a “Dazzling and timely fusing of genres from dubstep to techno, uk garage to bashment”, which is flattering. It’s certainly a fusing of genres. There are samples of We Want You, Lickle Friction (sounding surprisingly banging!) and 1985 Style up there as well

Naturally it’s in at Boomkat as well. The write up is quite good. “Contrapuntally slender snares” indeed! I should say, for the record, that I have never knowingly had ANYTHING to do with IDM in my entire life.  It’s a garage ting!

It’s in at Forced Exposure in the US as well.

What a blast! Bang on the solstice season too. There should be a couple of radio shows coming up soon where you can hear these tracks as well as some tasty new things. Plus there’s an On The Wire special for Devotional Dubz. Lady Dub should be out during the Dog Days.

Huge thanks to everyone who’s bought this already (yikes! some people already have!!! amazing…) and to Matt at Electrik Dragon for believing in the music.

Grievous Angel presents Belief is the Enemy

The first Grievous Angel album is called [b]Belief is the Enemy[/b].

It’s out on 27th June on Elektrik Dragon, through Baked Goods.

It’s a two disc set: the album comes with a mix CD, called [b]Believe in Dub[/b].

It’s a proper album. There’s a load of different flavours here… pounding hard techno-y gear, sweet soft dubstep rollers, dubby garage, bashy stuff, grinding industrial riddims. And a bunch of tracks with Rubi Dan, the MC from Heatwave, the famous London dancehall crew. He’s a BAD MC.

You can hear previews of the tracks at [url]www.myspace.com/grievousangelsoundsystem[/url].

Track listings are as follows:

CD1: Belief Is The Enemy:

1. We Want You 138. Deep, lush dubstep
2. Lickle Friction 138. Hard industrial dubstep
3. Gone, Gone, Gone 138. Deep-space dubstep
4. Immigrant 138. Twisted industrial dubstep breaks
5. 1985 Style 100. Dancehall
6. Long Gone Dub (With Rubi Dan) 138. Soft, spacey dubstep
7. Move Down Low (With Rubi Dan) 120. Banging ragga techno with MC
8. Culture Killer (With Rubi Dan) 130. Banging ragga techno with MC
9. Soundman Tribute 138. Banging ragga techno – stupid but fun, squealing headache synths…
10. Velvet Dub (Bitten By The Black Dog) 138. Heavyweight electronic dubstep
11. Culture Killer (Discomix) 130. Minimal ragga techno
12. Velvet Dub 138. Deep, lush dubstep

CD2. Believe in Dub.

00.00 1985 Style
05.45 Bad Man Dub (Black Hole remix)
11.51 Velvet Dub (VIP mix)
16.52 Gone, Gone, Gone
23.50 Long Gone Dub (With Rubi Dan)
27.32 We Want You
31.57 Lickle Friction
37.04 Glitter Dub
42.15 Culture Killer (With Rubi Dan)
47.28 Immigrant
51.13 Soundman Tribute
56.46 Culture Killer (Discomix)
60.59 Move Down Low (Version)
63.51 Move Down Low (With Rubi Dan)

The mix CD has additional tracks, and everything is cut up, has loads of extra FX, sirens, yard tape samples etc. It’s pretty massive.

I don’t know about you but I switch between wanting albums as seperate tracks (for mix ammunition) and hearing the tunes in the mix as the artist intended (and as the tunes really deserve). With this album you don’t have to choose – you get both. I like the mix better. But the album has the Black Dog remix. You really need to hear that and it’s one of just two they’re doing this year. And lots of people seem to want Culture Killer and Move Down Low as standalone tunes. So…

Catalogue number is ELEKD-02. Street date is 27th June. Distribution is Baked Goods. You know what to do – it’ll be worth it. Vinyl news when I have it.

Like I said before – big up all soundmen in here who’ve been playing my stuff out – Tim Dub Boy, Sam Atki2, Blackdown, Paul Hotflush and all the rest of you. All I ever wanted was to get some tunes played in the dance. Getting a CD out is a nice bonus.

B15 project

Thanks to all who have sent in information on the B15 project. It’s fascinating! There is I think scope for an article on UB40’s contribution to UK (and indeed JA) reggae – apart from the fact that the first album (and it’s dub version) is fantastic, they are actually a proper reggae band that has always had a black UK and JA audience as well as a pop audience. And their cover of Red Red Wine is, perhaps surprisingly, genuinely really good when you separate its musical essence out from the schmaltzy pop side. Eden has a magnificent refix of it with a fab MC on which he put on one of his end-of-year mixes. (He won’t let me host it!)

Anyway, some Discogs info on B15. First, the label: “Oracabessa Records was set up by Ali Campbell and Brian Travers (both known as leadsinger and sax player of UB40, respectively). Working from their studios in Oracabessa (St. Mary, Jamaica) and Birmingham (United Kingdom), the record label is used to promote Jamaican dancehall and reggae artists, mixing their vocals with UK 2-Step and other dance music.” Which is fascinating, obviously. Now B15 themselves: “Angus Campbell & Ian Wallman came up with the B-15 Project name because of their Birmingham postcode (B15).” So the comments box massive are bang on and it looks like a cousin of Ali Campbell. Good work all round!

Blogariddims 34: Grievous Angel Presents 2Step Heaven

I’ve wanted to do this for aaaaagges. When I was talking to droid about what sort of blogariddims I wanted to do next, I had a bunch of ideas in mind, including:
* a techno-y dubstep thing (this is forthcoming!)
* a jungle one (also forthcoming – part three of the 94-era jungle series, this one will be amentastic!)
* a vocal pop one (weird I know)
* some kind of electro one… didn’t really have the material for it…
* some weird slow halfstep thing entirely made of refixes (which might happen if there’s not much work this year!)
* another reggae one (at least two of which are forthcoming – a dancehall hits thing based on the set I did at solstice last year at C90’s bash with Maga Bo and Heatwave) and a slightly deeper ragga hits thing

But in the end there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to do one on what is for me the best music ever made that’s not overtly reggae (instead this is covertly reggae and all the better for it) – namely 2step UK Garage. This is simply the most exquisite. funky, deep, transcendental music ever, the surface obsession with bling and coke concealing a vast underworld of chthonic musical figures and traces that dazzle and seduce like no other music I know. Jungle, r’n’b, house and reggae meld into an intoxicating sweet yet dark confection that is both instantaneously satisfying and compellingly more-ish. No, Reynolds fans (of whom I am proud to number myself), I’m not talking about 2step’s association with the endlessly reflexive arousing and denying high of cocaine. I am talking about the experiential vigour of the music. For this is not another example of Great British Drug Noise – though it functions perfectly at that level. Rather, 2step is both late night ganja smoking bassline vibronics, and great music to do the washing up to. Late night hedonic indulgence music, and an extraordinarily effective antidote to the boredom of long car journeys. Mates music and girlfriend music. I love it, I can’t get enough of it, and I am delighted that the core of the dubstep movement is reverently keep its flame alive. And that Grime almost perfectly turned 2step inside out, remaining defiantly true to its swinging rhythmic even as it inverted it.

This is the second big 2step mix I’ve done. I did Abtract 2step, on CD, in 2000 IIRC, which had loads of top notch dubby and ragga-touched 2step from the big boys of the time such as Dem2. Groove Chronicles, El B, Wideboys. People seemed to like it. Most of those records have been in storage for the last four years, but in 2007 I bought up quite a lot of old garage. Much of the old skool 4×4 stuff went on to what was for me an exhilirating mix to do, the 4×4 Heaven mix that came out a few weeks back. I’ve got a load of mental Narrows style early 2009s new school 4×4 which is probably better than most of the bassline around at the moment, though it’s really a different thing. I fancy having a go at that at some point, probably in combination with some really girly soft garage.

But the real focus was on 2step – preferably dark, but not unremittingly so, and not too breaky, though it had to be awesomely funky to make the cut. There were some fantastic tunes that didn’t make the cut. Over a couple of weeks, I went through a series of mixes, discarding each version as I went, before finally editing together the mix from three late versions. None of the actual mixing on this podcast is digital – it’s all vinyl, decks and mixer, no Ableton on this one – though it’s made from four takes. It’s pretty close to what I really wanted to do with this mix – just a touch too dense and twisted early on. And there’s a couple of imperfections in the mixing, but that’s just vinyl for you. But overall, I like this a lot, cos most of the tunes aren’t too familiar, and the good bits are just fucking mental. I hope you like it.

Now, a bit about the tunes…

0.00: Sonrisa Feat. MC Onyx Stone: Grooving Me (Splash It Like Champagne Mix). Public Demand 2000.
God, this is so heavy, yet so slinky. I have no idea who any of the people on this are. But it’s a TUNE. MASSIVE bass, achingly swung beats, sleek vocals… ultimate garage dub. Until you hear…

7.01: Dem 2: Baby (You’re So Sexy) (Big Time Scary Dub Mix). Locked On 1999.
Dem 2 are just the best, aren’t they? I mean, Groove Chronicles is almost perfect, Chris Mac slays it, but there’s something about every Dem 2 record that is just so… eeeeeevvillll… in a really GOOD way. This one has some of the most ridiculously fucked, swinging beats ever made, constantly feeling like they’re about to fall into a precipice… Really hard to mix actually. The A-side is superb vocal 2step and I really must put that in a mix too, but the Big Time Scary Dub is, well, just that.

11.24 Groove Chronicles: Masterplan. Groove Chronicles 1998?.
An utter and complete classic. Here I have just trashed the tune into Dem 2. Meditational love on wax.

15.15: Victor Romeo: Love Will Find A Way. (Ray Hurley & Mark Yardley Dub Mix). Public Demand 1998.
Ray Hurley’s odyssey into the 1989 Jack Tracks house classic that became a yardstick for UK Garage brilliance. I couldn’t resist bringing MasterPlan back in. Reaches a peak at about 18:29 when Trick Or Treat starts cutting in. Woudn’t it be great if they played this at DMZ?

19.33: Trick Or Treat Feat. Paradise: 2Step Flavas. FTL 2000.
Smart, sharp, almost political rap and one of the greatest 2step beats ever made.

24.19: Frances James + DJ Face: Girls Play Too (Baffled Angry Vocal Edit). AM:PM 2001.
Awwwwwww, yes! Utterly delicious r’n’b-relick garage as only AM:PM can do – just check out the Roger Sanchez remixes of Janet Jackson’s When I Think of You for undiluted US Garage dub. This one has WICKED bubbling r’n’b-style bass and SICK discordant percussion and of course, the superbly self-pleasing female vocal.

29.12: Suburban Lick: Here Come The Lick (DJ South Central Remix). Locked On 2000.
A really nice sub-aquatic dub rendering of this hit, complete with delightful jungle-referencing helicopter (beat) samples.

33.13: Mr. Vegas: Western End (The Birmingham Crew) ( B-15 Project Original Remix). Oracabessa Records 1999.
Why Mr Vegas was bigging up the Birmingham crew I don’t know (doubtless John will illuminate me). But it’s a great bit of ragga flavoured 2step.

35.00: Tracie Spencer: It’s All About You (Not About Me) (Zed Bias Remix). Contraband 1999.
This was a late addition to the arsenal – it arrived one day and was in the mix the next. Awesomely funky requantised break. I just kinda slammed it in while keeping Mr Vegas in, Basement Jaxx-style.

38.05: Shade Sheist Feat. Nate Dogg & Kurupt: Where I Wanna Be (Dub-A-Holics R&B Switch Mix). Public Demand 2001.
Yeeeeeeeeeessssss!!! This is just fantastic… so colourful, flavoursome, yet so banging and bouncy too.

42.00: Tasty Jay & Nicky Ni: Rinse Out (Tasty Mix). Strange Youth Recordings 2000.
I think this is both a great record and a fascinating piece of musical history; you can hear jungle so clearly in the beats it could have been an early crossover record from jungle to garage, but the MCing is very obviously an immediate precedent for grime. And of course it melds perfectly with…

45.48: Stone Kold Joints: Wicked Press. Krunch Records 2001.
This, my friends, is quite simply one of the five greatest achievements of western civilisation. One of the all time timestretched warp basslines wraps itself around one of the greatest bits of infectiously deadpan MCing in any genre. I love this tune to death. Even more so when you keep the mother running perfectly in time with Rinse Out for minutes at a time :-). Wicked tune, thoroughly deserves the rewind. And the langourous, twisting solo bassline goes all the way into Vincent J Alvis.

50:35 Vincent J. Alvis: Body Killin’ (M-Dubs Breakbeat Funk Vocal Mix). Babyshack 1999.
For many people this was it – this was the tune that really turned them on to UK Garage. Unbelievably heavy, underpinned by the biggest garage break yet deployed, saturated with male lust whose sheer need was tempered with a dark tenderness, this was the chthonic apocalypse people had been invoking since 1997. This record is so big it destroys almost any tune you care to mention in the jungle canon, even thought it’s a vocal tune.

55.02: James Lavonz Feat. She & Mr D: Mash Up Da Venue (Mash Up Dub). Locked On 2000.
Something dark yet cooled to come down from the otherwise obscure sensuous peak reached by M-Dubz and Vincent J Alvis (which I had to bring down in tempo a bit to make fit – hope that doesn’t annoy you too much).

58.04: Groove Chronicles: Stone Cold. Groove Chronicles 1998.
And just to bring you down to a sweet plateux – what many regard as the single greatest record in the entire garage catalogue. Ridiculously soft, fluffy sax rides over a super tight garage riddim, before a cone-shakingly malevolent bassline finally takes hold. From dub to jazz funk and back.

And then that’s it. Many thanks to Droid for inviting me to contribute to the series and big up to him for keeping this brilliant show on the road. It must be a major hassle making it work month after month.

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