New Mix: Jungle Got Dub

jungle got dub

Part two of my voyage into 94-era jungle takes into dark and murky dub. The mix starts cool and slow and funky before getting progressively more spaced out, then gets itself together with some dark ambient bass weight, before piling on the energy until it reaches maximum dub heaviosity. I like it. Tracklisting, with each song’s timings in the mp3 file, is as follows:

0.00: Flex: Rude Boy. De Underground Records 1994
3:15: L Double: Break It Down. (Breakdown Records) 1995
7:36: Dextrous: Heavenly Body. 1994
12:11: Droppin Science: Vol. 3: Firing Line. 1994
16:31: Tom & Jerry Vol 9: Air Freshener. 1994
20:40: Dillinja: Deadly Deep Subs (VIP Mix). 1994
23:54: Ganja Kru: Vol. 4: Mash Up Da Place. 1994
27:06: Ganja Kru: Cops (Johnny Jungle VIP Mix). 1994
30:40: Boogie Times Tribe: The Dark Stranger (Origin Unknown remix). Suburban Base 1993
31:55: Dope Style: You Must Think First. 1994
35:21: DJ Crystl: Warpdrive Deejay Recordings 1993
37:42: Dead Dred: Dred Bass (Origin Unknown Mix) Moving Shadow 1994
41:05: The Dreamteam: Yeah Man (VIP Remix) Joker Records 1994
45:06: Jonny Jungle: Johnny 94 (Origin Unknown Remix) Suburban Base 1994
49:26: Amazon II: Booyaaa! Aphrodite Recordings 1994 (re-edit)
55:29: Rus De Tox & Teebone: Selectors Roll Subliminal Records (UK) 1994

0.00 Flex: Rude Boy De Underground Records 1994
Marvellous bit of funky, rolling ragga jungle with ace funk samples
3:15 L Double: Break It Down 1995
Possibly also released as Music For the Nineties? Dunno. Very nice low-down crisp roller, with dubby stabs of Heavenly Body over the top.
7:36 Dextrous: Heavenly Body 1994
Did this get a release under this title? I dunno, but it’s ace, it fools you into thinking it’s a jungle take on ecstatic 80s nu-soul, but it keeps on turning into delightfully skanking ragga jungle.
12:11 Droppin Science Vol. 3: Firing Line 1994
Wa-hey! Wobbly bassline dub alert! Steppin’ breakz too. Love it.
16:31 Tom & Jerry Vol 9: Air Freshener 1994
Tom & Jerry’s inimitable sampled Rhodes chords blended with gorgeous ruffneck ragga. I’ve dubbed this to FUCK.
20:40: Dillinja: Deadly Deep Subs (VIP Mix) 1994
The sweetest, moodiest, most abstract, deep-down jungle dub tune you could wish for. We kind of “wake up” from the spaced dub with this one.
23:54: DJ Hype: Ganja Vol. 4: Mash Up Da Place 1994
A deep dark bassline wobbler. The perfect complement to…
27:06: Ganja Crew: Cops (Johnny Jungle VIP Mix) 1994
The CLASSIC DJ Hype tune with the coolest, most random sampled dialogue ever. Johnny Jungle adds considerably to the vibe.
30:40: Boogie Times Tribe: The Dark Stranger (Origin Unknown remix). Suburban Base 1993
Lovely spacey tune
31:55: Dope Style: You Must Think First. 1994
Extremely nice dubby jungle tune with wild syncopated breaks — another DJ Hype tune.
35:21: DJ Crystl: Warpdrive Deejay Recordings 1993
Steps UP. Absolutely MASSIVE, crushing breaks. Such a rhythmically sophisticated (yet mental!) tune I can’t believe it was made in 1993
37:42: Dead Dred: Dred Bass (Origin Unknown Mix) Moving Shadow 1994
A huge hit I know but Andy C and Miles’ mix is devestating. The other mixes haven’t worn quite so well, but this is still a headfuck of a record. But it’s just the prelude to…
41:05: The Dreamteam: Yeah Man (VIP Remix) Joker Records 1994
Achingly good, utterly savage, high tech jungle. If AC/DC made jungle, and used amens instead of guitars, this is what it would sound like. Marvellous.
45:06: Jonny Jungle: Johnny 94 (Origin Unknown Remix) Suburban Base 1994
Some funky 808-sine wave action to let you blow off some steam.
49:26: Amazon II: Booyaaa! Aphrodite Recordings 1994 (re-edit)
I just love this tune so much.The ultimate skanking ragga jungle record.
55:29: Rus De Tox & Teebone: Selectors Roll Subliminal Records (UK) 1994
Just a little bit of dubby jungle to take you out…

Jungle Got Soul

Jungle got soul
Here’s my Christmas pressie for you all… a mix of vintage jungle. I don’t think any of the tunes on this mix are particularly rare, I just picked a load of good ones that I wasn’t bored of. The inspiration was Tom & Jerry’s peerless Maximum Style — present here in its original and “Lover to Lover” versions, and yes I could do with an expert to sort out what T&J tune is what, cos I am confused. In any event, I adore Maximum Style because it eschews Amen-style stentorian rigour for slinky soft soul’n’lovers rock groove, so I tried to put together all the good soul-influenced jungle I could find. A mix of raging Amen tunes is in preparation. There isn’t that much soulful jungle that still rocks, so the mix is a bit short, but that could be an advantage. The title refers back to the classic Toots and the Maytals album Reggae Got Soul: for if jungle reaches back primarily to reggae, and I think it does, then it also reaches ack to soul, as reggae does.

Most of these tunes are from 1994– not a deliberate decision but it does support the argument put forward by some that that was jungle’s best year. Here’s the tracklisting…

Lloydie Crucial: Ribbon In The Sky 1994
Tom & Jerry: Maximum Style 1994
Tom & Jerry: Lover to Lover 1994
Run Tings: Ruff Revival 1994
Firefox & 4-Tree: Warning (Powder Mix) 1994
Greenwood: Hold It Down 1994
Deep Blue: Helicopter Tune 1993
M-Beat: Style 1993
The Brock-Out Crew: Hardcore Romance 1994
M&F: How Many Ways 1994
Da Maytrix: Loverman 1994
DMS & The Boneman X: Sweet Vibrations (Push Up Yr Lighter) 1994
M-Beat: Surrender 1994
Undercover Agent: Oh Gosh! 1995
L Double Featuring Bassman: Da Base Too Dark 1995
Lick Back Organisation: Maniac Music (Lick Back VIP Mix) 1995

Jungle Got Soul
192K mp3; 47 minutes 34 seconds; 65.4Mb.

As ever, on Windows, right click and save as; on the Mac, option click (or right click if you are wise enough to have a two button mouse) and save as. This is likely to be the last “public” music mix released on this blog, since other sites leach our mixes, meaning loads of downloads but no feedback or contact. Anonymous leaching is not what it’s all about. There will be one or two non-music audio files however.

OTW track listing and original file


On the wire, 17th September 2005: 21st Birthday Edition mix by John Eden and Paul Meme.

The file is up at

You can’t stream it, you can only download it.

More comments and notes on the music when I have time…

Note from 2020:

Awesome mix of dancehall and a bit of break core which still sounds fantastic today!

I’ve given it a quick remaster so it sounds even louder 🙂

1. Delroy Wilson. Keep on Trying. Music Lab
2. Carlton Livingstone. You Make Your Mistake. Black Joy
3. Lone Ranger. Collie Dub. Black Joy
4. Yellowman. Soldier Take Over. Sonic Sounds
5. Welton Irie. Army Life. Pressure Sounds
6. King Kong. Don’t Touch My Boops. Unity Sounds
7. Admiral Bailey and Chaka Demus. One Scotch. Unity Sounds
8. Shabban Rankin. Roots and Cultue. 1989. Digital B
9. Pinchers. Bandolero. 1991. Jammy$ Records
10. Frankie Paul. Tu Shung Peng. Greensleeves
11. Frisco Kid. It’s OK. Jammy$ Records
12. Trevor Sparks. Bye Bye Love. Jammy$ Records
13. Admiral Bailey. No Wey Better Than Yard. 1988. Live & Love
14. Pinchers. Agony. Live & Love
15. Admiral Bailey. Big Belly Man. 1987. Live & Love
16. Shabba Ranks. Trailer Load of Girls. Shang
17. Cobra. Yush. 1991. Penthouse
18. Cutty Ranks. Dominate. Penthouse
19. Killamanmachine. Amen. Clash
20. Bong Ra. 666MPH (FFF vs Dionysos Remix). Supertracks Records
21. LFO Demon. Utterly Wipeout (Rave for Communism). 2003. Sprengstoff
22. Prince Jammy. Jammin for Survival (Grievous Angel’s Jammin’ on Distortion Mix). 1979 / 2005. Attack / Morwell Esq?
23. Initial T. Tricks and Trade. 2005. Tree House Cannabis Music
24. Turbulence. Notorious. 2005. Tree House Cannabis Music

Our first mix on the radio

Our first ever radio mix is going out on BBC Radio Lancashire’s fantastic On The Wire show on Saturday night — tomorrow, the 17th September, on the cusp of the full moon. Me and John Eden have been DJing together for ages and it’s been fantastic but this is just the bomb, we’re really thrilled. On The Wire is an institution and its founder, Steve Barker, is one of the real heroes of reggae and experimental music broadcasting. It’s a unique show and it’s a privilege to be asked to do a mix. We think it’s come out pretty well — a blend of 80s and 90s dancehall, ragga, breakcore and noise that smoothes you out, takes you up, blows you away and settles you back down in a completely different place from where you started.

If you live in Lancashire you can get On the Wire on Saturday at 10pm on BBC Radio Lancashire 103.9, 95.5 and 104.5 FM. On the Internet there’s a listen live button on the Radio Lancashire homepage. I aim to post a high quality mp3 of the mix on here after it’s been broadcast.

Tense Nervous House Music

Tense Nervous House Music

House is just the most despised form of dance music isn’t it? It’s so easy to sneer cos it’s the commercial backbone of the industry; just product. All the feeling is supposed to have been leached out of it. I suspect House music’s critical stock has never been lower. It therefore seems to me to be the best possible time to reappraise it. That’s one reasone for this mix, titled Tense Nervous House Music. It’s an antidote to turgid false-positive handbag while still being capable of slamming hard. Taking its inspiration from the darker end of “real disco” it attempts to redefine the term “funky house”. But there are other impulses.

A while ago I put up a mix of music that related to some of my more spiritual interests, in the shape of the Industrial mix ( Then, in April this year, I went to Gozo, where I went to the amazing Neolithic temples (the oldest freestanding structures on the planet), and read Frank Tope and Bill Brewster’s fabulous book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life. I became obsessed by disco-influenced (is there any other kind?) house music, and I came to believe that Disco and all its descendents might well be the ultimate pagan music. My kind of House music springs from the same impulses as indstrial. I started compiling lists of records that would express this feeling and quite quickly I came up with the selection contained in this mix.

For I’m fed up with the boring stereotypes of what witchy, pagan music should be. It’s always the same old genres: goth (eurgh), folk (which is OK), antedeluvian rock (zzzzzzz…) — nothing that really captures the feelings I have as a pagan. And over the last few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with the idea that the ultimate pagan music is DISCO. It, and all the genres that have sprung from it, especially house music, for me represent a much more vital spiritual force. Disco’s pulse, its abandonment to pleasure, its delivery of physical transcendence via the agency of rhythm, combine to make it a far more Dionysian experience than I gain from the musical genres usually associated with paganism.

Furthermore, positing Disco as the ultimate pagan music challenges paganism’s cultural stereotype (hippy-goth clothes, patchouli oil, Stonehenge posters…) and helps to remove pagan ideas from from simply being part of what can be seen as a lifestyle package. I should point out that I don’t at all mind that others find pagan resonance in other forms of music. Certainly a genre like folk can be hugely evocative of pagan experience (and I’ve played in folk bands myself, so there’s no prejiudice here). But so too can Disco and its descendents, and for me, it is a more poweful medium. My intention in this regard is not to propose a new lifestyle package for paganism; rather it is to divorce it from all lifestyle packages. Paganism has been historically associated with particular cultural forms, but that historical association need not constrain our visualisation of what paganism is, nor our experience of it. If paganism can be encapsulated within Planxty and Sandy Denny albums, I believe it can also be encapsulated in Masters At Work DJ mixes and volcanic filter house twelve-inches.

To explore these ideas further I’ve done a mix of disco-infused house music which, for me, powerfully evoke pagan ideas and feelings. I think it demonstrates how the dancefloor experience can parallel that of ritual, and to that end I have labelled the sections of the mix to show how they represent the phases one might find in a ritual. This is not to say that the dancefloor experience is necessarily a ritual experience in itself (though it can be), nor that this mix need be seen as “ritual music”. But if a folk singer can recall the sensations and imagery of British nature magic, so a DJ mix can recall the experience of magical ritual without actually being a ritual itself. (Of course, the concept of the mix as a ritual is a long-established element of DJ folklore, so these distinctions while worth making are not hard and fast.)

As you can imagine, the influence here is not happy-clappy commercialised disco, but dark, twisted, freaky disco, the “real disco” evangelised by the Loft and the Paradise Garage which formed the roots of proper house music. Here, it is tense, nervous, expectant; the feelings I associate with rising magical energy.

There’s some well-known records here and I doubt that any of them will be unfamiliar to the dedicated house head, but the way they’re combined here creates a tense, jittery, grinding version of house, albeit much softened by melody. I don’t apologise for it being, occasionally, banging. Here then is a headache-inducing collection of dark and zappy house whose construction is partly influenced by pagans experience. I’m aware that, on paper, this might sound like a terrible idea, but it sounded pretty good in my head on the beach in Gozo, and it sounds even better to me through the speakers here in Sheffield. Numinous codswallop? Probably!

In any event, this is probably the last mix for a while, cos I’m moving house. Tense Nervous House, geddit? Moving house is a headfuck!

It’s now zipped, so it’s downloads only. (Windows: right click and save as, Mac: option or control click and save as.)

Tense Nervous House Music
45 minutes 7 seconds
192K mp3



David Byrne and Brian Eno: Jezebel Spirit

There are two senses of banishing here. One is that this record is a clearing of the space for the mix, so it can do its work. One is that the music contains a tape of a Christian exorcism, which is essentially the banishing of the spirit of the goddess Jezebel, and yet that banishing is contradicted by the inductive voodoo disco of the music. It represents the reversal of Christianity’s attempt to expiate the goddess current, which is that aspect of everyday life we’re trying to temporarily reverse with this mix.


Norma Jean Bell / Moodymann: I’m the Baddest Bitch

Moodymann’s brilliant chugging disco house is chocolate-dark as much because of the lite jazz funk horns as in spite of them. Norma Jean Bell channels and invokes the Jezebel spirit identified by Byrne and Eno: “I’m the baddest bitch – and you belong to me”.


KenLou: The Bounce
Jedi Knights: One for MAW

It’s time to let them in the elements. Masters at Work’s sizzling Latin house stomper brings in Air and Fire, Jedi Knight’s positively beaming One for MAW brings in Water (those delicious lush guitar and synth lines) and Earth (that super-squidgy bassline).


Deep Dish: Stranded (Danny Tenaglia’s GrooveJet Dubby Edit)
Deep Dish: Stranded (BT Vs DD: Grievous Angel’s 777 Edit)
Shaboom: Bessie (DJ Sneak mix)

The powers are up and grooving and now an old personal current of mine, the 777 current, can come through, can be invoked. 777 is sensitive, twisted and demanding but ultimately very compassionate, and this is reflected in the extensively edited Deep Dish tunes here, which are vast psychedelic freak-outs ground down to rapacious shards. The other side of 777 is contained within Shaboom’s Bessie, which is utterly transformed by Sneak’s devastating industrial house cut-up. It’s harsh, driving, almost inhuman, and while it’s definitely “funky disco house”, it sounds nothing like that description. Sneak’s mix of Bessie is liminal: it’s just on the other side.


Dajae: Day by Day (Grievous Angel Edit)
King Unique: Hell
Mongobonix: Mas Pito

We got juice now. We’ve summoned a vast underworld Disco deity showering glitter and lasers onto the circle, a 500 foot high afro-ed and silver-suited horned god of the dancefloor. His music is twisted, Chi-town house, evil banging hard groove and massively hyped up latino jazz.


Q Burns’ Abstract Message: Innocent (King Britt vocal mix)

Mongobonix took us down a little, or rather raised up from the depths of King Britt’s Hell to Mas Pito’s mountain-top fusion. But it’s Innocent that really grounds the energy. You’re taken back to earth, to placidity, but you’re in a very different place from where you were at the start. Innocent is one of the weirdest, grooviest, best house records ever made: it’s got really strange, intensely jazzy, constantly shifting melodies that are utterly beguiling, it has the best Moog solo in all of house, and it’s also one of the three or four best songs in the whole of house. Innocent is magnificent.

Boom Boom Bashment: Killer Ragga Riddims 2001-2004


Phew! It’s done! John Eden and I are pleased to release Boom Boom Bashment, our follow up to the Lyric Maker mix. It’s a selection of killer ragga riddims from the early to mid noughties which we hope are either unfamiliar to readers of Uncarved and Shards Fragments and Totems, or at least presented in a new way. It’s different in feel from Lyric Maker; this one for a while at least is less sensual, more brittle and driven, but it’s probably a lot more emotionally dynamic. It’s as much a companion piece for John’s Shake the Foundations sets, and my Nervous Ragga mix, as for Lyric Maker.

Boom Boom Bashment kicks off with a staggering riddim: Kings of Kings’ Double Jeopardy, which combines minimal, space-drenched backing with operatic voices. Co-produced by Ce’Cile (with Cordell “Scatta” Burrell) the sense of drama is intense and it lifts off when Pinchers and Norris Man version Madonna. Double Jeopardy is a stark, spacious yet harsh introduction to the mix; Bushy Bushy is a slow-burn explosion of mashed up voices. Bookended by Ce’cile’s Spider, it slowly ratchets up the energy, not least on Alizade’s cut of that name where he outdoes Sizzla for excitement. Cecile winds the energy back down for the spaghetti western funk of the Mexican Riddim. According to John a lot of people complained that while the riddim was great, too many voicings were poor, but you wouldn’t know that from the tunes here; the performances are right on the button. It’s such a great groove that it starts to thaw the set out from the emotional starkness of Double Jeopardy and Bushy Bushy, and puts a suggestion of a smile on your face. This blossoms into a full grin with Rice and Peas. Thrashing around like a troglodyte on ketamin, Rice and Peas is classic stomping off-kilter dancehall riddim. Fat Bastard leaves us in no doubt about what everybody likes, so it’s not surprising Lady G knows what guys want: Rice and Peas!

The first four riddims of Boom Boom Bashment build up the energy and the next four ride it, driven by an increasingly metronomic pulse. Jeremy Harding Lightning riddim is a stern and propulsive string-laden death march with defiantly louche vocals. We’ve done a lot of intense overlays and call-and-response mixing between cuts on this riddim. Ward 21’s Don’t Push It is merged with Pacemakers’ Bad Man into one track, as are Gabriel’s The Powers and Kurupp, Mr. Vegas, & Sean Paul’s Eye For Eye. It’s an explosive yet super-dense sound which builds the sense of rage. 2 Hard’s superbly syncopated Liquid riddim maintains this momentum but opens out the sound, and it betters any number of R&B work-outs for pulsating groove and low-down boom. I didn’t like this riddim at all at first – the harpsichord opening put me off, because it made me think it was all angular tinny clockwork noise. But repeated exposure by Eden revealed Liquid to be an overpowering, rolling monster. The lyrics on all these cuts are a savage exploration of female desire, from both male and female perspectives, as on Sean Paul and Cecile on Can You Do The Work, while Lady Saw’s Tell Me What You Like is terrifying in its malevolent assertion of desire. When she sings “I ain’t gonna stop til you’re satisfied” it is not a statement of compliance.

The hellish maze occupied by Liquid is relieved and cooled by the Amharic riddim. In many ways, Amharic is the heart of the mix: it’s where the spirits are fully brought together in preparation for the climax of Nine Night and Forensic. Only Sizzla could open this superb clash of nyabinghi drums and electronics. He amply refutes his labeling as a purveyor of hate music and in this reflective mode he turns in one of the greatest performances of his career. Cecile’s All Night maintains the transcendent feel but translates it into tantric engorgement. Lady Saw’s Hot Gal Fi Life is just fantastic, a hymn to emancipation, with Spragga Benz & TOK’s We Waah rudely slamming into it. Spragga Benz’s brilliant Dem A Chat stomps even harder on the accelerator.

By now you’re ready for a proper heads down funky dancehall riddim and there’s none better than Tai Chi. It’s a well-known riddim but it’s got a few twists here (John did a superb breakdown in the middle of this as well). Tai Chi is ridiculously groovy but it’s just a taster for the epic, banging sea-shanty techno of Nine Night. This is my favourite riddim of the whole mix, it’s just amazing to dance to and enormous fun.

Glorious as Nine Night is, Forensic is rough beyond belief. Forensic brings a new meaning to the word “brutal”. This is slamming, hardcore ragga, the sort you dream about after listening to the Bug. It’s not without subtlety but by the time Determine’s Round And Round and Turbulence’s incredible Hype in Jah come in Forensic takes on a demonic energy which has few parallels. Mr Vegas’ Fuck Face unifies the quake-fest backing with dead good massed chorus emoting. It’s like the sun coming out on a thundery day. You’re going to love it. Turn it up.

You simply can’t go any harder than Forensic – in any genre – so we didn’t try. Instead we switched down to Sly and Robbie’s Big Up Riddim. I guarantee that if you haven’t heard this riddim before, within eight bars you’ll be saying that this is the music you’ve been waiting your whole life to hear. This is an end-of-the-night, hall lights on and bouncers circulating, “just one more” requesting, slow-motion belter that might just be the only music you will ever need.

Until you wake up next morning and want to play this mix again.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you: Boom Boom Bashment: Killer Ragga Riddims 2001-2004

Total running time: 63 minutes 9 seconds
Bit rate: 192K stereo mp3
Weight: 87Mb


1 Double Jeopardy
Kings Of Kings (Ce’Cile Charlton & Cordel “Scatta” Burrell) 2001
Length: 4.52
Start: 0:00

Jah Mason & Chrisinti: Up Up Up
Madd Anju feat. Cecile: Feel So Good
Pinchers & Norris Man – Set Dem So

2 Bushy Bushy Riddim
Extra Extra (Debbie Harding & Harvel Hart) for 2001
Length: 4.50
Start: 4:52

Ce’cile: Spider
Danny English: Right Ya Now
Elephant Man: Sex
Sizzla: Bus Out A Dis
Alizade: Energy
Ce’cile: Spider

3 Mexican Riddim
Pot Of Gold (Richie Stephens) 2002
Length: 3.43
Start: 09:43

Bounty Killer: Dem Bawling
Mad Cobra: Fool
Ninja Man: Sharp Like A Knife

4 Rice & Peas Riddim
Natural Bridge (Rohan “Snow Cone” Fuller) 2002
Length: 5.55

Fat Bastard: Rice & Peas
Lady G: Girls Know What Guys Want
Spragga Benz & Elephant Man: Warrior Cause
Frankie Sly: Dem Nuh Know We
Shano: School

5 Lightning Riddim
2 Hard (Jeremy Harding) 2001
Length: 5.20
Start: 24:39

Ward 21: Don’t Push It / Pacemakers: Bad Man
Gabriel: The Powers
Kurupp, Mr. Vegas, & Sean Paul: Eye For Eye
Buccaneer: Oh My God

6 Liquid Riddim
2 Hard (Jeremy Harding) 2001
Length: 5:39
Start: 24:39

Sean Paul & Cecile: Can You Do The Work
Devonte & Tanto Metro: Give It To He
Madd Anju: Someting For Dat
Lady Saw: Tell Me What You Like

7 Amharic Riddim
Jam II (Jammy “Jam 2” James) 2003
Length: 6.26
Start: 30:19

Sizzla: Peace
Cecile: All Night
Lady Saw: Hot Gal Fi Life
Spragga Benz & TOK: We Waah
Spragga Benz: Dem A Chat

8 Tai Chi Riddim
B-Rich (Richard ‘Shams’ Browne) 2002
Length: 5.07
Start: 36:45

T.O.K.: Cree
Sean Paul: Time After Time
Wayne Marshall: Need A Girl Tonight
Tanya Stephens: Please Me
Lady Saw: Yeh Yeh

9 Nine Night Riddim
Stufio 2000 (Steelie and Clevie) 2001
Length: 7.39
Start: 41:55

Lexxus: Gwaan Trace
Red Rat: Fright Night
Mister G: Old Crook
Captain Barkey: Wine Baby Wine
Wicker Man: Girls Gungo Walk
Sasha: Poppy
Determine: Rappin’ Up Rhymes

10 Forensic Riddim
In The Streetz (Mr. Vegas & Computer’ Paul Henton) 2003
Length: 7.21
Start: 49:31

Kerry: I Got The Man
Cecile: Weh Yu Up To
Determine: Round And Round
Turbulence: Hype in Jah
Mr Vegas: Fuck Face

11 Big Up Riddim
Taxi (Sly and Robbie) 2004
Length: 6.16
Start: 56:53

Wayne Marshall: Big Up
Lady Saw: Messed Up
Bounty Killer: No More Suffering

Digital newsprint

Just had a heads-up from the wonderful Kid Kameleon that both his brilliant ShockOut mix and my moderately good Abstract 2step mix have both featured in a rather good round-up of online mixes over at Pitchfork. You can see the review here.

What blows me away is not that he’s the first mix reviewed — it is as I’ve said many times a fantastic, landmark mix — but that my modest effort is number two.

Big grins all round up here.

Eighties Dancehall in Excelsis: The “Lyric Maker (from England and Jamaica)” Mix

At last, it’s here:

Right-click, save file as, and decompress.

This mix came about after spending a couple of years staying at John’s house for a couple of nights a week, spending most evenings listening to his completely amazing collection of roots, dub, dancehall and digidub. I’ll remember these nights for the rest of my life because I was able not just to take refuge from working life away from my family, but was able to spend night after night listening to what is as far as I’m concerned THE GREATEST MUSIC EVER MADE. A natural evolution of these blissful nights was to start putting together mixes of some of the best bits of his collection. He supplied the sounds and a lot of the mixing, I supplied the editing and effects. The first result of this collaboration was this mix – recorded onto tape and dumped into my Mac for tarting up. The idea was, firstly, to showcase the difference between organic, warm, rocking JA dancehall and the somewhat different strain of British fast chat, and secondly, to completely blow away any listener even vaguely familiar with the musical frameworks and conventions of reggae.

Here’s the line up to whet your appetite…

1. Thriller U – Sweetest Sound (Digital B 1989)
Fade Away / Peanie Peanie Rhythm
This is a KILLER soundsystem tune. “When the first dub hit the turntable it like thunder.”

2. Chuck Turner – Run Around Girl (Live & Love)
3. Cultural Roots – Running Back To Me (Live & Love)
4. Version (Live & Love)
Unknown Rhythm
And now the thunder. Vast sinuous bass (occasionally massively overdriven) and swinging digital beats underpin achingly melancholic songs of love lost. Live and Love info:

5. Admiral Tibet – Leave People’s Business Alone (Techniques)
6. Cutty Ranks – Gunman Lyrics (Techniques)
Tings n Time rhythm

Two classic examples of cyclic, infinitely funky JA dancehall in all their devastating glory. Tibet floods us with emotion while Cutty Ranks strafes anyone still standing with salvoes of monotone fast chat.

There’s some nice edits and effects in this bit.

7. Lui Lepke – Can’t Take Me Landlord (Joe Gibbs)
8. Gregory Isaacs – Storm (Penthouse 2002)
9. Warrior King – Education (Penthouse 2002)
10. Yellowman – Gregory Free (white label)
Storm Rhythm
Lepke winds the pace down a bit, adding a delicious narrative over a cavernous groove, which Isaacs reassembles into a clockwork-driven melodic pulse. Warrior King adds horn-driven weight and hand-raising refrains before Yellowman lowers the tone of proceedings considerably while broadcasting a message of support to the imprisoned Gregory Issacs.

Just one rhythm delivers a seemingly endless succession of different dynamics and flavours, attesting to Jamaica’s incredible inventiveness.

11. Gregory Isaacs – Raving Tonight (Virgin 1978)
And now the respite. This is just an absolutely glorious tune and makes a great reply to Yellowman. Gregory supplies a vocal that simply aches with feeling. Why the chorus isn’t on a million hardcore records I don’t know – maybe it is? Tell us if you know!

12. Cu Oonuh Version(Techniques)
13. Melting Pot Version (Techniques)
14. Dilinger – Melting Pot (Techniques)
15. Johnny Ringo – Dedicated to Jah (Fashion 1985)
16. Asher Senator – Senator No Skin Up (Fashion 1985)
17. Reggie Stepper – Cu Oonoh (Techniques)
Stalag Rhythm

We kick off with a couple of dubs of what must still be the most popular rhythm in reggae. These have been cut up a lot to bring you the maximum laidback grooves. Dillinger takes us even deeper into the alternate universe of funk that is Stalag, and Johnny Ringo Responds. “Now students, compare and contrast the JA style with that of their British counterparts….” The UK sound is more stipped down, slightly more clinical but soaked in vibe. Asher Senator, one of the fast chat originators, deploys his laidback flow to fine effect, before Reggie Stepper slays it: this tune just rocks . The horizontal funk of the original gets hyped right up with digi-bashment syndrums.

18. Top Cat – Push Up Your Lighter (9 Lives)
You’ll know this cos it’s been sampled to fuck, but this is high velocity dancehall at its finest. And it’s rock’n’roll! Just listen to those Duane Eddy riffs ricochet through the mix.

19. Peter Bouncer & The Offbeat Posse – Huff ‘n’ Puff (Y&D 1989)
But if JA was delivering house’s peak time energy with Top Cat, the UK was as ever speeding it up, stripping it down to hammer out ardkore’s blueprint – and being from 1989 it’s a direct antecedent. It’s a pounding 140bpm+ monster, with the vocal and dub versions spliced together.

20. Johnny Ringo – New Yorker (Fashion 1985)
21. Asher Senator – To Whom Respect is Due (Fashion 1985)
Unknown Rhythm
Winding it RIGHT back down to the beginning of the story, Johnny Ringo relates the differences between UK and US reggae cultures over a supertight backing. Asher bigs up of Danny LaRue.

22. Johnny Ringo – Nice and Easy (Fashion 1985)
23. Asher Senator – Asher in Court (Fashion 1985)
The Fashion crew loved to differentiate their productions from their Jamaican peers with stiffer, more weirdly syncopated rhythms that sound a lot like some current Grime rhythms.
Johnny Ringo bio:

Asher in Court is probably THE signature Asher Senator tune. He spins a fantastic yarn about sharing a joint with the judge and turns the groove around completely.

24. Michigan & Smiley – Nice Up The Dance (Studio One/Soul Jazz)
25. Tippa Irie – All the Time the Lyric a Rhyme (UK Bubblers 1984)
Real Rock Rhythm

A solid gold classic. Michigan and Smiley’s iteration of Real Rock is an ecstatic, bouncy, rolling, JA dancehall apocalypse. In Brit hands it condenses into a series of hard, minimal pulses with Tippa Irie’s unbelievably intense monotone fast chat. It’s just amazing. Plus it includes the best fast chat line ever: “Well me and Mrs Irie well you know that we’re related”. Superb.

26. Papa Levi – Big ‘n’ Broad (Island 1984)
Papa Levi picks up the groove and pushes it up a gear. His delivery isn’t quite as sharp as Tippa’s but it still drops bombs and the rhythm’s devastating.

Intense siren action on this one.

27. Tippa Irie – Lyric Maker (UK Bubblers 1985)
Throw Me Corn rhythm
The rest of tunes in the mix are good, but this… this is something else. Lyric Maker is the signature tune of the mix, the place where it all comes together. Because it’s here that Brit dancehall showed how it could take reggae into places that the JA heartland couldn’t quite imagine, a universe of mechanoid dub beats and electronic pop noise. Obviously Tippa’s delivery is the apotheosis of fast chat brilliance, endlessly riding peaks of intensity without ever falling in on itself. This is one of the greatest records ever made.

28. Sleng Teng intro (Who’s Gonna Make the Dance Ram Dub) (Fashion 1985)
29. Andrew Paul – Who’s Gonna Make the Dance Ram (Fashion 1985)
30. Version (Who’s Gonna Make the Dance Ram Dub) (Fashion 1985)
31. Peter King – Step on the Gas (Fashion 1985)
32. Version (Fashion 1985)
Sleng Teng Rhythm

Sleng Teng is one of the ultimate JA rhythms but the two UK versions here are easily superior in my book. “Who Makes the Dance Ram” was a huge hit in the UK and I think it crossed over in Jamaica as well. Plus, it’s a monstrous acid house stormer and for my money shows just how much eighties dancehall created acid’s blueprint. We close with acid dub heaviosity from Peter King, the originator of the fast-chat sound. It’s yet another tune that reflects the automotive obsessions of the Fashion stable, and it’s a great car crash story. “Step on the gas, KICK down the accelerator…”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Lyric Maker (from England and Jamaica): John Eden and present a JA vs UK Soundclash.

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