Skream’s The Blackdown Mix

Everybody knows BlackDown is number one for grime but he’s excelled himself this time with a fantastic lengthy interview with Skream, who must be one of the four or five most exciting artists working in any genre today. Blackdown helps him tell his story with some style. Best of all though, is an exclusive mix by Skream of his productions and remixes, and this is o good it’s worth dwelling on here.

If Skream ever does an album better than this mix he’ll be lucky. And if this mix were released as a CD today, it would have to be one of the ten best albums of the year. If previous Skream mixes were an exercise in industrial dubstep plainsong, the Blackdown Mix (as I very much hope it will henceforth be known) represents a flowering of timbral colour and groove. Skream has lept forward as an artist without losing any of his impact.

I don’t want to do a track-by-track description but Skream has scattered so many gems throughout it that it’s difficult to avoid. The first three tracks are sensuous electronic dub, and drift by beautifully, especially Bullseye’s increasingly savage bleeps, but the music comes into focus with Skream’s remix of Sunship’s Almighty Father. Its slo-mo electronics perfectly frame the raging, deadpan female ragga chat. It’s magnificent, so good that you can’t help wish Skream would add more vocals to his music beyond the strategic deployment of samples. Hag underlines this, since its mutation of the Groove Chronicles template climaxes with an excellent spoken word section. What’s crucial however is that instrumentals and vocal tracks stays balanced over the course of the mix, which means it both sustains and repays repeated listening. Fairy Tale demonstrates why Skream’s focus on instrumentals is paying off; it rebuilds the 2step framework around an unnerving, cascading flute sample that’s enchanting. Skream has strength in depth too. Groovin’ is the perfect intro for the legendary Midnight Requestline, and is its superior for minimal, bleepy intensity, though Requestline’s interlocking mechanical melodies are just killer.

The Blackdown Mix contains really varied music and I can really see why Skream wanted to get past the bass-n-drum minimalism of his early work to embrace a broader palette, because he’s totally in control of what he’s doing. Normally when an artist says something they want to be more “musical” and “creative” I inwardly groan, because you just know they’re going to dilute the energy that made them interesting in the first place. But Skream’s stuff is both smart and slamming: he’s put his time into learning scales and progressions but they just make his beats bounce higher. I think in many ways he’s fulfilled the promise of Digidub: the music has a similar dynamics and approach to Digidub, but has infinitely more musical innovation and satisfaction. Crucially, he’s got an ear for a tune, and has no trouble whatsoever taking the kind of fairground ride shanty that would normally be the province of Tom Waits and turning it into a spacious loper, as he does on Smiling Face. In contrast, Lightning Dub is just evil grime-speed jungle, and it’s absolutely wicked. It perfectly matches Skream’s mix of Digital Mysticz’ Ancient Memories and its delicious low-down, top dollar, dubstep nastiness. His mix of Loefah’s Indian Dub, for all its double time El-B-aping intensity, can’t quite compete with it. The tempo drops down again with Basstrap, which introduces the delicate piano figures which are scattered throughout the latter stages of the mix. It makes a particular feature of the burbling phased birdsong sample that flows throughout the mix; I like it but it could really do your head in. As do Where Am I, Glamma and Rutten, which progressively drop the listener into a suffocating amphetamine-psychotic ambience. It’s quite demanding music, demanding that you follow micro-melodies and counterpoints over compelling but rigidly regimented groove templates. It’s quite a contrast to the bouncing dancehall and rolling jungle I usually listen to, but there’s enough reggae (and industrial) flavour to make it engaging. And I like that there’s something here to get your teeth into. When I was younger I really liked getting records I didn’t get at all at first, because it meant there was so much more enjoyment to wring out it – assuming you actually did like it in the end. These days I have much less patience, but there’s enough roughage here to make it digestible. And on Deeper Feelings, Skream gives us real sweetness, a solid gold skittering melodic techno classic, which makes good on the old “Croydon as Detroit” claims.

Overall it’s an absolutely corking mix. You really have to listen to this even if you’ve found dubstep a bit of a chore before. Big up Blackdown for bringing it to us.

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

Pepperseed riddim

As a taster of the forthcoming ragga / bashment retrospective mix from John Eden and me, here’s a mix of the Pepperseed riddim: my favourite riddim of last year. Huge, powerful and joyous, Pepperseed is a maximalist version of dancehall: it has all the propulsive energy of big-room house music. As soon as I heard it I knew I had to do a mix of it, because it is compulsively danceable.

This mix started life in the recording sessions at John Eden’s house that led up to the Lyric Maker mix. In fact Pepperseed was the first mix we completed: when it came to the edit I just launched into cutting up John’s vinyl mix of the riddim , which we recorded on tape, and flung out a finished article. But midway through that project we decided it didn’t really fit with the flow of the other tunes and took it out. We are vicious about throwing away material that we can’t both agree is great; there’s a vast amount of audio littering our computers which doesn’t make the cut for each mix. It was the same story with the new bashment mix. Pepperseed didn’t fit, and though we both liked it, out it went. But I think it still stands up as a stand-alone piece, so I’m putting it up here as a modest musical diversion for you.

The cuts featured here interested me partly because they’re an example of Europe providing quality dancehall. They’re all on the Natural Mystic label (they rename the riddim after themselves as Mystic) from Germany. There’s MCing in German, which, unexpectedly, rocks, as well as some amazing singing in what I can only presume is an African language, plus the usual English / patois. Not all the vocal talent is German however; they’ve brought in some JA people like Degree. We’ve stitched these performances together into the monstrous juggernaut of sound you’ve come to know and love. However, while Pepperseed slams, it still maintains much of its focus on the original vocals; it isnt as much of a Steinski-style cut-up as some of the stuff on Nervous Ragga or Lyric Maker (the Stalag section, for example). The track listing is as follows.

Pepperseed (Mystic) Riddim
Natural Mystic, Germany, 2004

Lazy Youth & Degree: Lady Killer
Tesfu: Africa (Komp./Text: Tesfu Haile Alazar)
Dr. Ring-Ding: Call Mi Fi Ram

As ever, if you like this, bung me an email, cos the comments are spam-bait right now.

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.

I’ve closed comments boxes because of the spam problem. If you like this mix, PLEASE email me and / or John and let us know!

New Grime mix from DJL

A few Grime mixes I’ve heard have a been a bit opaque, the testosterone obscuring the emotion that’s possible in the music. So I’ve been looking for a Grime mix that works as a complete, flowing entity, that showcases the genre’s ability to carry a tune as well as grinding out beats. And I think I’ve found it. DJL, a guy on the excellent Dissensus, was kind enough to send me his new Brave New World CD, and it’s terrific. There’s a few on there that I know and to the seasoned afficianado I would presume that quite a lot of it is familiar –but if true, it doesn’t matter. For this is a great, rocking, flowing mix, impeccably blended live (there’s a couple of glitches late on but nothing to mar your pleasure) and it’s the best Grime showcase I know of.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to give you, DJL’s Brave New World:

Mixed live by DJL
1. Wot Do U Call It? – Wiley
2. Hype Hype – SLK feat. Flirta D, Van Damage, Wunda & Envy
3. Charge – Static
4. R-HA VIP – DJ Charmzy
5. Almighty Father – Sunship feat. Warrior Queen
6. Paid In Full – F1
7. The Lowdown – Wiley feat. Trim
8. Unorthadox Daughter – No Lay
9. Pull Up Dat – DJ Mondie feat. Ribz, Napper, Flirta D & Shizzle
10. Straight Remix – DJ Mondie
11. I Like It – Commander B feat. Tubby T
12. Creeper – Danny Weed
13. Down Remix – Martin Larner vs Teebone
14. Kamikaze – Jon E Cash
15. Ch-Ching – Lady Sovereign
16. Sense – Macabre Unit
17. Catz – Low Deep
18. Skank (Dr Venom Dark Mix) – Agent X & Kele Le Roc
19. Forward Riddim – Lethal B
20. Str8 Flush – Low Deep
21. Get Me – Bruza


Mixes to check

I recently bigged up Kid Chameleon’s Absolutely Shocking mix as one of the best of 2004, and so it is – so much so I want to reiterate those sentiments here. It’s an absolutely amazing mix of jungle, dancehall, grime and hip hop which is composed with seemingly infinite care. A large number of in-mix mashups appear to have been constructed, principally through the agency of playing old reggae records over the top of old jungle tunes, which is obviously something to be encouraged. Here it’s done with expertise and flair, so much so it rivals Coldcut’s Journeys By DJ Mix for best DJ mix ever. Yes it’s that good – for that set is my favourite ever. Standout moments abound, but any mix featuring both Nuh Ease Up by Shy FX and MC Det, Harold Faltermeyer’s Axel F, and Nena’s 99 Red Balloons, alongside perhaps the finest mix of the Red Alert rhythm yet devised, has to be a winner.
What’s really good about this mix is the sheer variety on offer You’ve got loads of great jungle, mixed into some old gospelly blues, into ragga, into electro-y stuff, and on and on, and it’s really engaging and fun to listen to, there’s a real pop sensibility at work throughout.

I wasn’t too sure about the accompanying Even More Shocking mix at first, finding it a bit atonal and opaque, but in fact it’s almost as good. It has more dubstep and squelchy garage for one thing, but it also features a quite magnificent mash-up of Shaggy’s Boombastic over, I think, Rage Against the Machine and some jungle track. It also has a quite brilliant re-working of Tom Waits’ Clap Hands over, um, something else… the sleeve-notes, while seemingly comprehensive, are a bit hard to understand.

You should also point your P2P clients towards the Pasmando mix which was recently posted on the mix of the day site. I’ve no idea who Pasmando is but this is just a very satisfying selection of classic but lesser known ragga jungle. Yes, I know, mouth-watering isn’t it? Filler is rare and it’s got a new-to-me mix of Tom & Jerry’s Maximum Booty Style (which have only in its Maximum Style incarnation, and then only on CD) – this is an absolute fave old skool tune. (Recordings of Tom & Jerry stuff are very welcome here cos I missed ‘em first time round.) Bounce people, bounce.

Finally MashIt’s DJC_JunglitBashment mix pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s arguably not quite as inspired as the Pasmando mix but it’s still excellent. In fact it’s mind-blowing when it gets going.

MP3 DJ mixes are just the business, I love ‘em, they’re the ideal, consumable way to track great music. The new one John Eden one is nearly ready and should be released any day now.


Just want to do a massive big up to Dan at Molex Roots for running the best reggae blog in the universe (or Britain at least). I’ve added his site to the links section. His comment that I was filling the shoes of Stelfox is highly complimentary but it’s not really true; I’m WAY out of date on hot dancehall and my knowledge is a long way short of John’s standard. If anyone is filling Stelfox’ shoes it’s Dan himself. Sparkling, on the money, up to the minute reggae coverage. Everyone loves it.

Scrolling down the entries you’ll notice Dan has had some silly slag offs from his visitors. I don’t understand this at all. If you don’t like his mixes, skip to another one; it’s not as if there’s a lack of them out there. Least you can do is provide some constructive feedback.

Luckily I’ve had nothing but nice comments here and on email, touch wood. Thanks to everyone who’s been sending me good vibes, long may it continue. (He says, with a baby arriving tomorrow hopefully, meaning my much trumpeted musical hiatus should be starting pretty much immediately!)

Friday night special: John Eden’s ultimate roots’n’dancehall mix

After much pestering from me, one Friday night in 2000 John comes home from the pub, severely pissed, and lashes together a reggae mix — and it’s amazing. It wasn’t the first mix tape he’d done — following extensive experience DJing in seedy north London dives he produced a series of eclectic and entertaining tapes under the Ultimate Beaks and Bats moniker. One day, my complete collection of these will be worth a lot of money.

But this was the first serious reggae mix he’d done. Like I say, I badgered him for months to do one and he wouldn’t, kept saying he wanted to do one “properly”. As you can imagine, I had no truck with that; in the same way as developing a “proper” business strategy is a sterile process, so doing a mix requires an admixture of chaos to be flavoursome. (That’s not to say that I don’t edit the chaos to fuck when I’m doing my own mixes!)

When I tore open the jiffy bag and played the tape, it was a simply sublime mix of roots classics, DJ cuts and ragga. Ever since, the wife and I have been caning it in the car and on the home stereo, we’ve played it hundreds of times and the tape itself is now badly wearing out, hence my desire to capture it digitally before it finally died. As it turns out this is a service not just to us, and John and his family (this was the music playing when I drove John, Lorna and Ruby home from the hospital when Ruby was born!) but also to the world at large — for this is the best DJ mix you will hear this month. I guarantee it.

Friday night special: John Eden’s ultimate roots’n’dancehall mix
90 minutes.

Mix Tracklist
John has kindly compiled a track listing, which pleases me hugely cos he was much too drunk to do it at the time, and far too hung over the next morning to do anything but stick it, naked and unadorned, in an envelope. Even better, he’s done sleeve notes and record scans. We don’t do it by halves here at Shards Fragments and Totems!

1) Introduction
I can’t take any credit for this 😉

2) Willie Williams – Armagideon Time (off s/t Studio One LP)
First Studio One record I ever owned. I was struck by how much of this mix featured in my recent dj set at a mate’s birthday a month or so back. That either means that the first few mixes I did were really enduring or that I just associate records in “batches” and am stuck in a rut! Everyone knows this from Ghost Dog or the Clash cover and it’s especially good to be able to kick off with a discomix – lets you get the rest of the records out, and also doesn’t rush things sonically…

3) Abyssinians – Declaration of Rights (Studio One 7″)
Get up and stand for your rights, my brothers...
An anthem, obviously. In some ways more so than “Satta”, because of the more universally immediate lyrics…

4) Prince Phillip & The Musical Intimidators – Judgement Dub (off “Heavyweight Sound – A Blood & Fire Sampler CD)
Purists can fuck off
First version excursion – bring it on! Being a bit pissed obviously meant my purism went to pot – not quite sure if you’re “allowed” to follow up the first cut with another one on a version of the riddim by a different producer. Playing tracks of a CD – and a sampler CD at that! OK – it’s a sampler for one of the best labels in the world, but y’know, not very cred – heh heh. The actual track itself is part of the tip top “Tappa Zukie in Dub” release, and basically if you’re new to all this, you can do no wrong with any Blood & Fire releases which take your fancy.

5) The Hurricanes – You Can Run (Black Art 7″)
No escape from the terminal zone
One of the first batch of represses which got done by Omar Perry in 2000 or so. Proper Scratch roots bizness and obviously most people haven’t heard it because it isn’t on any compilations I’ve seen. Fits in with the preceding tracks in the sense that it’s all about not being able to avoid judgement – dread claustrophobia and no escape.

6) The Heptones – Guiding Star (Impact 7″)
My guiding star, that's what you are... Sirius rising
Beautiful song, with the added bonus of “true stereo” which always freaks people out when they hear it in their cars or on headphones. I got this in HMV when they briefly had a bunch of sevens in. The callow youth at the checkout looked very confused by the “dinked” hole in the middle of the record and asked me how, ah, you actually PLAYED it…

7) Tappa Zukie & The Aggrovators – Jah is I Guiding Star (off “Heavyweight Sound – A Blood & Fire Sampler CD)
Natty time to go home now
So good he used it twice – if you like these two tracks you should buy the compilation, it’s only a fiver or something! Once again I think this deejay version is over a different vocal cut. (Is it Horace Andy?) “Down in a babylon a very long time, it’s time to go home now”. That bit of echo at the end is by Paul, BTW. And as a special bonus you can hear the beginning of the next track on the CD as well…

8) Scientist/Jammy – Flash Gordon Meets Luke Skywalker (off “Scientist and Jammy Strike Back!” Trojan LP)
CLASS record cover!
As I have said elsewhere “This track kicks ass – a massive anticipation-builder as it has virtually no beats in it. Stripped down minimalism that is all the more powerful for it – you know what SHOULD be happening, but just get teased. When the entire tune kicks in just before the end it feels like you’ve just come.”

The sleeve says Jammy, but Scientist reckons some of the dubs credited to both of them were entirely his, so who knows…

9) Johnny Clarke – Babylon (Jah Shaka Music 12″)
This track's rocking...
So, yeah, follow THAT up with a huge boshing Shaka steppers tune, innit? I probably needed a piss and another can from the fridge at this stage. Anyway – this is featured in the film Babylon, but isn’t on the soundtrack LP. I think it’s actually a Channel One production rather than one of Shaka’s own. But either way, it’s RUFF!!!

10) Delroy Wilson – Rascal Man (off Niney & Friends 1971-1972 “Blood & Fire” Trojan LP)
Where you going to run to rascal man?
Because you need a bit of funky twinkly tunes after the bleakness of the last track. I can’t believe Niney doesn’t get more respect from people. Another “run / hide” judgement track.

11) Upsetters – Blackboard Jungle Dub Version One (off Upsetters – “Blackboard Jungle Dub” Upsetters(?) LP)
Shitey pressing but it’s actually as was originally intended – with one mix in each channel! I can’t remember the full story off the top of my head, but I seem to recall that one mix is by Lee Perry and one by King Tubby. Some versions are in mono (not as daft as it sounds – most soundsystems are set up in mono) but you can mix it up big style by the use of your “balance knob”. Anyway I remember taking some Merzbow fan to task because of him doing what was heralded as the first “two lps in one – with one recorded on each channel”. Psychic TV did something similar with the b-side to the Roman-P 7″ on Sordide Sentimale, but once again Jamaica got their first, better and more listenable! Anyway – this was an early 70s ting, like the Niney track before it, so that must have been what I was thinking…

12) Linval Thomson – Mariguana (Thomson Sound 7″)
13) King Tubby – Mariguana Version (Thomson Sound 7″)
I like to smoke... it gives me a deep meditation...
Great tune – I snuck out of the flat one Saturday morning “to get milk” and pegged it down to Gladdy Wax for half an hour, and then snuck back in trying to hide the carrier bag and everything. Of course, Lorna knew exactly what was going on and found the whole incident highly amusing. Hmmph. I found myself singing this loudly to myself one afternoon recently, which is a good sign, except I was making coffee for the whole department at the time in the work kitchen…

Paul has added his own echo here again, to cover up my deft “pause the tape and turn the record over” technique.

I think we can safely call this “the end of side one”.

(Ed.: Compare and contrast with the versions on my Tons of Boxes mix, which I must stick up here some time…)

14) Frankie Paul – Worries in the Dance (from “Hitbound – The Dances Were Changing” Pressure Sounds LP)

Massive tune off an outstanding compilation – Pressure Sounds are easily up there with Blood & Fire for quality, but spread out away from being strictly 70s roots as well – which is fine by me. Anyway – you can’t mess with this and the dogs get sampled all over the place, don’t they? It always amazes me how much Frankie Paul’s vocals sound like Joe Strummer here. DJ Scud dropped this in the middle of a bonkers set at The End once. And then played the dub as his last track – respect!

15) Morgan Heritage & Bounty Killer – Gunz in the Ghetto (71 Records 7″)
16) Anthony B – Lock di Gun Dem (71 Records 7″)

So, yeah, these are also on the Shake The Foundations volume 2 mix in slightly curtailed form. “Lock” was the first Anthony B tune I ever heard as well. Yaggedy Yow!

(Ed.: these tunes are absolutely KILLER!!!)

17) Sister Nancy – Bam Bam (off “300% Dynamite” Soul Jazz LP)

Is that the sounds of purists spitting? Pop tune off pop label, but you have to see a room full of women dancing to it, really. And female vocals sound ten times sweeter after some rugged DJ biz.

(Ed.: Anyone who doesn’t like this wants their head examining.)

18) Pliers – Bam Bam (off “Dancehall 101” VP LP)
Want you to know that, I am a man who, fights for the right and not the wrong...

Hmm, so no version excursion on the stalag riddim but instead a follow up with the same title. A bonafide classic – “Murder She Wrote” also, but that’s slightly problematic because of its ambiguity about the wrongness of abortion (i.e. – it’s not wrong per se, is it?). The cover of this record is just absurdly un-pc and everyone who’s seen it round my gaffe has picked it up and laughed at it. You can’t fault the riddim either – a sharp reminder to those who hate ragga for its inauthenticity that it is often more “african” musically than a lot of roots tracks from the 70s.

19) Sizzla – Jump Nuh (Xterminator 7″)
No, I can't make out what he's saying either
Hmmm. The record I taped for lots of people without realising it has lots of homphobic references in. Gah. None of them have mentioned it though. I can’t unhear it now, which somewhat detracts from the huge chasmic pounding riddim behind it. One of those tunes I picked at random from Dub Vendor’s mail order catalogue…

20) Luciano – Final Call Dub (from “MLK Dub” Ras CD)
Fiiiiinaaal callllllll....
This is pivotal shit, 21st Century dubwise from Fatis Burrell of Xterminator.

(Ed.: a killer modern dub and the main inspiration for the new wave of Grievous Angel tracks…)

21) Super Cat – Boops (Techniques 7″)

Stoopid! Super Cat is widely seen as the vocal precursor to Sean Paul. In fact he has allegedly recorded a dis track on the very topic. I assume this is the first of a whole slew of boops (sugar daddy) tracks from the period. Class lyrics “and when you check it out, Friday a payday…”

(Ed.: quite possibly my favourite record ever…)

22) Tanya Stephens – Bounce Me (off “Ragga Ragga Ragga 12” Greensleeves LP)

First ragga LP I bought and I’m not ashamed to say so, innit! Can’t fault Tanya – great delivery and humour “kick of the size 10 nikes” and all. Fucking big skip in it though, I probably fell over onto the table. 🙂

23) Simpleton – Coca Cola Shape (off “Dancehall 101” VP LP)

Love this – great lyrics about thwarted lust. Miles away from the “I’m a sex machine and all the laydeez want me” attitude so prevalet today. All over the world men are getting knocked back by gorgeous women, alright? Hopefully they’re not all getting injured by flying rocks as well, but there it is.

24) General Degree – Pot Cover (off “400% Dynamite” Soul Jazz LP)
25) Cobra – Tek It Off (Size 8 7″)

Bass, innit. Plus kitchen implements introduction. What’s not to like? Well apart from the stupid “reversed out” lyrics in the Cobra tune – what’s that all about, eh? I especially like the General cut, cos it makes no sense whatsoever to me and sounds like two cartoon characters having a domesitc in Homebase or something.

26) Luciano – Blast Off Go Moon (Kennedy International 7″)
27) Baby Wayne – Sick Of Dem Treatment (Kennedy International 7″)
28) Admiral Tibet – Blame It On Yourself (Kennedy International 7″)
When there's blacks on the moon...
Again – this lot features on the Shake The Foundations 2 mix. But better put together by a factor of about 3 million. The Luciano track I found out about just as it had left record racks all across London, which was a pisser because I was about to play a couple of space reggae sets for the Association of Autonomous Astronauts. Baby Wayne I know nowt about, but Admiral Tibet is always a favourite – perhaps not over a whole album but if he turns up on one cut of a roots selection then I’ll definitely check it out.

29) Bloodclaat Gangsta Youth – Kill Or Be Killed (Full Watts 7″)

This is one of the best pieces of music ever committed to vinyl, in my opinion. It certainly inspired countless others to have bash at bashment. Perfect.

(Ed.: they had my old Allen & Heath 32-channel desk for ages — claim to fame!)

Many thanks to John for doing the sleeve notes and, most of all, for doing one of the finest reggae mixes you will ever hear.

Summer Breakbeats 2: Dog Days

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
60 minutes.


Kasha Ft. Sarah Nelson: U
A picture of Shara Nelson. I can't remember who was in Kasha. Probably someone embarassingly famous.
Classy hyperkinetic soul to start off.

Leftfield: Dusted (Si Begg Mix)
Leftfield, wondering where that funny noise is coming from.
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)
Basement Jaxx, in Brixton
The extra ruff mix. Familiar I know but there’s some interesting wrinkles here…

HardKnox: Come In Hard
Hardknox. MENTAL!!!
From one pub in Brixton to another. Absolutely mental heavy metal mash-up. I fucking love Hardknox.

Dylan Rhymes: Naked and Ashamed
Dylan Rhymes, DJing.
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)
Si Begg, looking cheerful. Cute, isn't he?
The revenge of the funk. Awesome track. Dude.

Fatboy Slim: Michael Jackson
Norman Cook, acid house hero.
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
Plump DJs, embracing modernism.
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
Jody of Way Out West, DJing. No, really.
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
Si Begg, inventing another meaningless pseudonym.
Something twisted beyond all recognition to bring you down.