Tuesday 27 September 2022

Remarc 1994

RIP - REMARC (1994)
Now for some undeniable classics that I've probably posted before but...

RIP is top 5 all time ragga jungle gem. 

If you don't know anything about jungle just press play. 

1:33 is the moment you will know if you are a born junglist or not as the chipmunk samples clear and a reggae toast heralds the incoming Amen breaks followed by a pile-driving sub bass drop. The chopped up breaks are a supreme ruff rush of the manic variety. Hardcore. Peak jungle. 

The "pizza de resistance" of Amen smashers Drum N' Bass Wize just gets better with age. This delirious choppage will have you hanging on every snare hit and gap in-between. There's just a smidge of a Mentasm in the background throughout and that hallucinatory time-stretched "drum n' bass wize" hook is irresistible. The best. 

*to be continued...

Sunday 25 September 2022

4HERO (Cold Mission & Project A-KO)

Cold Mission - For Da Ladies (1994)
A ruff rush where the hardcore rave spirit lives on a few years later. A rare bit of ragga jungle from 4HERO circa 1994. 

Project A-KO - Passion & Fire (1994)
Project A-KO is another 4HERO alias. Maybe later there was too much of this style which became the commercial public face of hardcore but this slice of mellow jungle into dnb from '94 is just sweet here. The unmistakeable sound of the mid 90s. 

Project A-KO - In Time (1994)
Staying true to '92 (in 94).

Saturday 24 September 2022

Internal Affairs (Goldie & 4 Hero) - Shinin' Down On Me 1993

On the surface this is a blueprint for radio/cafe friendly dnb that was to come in a year or two but give it another listen. Beneath the future gloss is a pretty deranged hardcore jungle tune. This is truly a sonic moment where the avant and the pop intersected. A real tension exists within this track where the pioneering hardcore underground elements meet the crowd pleasing commercial pop needs of the masses.  And yet it wouldn't be until the following year that Goldie would break into the charts with Inner City Life.

Tuesday 20 September 2022


Redy to Atak
Pretty mental jungle and so tinkered with in a dub tradition but it somehow becomes mellifluous. This paradox was not lost on listeners at the time. This is a 4HERO alias from one of their two 12"ers of 1994. 

The Sound Bizniz
Is this even jungle? Whatever it is, it's a journey into unorthodox beat science. Mac & Dego were known for pioneering a lot more than jungle. The secret to 4HERO's art was the broad palette of musical knowledge which they drew upon to come up with such boundary busting tunes. 

Drug Store Rude Boy
This is far out. 
Jungle from the other side. 

Lovely ambient jungle until (as pointed out in the comments) the 3:24 mark when it's interrupted out of nowhere by something unnatural. Tainted euphoria. 

Monday 19 September 2022

Source Direct

Shimmer (1994)
From the first Source Direct 12", Shimmer was the b-side. It starts out like a dolphin ambient almost shoegaze-y jungle thing before morphing into an amen smasher with diva after two and half minutes. Then at 3:49 we get the bleep-y technoid vibes as the bass drops continue and it smashes on. In 1994 you could have literally bought a record every day with an Amen break on it and they would have all been good.

Stars (1994)
After the atmosphere of the intro it's an Amen smasher all the way with a 1:37 sub bass drop for maximum speaker shaking. The 3:38 moment when the drums pull up for some dilapidated ambience is the subdued euphoric moment you're waiting for. 

Sunday 18 September 2022

Source Direct - Black Domina

Supreme choppage amongst the tense vibez. The gaps between drum hits are fascinating and that cymbal editing is top level mesmerising. 

Saturday 17 September 2022

GOLDIE - Still Life (Photek Remix)

What I love about this is despite it being drum'n'bass by this stage it's still a totally hardcore riddim. This was 4HERO on production & engineering and Photek on the remix. Still the future, has anyone come up with a better future?

Saturday 10 September 2022

The Shining Soundtrack

...because more than anything this film is a great listen. As a movie it's a great soundtrack. Why were we searching for the ultimate industrial noise thrills in the 70s, 80s & 90s? when it was already done many years prior by classical composers then put into this incredible sound design by music editor Gordon Stainforth for one of the biggest mainstream horror flicks of our time. The Shining OST 1980, it's got all the Penderecki pomp, percussion, dissonance, buzzing, scraping, violent intensity, abstraction etc. I mean De Natura Sonoris 2 is noisier and better than anything Einst├╝rzende Neubauten or Liabach ever did, falling spanner sound included. Don't forget the other orchestral dudes Bartok and Ligiti. Ligiti brings the ominous frequencies and electric drones while Bartok's more subtle strings, percussion and celesta eerily enchant until climaxing with a jolt. Then there's the 30s pop of Jack Hylton, Al Bowlly & Pet Van Steeden that 20 years later would inspire hauntology, in particular Leyland Kirby's musical project The Caretaker (which he named after Jack Nicholson's character). 

I wonder if there is a mix from the actual film's sound source as there are a few pieces of music missing here and it's the editing of this noise of the 20th century that brings the extra excitement. Anyway for now here is the track listing for this youtube version of the soundtrack which is much more comprehensive than the original vinyl version from the 80s:

1. The Shining Main Title by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind
2. Lontano by Ligeti
3. Music For Strings, Percussion, & Celesta by Bartok 
4. The Awakening of Jacob by Penderecki 
5. De Natura Sonoris No. 1 by Penderecki 
6. Polymorphia by Penderecki 
7. Masquerade performed by Jack Hylton 
8. De Natura Sonoris No. 2 by Penderecki 
9. It's All Forgotten Now by Al Bowlly 
10. Kanon by Penderecki 
11. Home by Van Steeden, Clarkson, and Clarkson 
12. Utrenja (Kanon Paschy) by Penderecki 
13. Utrenja (Ewangelia) by Penderecki 
14. Midnight, the Stars, and You by Henry Hall & The Gleneagles Hotel Band

Thursday 8 September 2022

Denroy Morgan - I'll Do Anything For You

The synth in this is just the best! Classic bit o 1981 boogie from Jamaican ex-pat in America Denroy Morgan. 

Wednesday 7 September 2022


Unwound are more well known for the inferior bands they influenced than for their own actual music, such as Modest Mouse, The Trail Of Dead, At The Drive In, Black Dice etc.

After Twin InfinitivesSpiderland and Soundtracks For The Blind you could make a case for Unwound's 1996 LP Repetition as the fourth greatest innovative American noisy rock album record of the 90s. Discuss (or not I mean who cares at this point...)

Intense with lackadaisical overtones. Emotional...

You know a good LP when the best tune is the final track (cf. Gouge Away - The Pixies, The Bewlay Brothers - David Bowie). 

Friday 2 September 2022

earth - omen and portents

I never like re-activated groups. The two exceptions are Swans circa The Seer and totally surprisingly Earth. This track puts me in mind of Rock Formations era Yawning Man but slower. Bill Frisell guests. A deep psych jam emerges from the doomed drone desert rock nexus.