Wednesday, 23 January 2013

B-Jam - Col' Rock Stuff


B-Jam - Col' Rock Stuff (Smokers Inc, 1997)

B-Jam was one of several aliases used by brothers Joe and Tobi Brodie, who ran Smokers Inc and its numerous sub-labels which included Rude & Deadly and Evil. They started off on a Newcastle pirate radio station in the early nineties and by the middle of the decade were releasing jump-up drum'n'bass records heavy with hip-hop samples which although excellent were often overlooked.

'Col' Rock Stuff' is a case in point and one of my favourites from their discography. It begins with the much-sampled piano from The Goodie Mob's 'Cell Therapy' and a "Drop A Gem On 'Em" vocal taken from the Mobb Deep track of the same name. Half-speed drums come in with the "Ooh... Ahh" female vocal from the beginning of 'Turn Off The Lights' by Larry Young's Fuel. The intro uses a technique I am particularly fond of where the drums switch to full tempo before dropping to half-speed and quickly back again, giving it a stop-start feel.

After sampling a "Col'... Rock... Stuff" vocal from 'Cold Chillin' In The Spot' by Jazzy Jay & Russell Rush (AKA Russell Simmonds), an energetic reese bassline is dropped. The drums are formed from multiple breakbeats, primarily the 'Plastic Jam' and 'Think' breaks, although a lighter 'Worm'-like break is used in the second half of the track. The Mobb Deep track is utilized again, this time using the "You got a gat you better find it and use that shit" line. In a nice little touch during the last couple of minutes the bassline changes to mimic the piano from the intro and the track finishes with half-speed drums and a looped hip-hop chant. Superb jump-up that deserves to be better known.

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