Monday, 11 February 2013

Source Direct - A Made Up Sound

Source Direct - A Made Up Sound (Metalheadz, 1995)

Source Direct were the duo of Phil Aslett and Jim Baker and they produced abstract, technically precise drum'n'bass that was amongst the finest of the genre. Like myself they are from St. Albans in Hertfordshire and the first time I heard them was on a free cassette showcasing the Metalheadz label that came with the May 1996 issue of Muzik Magazine. When I started buying records seriously later that year I immediately sought out their releases, beginning with 'A Made Up Sound', which appeared on that tape and was also included on the Platinum Breakz compilation.

The track has a dark film noir vibe and begins with a minor key rhodes sample before introducing its most striking feature, a masterfully cut-up 'Apache' break. This is joined by a secondary 'Think' break along with a mostly indecipherable vocal sample (Play that song... ??????) and an 808 bassline, occasionally accompanied by echoed guitar licks and strange noises. Midway through the track is given some warmth thanks to another rhodes sample before it reverts back to its more disconcerting beginning. Probably my favourite track in their discography and presumably the inspiration for the techno/dubstep producer Dave Huismans' A Made Up Sound alias.

Check out this unintentionally hilarious interview from 1996 featuring Jim and Phil driving around the Hertfordshire countryside in their identical BMW M3s which they apparently blew their entire album advance on. Joy O samples a part of this interview for the vocal on 'Ellipsis' (check at around 1:29).

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