Saturday, 16 February 2013

Tyranny - Is This A Game


Tyranny - Is This A Game (Sophisticated Underground Sounds, 1996)

I know very little about the Sophisticated Underground Sounds label, other than they put out ten releases between 1995 and 1997 from artists including DJ Phantasy and Special K and focused on the jump-up style of drum'n'bass. DJ Zinc was responsible for their first release, 'Fatters / 12 O'Clock Drop', alongside former production partner Swift (not to be confused with Mampi Swift) and made a return to the label in 1996 as Tyranny, the only time he has used the alias, with 'Is This A Game'.

The track samples dialogue from the eighties movie War Games in which a young man gains access to a secret government computer which has control over the United States' nuclear missiles. Believing he is playing a game he accidentally sets off a countdown to World War 3. Zinc takes a section in which the computer is asked "Is this a game, or is it real?", to which it replies "What's the difference?". The track is given an appropriate Cold War feel by submarine sonar bleeps and has an extended intro which alternates between the Cold Sweat and Hot Pants breaks accompanied by a simple bassline. The full drop doesn't occur till the three minute mark when following the War Games sample a tearing Amen break is brought in along with a classic Zinc bassline. A little known tune with a dark, paranoid feel to it in contrast to Zinc's usual hip-hop flavoured material of the time.

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