Friday, 10 May 2013

Freestyles - Feel


Freestyles - Feel (True Playaz, 1997)

The intro to Mikey Dread's 'Comic Book' features two vocals that have been heavily sampled in hip-hop and electronic music. Mikey Dread AKA Michael Campbell is a legend of Jamaican music, starting out as an engineer for the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation in 1976 before persuading them to give him his own show, Dread At The Controls, on which he exclusively played reggae music, a style that had been previously ignored by the station. It quickly became JBC's most popular program and he also gained a reputation as a singer and producer, releasing a number of classic albums and working with the likes of King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry as well as producing for The Clash and UB40 amongst others. He sadly passed away on the 15th March 2008 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Freestyles was an alias used by DJ Zinc and DJ Hype although not actually as a duo - they took one side of the record each, which resulted in good value for the record buyer as you always ended up with two strong tracks. This was their second time out using the name and for those who remember the True Playaz record sleeves, this was the first release that used the cityscape image. 'Feel' was DJ Zinc's side and is based around the "You make me feel so good" vocal from the beginning of 'Comic Book', although this originated as a jingle on his Dread At The Controls show as you can hear from this radio ad. It's quite a dark track from Zinc with a sci-fi feel to the intro before it introduces an acidic bassline. Two other heavily sampled vocals also appear just before the drop, taking the "And it goes a little something" from 'Here We Go' by Run DMC and then finishing the phrase with the "Like This" from Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh's 'La-Di-Da-Di'. The drums are based around the Hot Pants break with a crashing Amen coming in at the second drop. Another fine track from Zinc who was always one of the most consistent producers in Drum & Bass.

You can purchase the digital of 'Feel' over at Beatport, Drum&BassArena and Juno Download. Tomorrow I'll be looking at another track which samples the intro to 'Comic Book' so stay tuned.

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