Tuesday, 30 July 2013

London's Most Wanted - Bear Witness

London's Most Wanted - Bear Witness (Chronic, 1996)

Art Of Noise's first major hit was 'Close (To The Edit)' which reached number eight on the UK singles chart. The track actually started life as the 'Diversion 2' remix of 'Beat Box' before being slightly edited and released under its new title as a single in May 1984. It is the source of the much sampled "Hey" which has been used on tracks such as 'Firestarter' by The Prodigy and 'Pump That Bass' by Original Concept. I've read a few theories regarding its origin including the popular belief that it's the voice of Paula Yates but in 2010 Gary Langan of AON revealed in this interview that it's Camilla Pilkington-Smyth of the Pilkington glass family. Obviously.

That "Hey" also appears throughout 'Bear Witness' by London's Most Wanted (AKA Ray Keith) which was released on the V Recordings sub-label Chronic in 1996. The track also prominently features a slowed down loop of the beat from House Of Pain's 'Jump Around' which is itself made up of the piano from 'Popeye (The Hitchhiker)' by Chubby Checker and the scream at the beginning of 'Shoot Your Shot' by Jr Walker & The All Stars. This regularly alternates with stabs of bass over the Sandy break and a "Bear Witness" vocal from the track of the same name by Dr. Octagon (AKA Kool Keith). Ray Keith later introduces a wobbly bassline which combined with a similar cut-up of the Sandy break makes the track very reminiscent of his 'Dark Soldier' tune. He also adds the Hot Pants and Amen breaks at points while the horror movie-esque keyboard melody from Dr. Octagon's 'Waiting List' (originally from 'Call To Awareness' by Hubert Eaves III) is dropped in a couple of times. A sample heavy stop-start tune that has an excellent remix on the flip - check that out here.

'Bear Witness' appears on the Vintage Dread II album which is available digitally from Beatport and Drum&BassArena amongst others. You can hear the track in Nicky Blackmarket's One In The Jungle mix from 5th July 1996 with Stevie Hyper D on the mic:

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