Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up (DJ Hype Remix)

The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up (DJ Hype Remix) (XL Recordings, 1997)

Kool Keith is an eccentric rapper with many monikers but he started out as a member of the Ultramagnetic MCs. They released the classic Critical Beatdown LP in '88 and were a favourite of The Prodigy's Liam Howlett who sampled them on 'Out Of Space' (the "I'll take your brain to another dimension... Hold it, pay close attention" vocals come from Critical Beatdown's title track). However his sampling of the group led to controversy in 1997 when 'Smack My Bitch Up' used Kool Keith's "Change my pitch up / Smack my bitch up" vocal from 'Give The Drummer Some', with further outcry following the release of the song's x-rated video.

The single included a great jump-up drum & bass remix from DJ Hype who keeps several elements from the original version including the infamous vocal hook. He also retains the acidic synth sound which was created on a Korg Prophecy with the 303 Growler patch while the breakdown features the mesmerising Indian vocals of Shahin Badar which are based on Sheila Chandra's 'Nana (The Dream)'. Hype gives the track his own flavour though with rattling drums that use the Scorpio break and a wicked bassline. Howlett apparently chose Hype's remix for the single over a darker one from Jonny L which bears little resemblance to the original version. It was later released on 1997: The Tunes, a CD given away with the January 1998 edition of Muzik Magazine, and you can listen to it below:

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