Thursday, 15 August 2013
Desired State - Beyond Bass
Desired State - Beyond Bass (RAM Records, 1993)
I recently realised I hadn't covered RAM Records nearly enough on this blog so I'm going to take steps to rectify the situation over the next few months. Desired State was another alias of Andy C and Ant Miles and was actually the first name they recorded under, dating back to 1991 before RAM Records even existed. 'Beyond Bass' was released in 1993 and is an excellent example of RAM's early advancement of the jungle sound.
It opens with metallic noises zipping up and down before hits of bass and the "Give it to me baby" vocal from Humanoid's 'Cry Baby' enter - this vocal and the later harp sample also both appear in 'Killer Beat' on the other side. The track has a low moody bassline but, as the "Annihilating Rhythm" vocal sample suggests, the focus is on the Amen break which also regularly appears half-speed underneath. The deep voiced vocal that the track is well known for is sampled off of Grace Jones' 'Operattack' and is actually the actor Ian McShane (Lovejoy!) reading extracts from Ian Penman's "The Annihilation of Rhythm" essay from the sleeve notes to Jones' Slave To The Rhythm album. While the majority of 'Beyond Bass' is full of unsettling sounds the breakdown brings in some blissful synths to bring a bit of light to the gloom. Well ahead of its time.
The track is available on Breakdown's Drum & Bass Selection 1 and DJ Box Vol. 1 compilations. Desired State remixed the track themselves the following year and you can hear that version in Law's excellent Alternative History of RAM Records mix below - head here to grab the download.