Sunday, 18 August 2013

Digital - Gateman

Digital - Gateman (Phantom Audio, 2001)

If you checked out Influx Datum's remix of 'This Feeling' that I mentioned yesterday you may have noticed the great steppers break they used on it. It's taken from 'You're Getting A Little Too Smart' by the Detroit Emeralds and has been sampled in tons of hip-hop tracks such as Raekwon's 'Incarcerated Scarfaces' and Common's 'The Light'. For me though it always instantly recalls Digital's awe-inspiring 'Gateman', released on Phantom Audio's Special Edition series in 2001.

The break is the backbone of the track, opening it and running for the majority of its length. Dread-filled and drenched in reverb, 'Gateman' has the most heavyweight of basslines, an immense rumbling that deserves to be heard on a good system. A brief vocal is repeated throughout the track although exactly what it says is unclear, my best guess being "all scatter". The bleeps coalesce into something resembling a melody during the mid-track breakdown before the beats and bass return to batter you into submission. Dub for the 21st century.

Keaton provided an excellent remix of 'Gateman' in 2003, adding some Amen and nasty reese. The original mix was included on Digital's Spacefunk: The Archives 1995 - 2008 which is available from Drum&BassArena, Beatport and most other digital outlets. You can also hear it in Nolige's All Digital, Spirit & Total Science Mix Part 1 here. Phantom Audio returned earlier this year after a lengthy hiatus and the next release was recently played on Bailey's show on Ministry of Sound Radio:

Discogs link

UPDATE: Thanks to Executive Steve for alerting me about a recent post by Digital on Instagram/Facebook in which he reveals the sample source for that vocal and exactly what it says:

"The vocal is taken from a track called GATEMAN by RANKING DREAD on BODY MUSIC which was a label based in London. (The lyrics are adapted) To cut a long story short… The song talks about a man having trouble with the GATEMAN (or doorman) at a club he wants to go in along with his girlfriend. After a bit of a scuffle a load of door money got scattered all over the place. He sings, “One punch mi giyim in a him bumpy old face, a whole leep a money DON SCATTA ova di place.” So the vocal is Don Scatta, nothing but I thought it went well with the vibe of the track…"

Check out Ranking Dread's 'Gateman' below, the relevant section starts at 2:48:

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