Monday, 30 December 2013

Ed Rush - Bludclot Artattack

Ed Rush - Bludclot Artattack (No U-Turn, 1993)

Although the No U-Turn label had started up in 1992 with User 102's 'Can't Hold It', it wasn't until their second release the following year that the "No U-Turn sound" began taking shape. The story goes that a young Ben Settle AKA Ed Rush successfully badgered Nico Sykes, his neighbour and No U-Turn owner, to produce tracks with him, leading Sykes to discover rave music in the process. The result was 'Bludclot Artattack', a slice of dark paranoia that sounded like nothing else at the time and was the genesis of techstep.

The 12" included two mixes and while they aren't substantially different, it's the Dark Mix on the flip that's the one to go for. It opens with a "When it come, it come like a bloodclot heart attack... Spread out" patois vocal sample (reused on the Loefah Remix of Pinch's 'Punisher') before nightmarish samples played forwards and backwards ("Oh God, no") introduce dread-filled synth pads. The whole vibe of the tune is blunted and you can almost smell the weed smoke that must have filled Nico's cramped studio when this was being made. The sluggish bassline is accompanied by drums that use the Hot Pants break along with a Think based break created by DJ Monita on the Skeleton Krew's 'Luv Ta Luv Ya'. Several other samples crop up along the way with the "Let it go" line from Sinnamon's 'I Need You Now' appearing along with a sci-fi sound effect from Queen's 'The Ring (Hypnotic Seduction Of Dale)' off the Flash Gordon soundtrack. A "You got a ticket to hell" vocal from Hellbound: Hellraiser II precedes a section of reversed horror movie dialogue and disturbing atmospherics along with timestretched drums. The track feels devoid of energy and as Peter Shapiro in the The Rough Guide To Drum'n'Bass wrote, it "marked Jungle's transition away from the ecstasy rush towards the blunted, bloodshot detachment of marijuana".

Ed Rush and Nico returned to the track in 1994 with Lick 1 and Lick 2 which both include a great sample of Martin Sheen from Apocalypse Now: "Every time I think I'm going to wake up back in the jungle". An unreleased mix opened Fierce's Acolyte: From Jungle To Drum & Bass mix of classic No U-Turn material in 2002 and also appeared on the accompanying 12". You can hear 'Lick 1' in Ratty's superb set at Dreamscape 11 below:

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