Tuesday, 18 March 2014
The Dream Team - Stamina (Suburban Base, 1994)
The legendary Suburban Base imprint has been making waves recently with the digital reissue of their remastered back catalogue alongside a new three CD set tracing their history from hardcore and jungle through to drum and bass. Founded by Dan Donnelly out of his Boogie Times record shop in Romford in 1991, the label released classic after classic during the nineties with anthems such as Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era's 'Far Out', Boogie Times Tribe's 'The Dark Stranger' and Remarc's 'RIP' tearing up dancefloors.
To celebrate Suburban Base's revival DnB 365 are taking a two part look at a couple of tracks which both feature on the new collection and whose impact continues to reverberate around today's music scene. First up we have The Dream Team's 'Stamina', an inescapable tune back in '94 thanks to its catchy reggae loop from Ricky Tuffy's 'Stamina': "Jump around because you have the stamina". This is combined with a tough reversed bassline and roughneck Amen/Think drums that get timestretched all over the place. The track also features the well used "Hey Hey Hey" from Capleton's 'Everybody' alongside machine gun sound effects but the vocal sample that I'm focusing on today is the female "Ooh yeah... justify my love". The first half of the vocal cropped up again last year on 'Lockjaw' by Paul Woolford under his Special Request guise. The track is one of the most junglistic on his superb Soul Music album, a record that is based around the idea of constructing "false memories". Not the most prominent component of 'Stamina', the sample is familiar but difficult to place, creating a sense of deja vu and giving you the impression of having heard 'Lockjaw' before.
The digital of 'Stamina' is available to purchase from iTunes while the Suburban Base: A History of Hardcore, Jungle, Drum & Bass 1991-1997 compilation should be available from all good retailers in both CD and digital editions. The second part of our Suburban Base feature is coming soon with a look at a tune that has hugely influenced one of today's most lauded producers...
Friday, 7 March 2014
Bill Riley - Wake Up (Protocol, 1996)
Although posts have been rather sporadic here at DnB 365 in 2014, I have been regularly writing my Monday Retrospect column for DnB Blog. The first track I looked at this year was 'In At The Deep End' by the underrated Bill Riley, a Bristol producer who ran the Protocol label while also releasing material on Full Cycle and V Recordings. With spring on its way in the UK I thought I'd take a look at the flipside to that tune, the equally good 'Wake Up'.
Like 'In At The Deep End' the track features an extended intro that features shimmering Lonnie Liston Smith-esque rhodes and melancholy trumpet over skittering drums that use the Think break. The partly obscured vocal, "Y'all better free your minds and wake up", is taken from Erick Sermon's 'Focus' off his 1995 Double Or Nothing LP and the sample introduces a gritty, distorted double bass riff along with the Apache break. 'Wake Up' shows Riley's ability to combine smooth jazz funk samples with tough drum and bass and ranks among the best from Bristol's mid-nineties golden era.
Check the track out in this recent Fanu & Docius show for Bassoradio from November 16th 2013: