My right hand guy at the Den, DJ Weirton, turned me onto several mountains of music. He did so right from the git-go and he’s the main reason entire stacks rose up in my musical universe. There were a few shared enthusiasms: old school rap and reggae and dub. Out of this mix, he intuited enough receptivity on my part to give me a spectacular crash course in new urban music.
Joint after musical joint of chill breaks, downtempo, illbient, Crooklyn dub, jungle and drum and bass proved to be the right prescription. Then, sometime into this blast, a friend at corporate unearthed several boxes of promos stashed under her desk and these turned out to be bursting with what the chain’s buyer simply reduced to the term, ‘techno.’ It was on.
Now, ten years after walking away from music retail, I still sustain my weak spot for the Ninja Tunes crew, Amon Tobin and a few others, and, jazzy downtempo best exemplified by The Cinematic Orchestra and Up, Bustle, and Out. After my last stint, there were a few years when all sorts of jungle and break beat was sifted down to the bargain stacks at The Record Exchange. This was beat heaven on my slim budget. Yet, long before Ableton Live and Reason came to the fore, evoking a giant tsunami of third wave urban breaks, I had already reconfigured my, alas, limited muso time.
Thus, I was delighted to run across in my newsreader an article, 20-best-drum-and-bass-singles-of-2010, complete with a youtube video for each blunt. At #20, the list starts off with Seba, who has been at this since break’s golden age in the nineties. The music showcased simply rages on.
Here’s a foursquare of classic drum and bass from back in my personal dnb day, including my all time favorite from Grooverider, Where’s Jack the Ripper, the title cut to Ronnie Size‘s London Calling of breaks, an atmospheric slowdown from Big Bud, and a proto stepper from Metalheadz.
GROOVERIDER Where’s Jack the Ripper
RONNIE SIZE New Forms
BIG BUD Spiritual
METALHEADZ Dial Up