Depth Charge – Buddha Finger [1994]
May 5, 2013

No messing around here, ive been caning the shit out of this recently. J Saul Kane is the man responsible for Depth Charge and also for churning out some absolutely huge breakbeat monsters in his time, this being one of my favourites.

You cant ignore the raw punch in the face break that dominates this track, its grimy, its filthy and it is perfectly complemented by a huge array of classic Kung Fu samples. Its this production, along with 9 Deadly Venoms that really cemented Depth Charge as one of my favourite breakbeat producers, right up there with Genaside II for ferociously angry beats.

From Wikipedia
9 Deadly Venoms is the debut album by Depth Charge, and alias of UK producer Jonathan Saul Kane. The album compiles several 12″ singles released by Kane under the Depth Charge name in the preceding five years. Kane is often cited as a forerunner of Trip-hop and an influence on labels such as Mo’Wax and Ninja Tune.[1] The tracks on the album comprise instrumental hip-hop beats with dialogue and musical samples from films, particularly martial arts movies, westerns and horror films.

D.O.M. – Acid war [1995]
February 28, 2012

From one end of the spectrum to the other, this Acid Techno masterpiece from D.O.M rarely attracts anything but unapologetic joy and for good reason. This doesn’t destroy dance floors, this track obliterates them with extreme prejudice. Thats driving acid riff does not stop for the entire track, pulsing through you like a techno body snatcher from another world. There is no let up, no break, once it drops your in it for the duration. Your entire world is now nothing but possessed acid riffs, pounding bass drums and raw acid baselines. I cant adequately explain in words really just how incredible a track this is when heard live, surrounded by a sea of bodies but the reaction is just electric. An absolute masterpiece.

However, if this track is unbelievably not hard enough on the acid for you, there is a remix that may just fit the bill. Wah Wah’s Acid Intensifier Remix does exactly what it says in the title, it kicks the entire track up to 11 for seven minutes of the hardest acid bedlam your ever likely to hear. For me, its too much, the simplicity of the original is what makes it stand out for me, however I know many folks who ‘kin love the Wah Wah remix.

From Discogs
OK now, the original might come in handy every now and then, or serve for the odd occassion, but this whole release is all about the remixes, actually. For a change, yeah, the remixers really did elevate the original to whole new heights.

First off, Wah Wah’s remix is a blasting, who-can-count-that-fast-to-count-the-BPM-rate acid trancecore monster, with a hardcore touch moving at incredible velocity, with jarring and steel hammer hard acid riffs. Completely wild and off the hook. Definitely something to play during the peak of the night. No pauses, no breaks and no climaxes – just torrents of wild acid dropped for around five minutes after a brief intro and the initial build up.
Then comes Chris Liberator with one of his career calling cards. To my knowledge this is the first remix he’s ever done, and what a treat it is. Rolling, 4/4 percussion, with a funky as hell bassline as the sounds and acid leads slowly but steadily gain in loudness and intensity as they progress. By the time that final break comes, prior to the last stand-off, this track is already a wicked mental hospital, then for the last two minutes or so Chris goes completely mad, twists and tweaks with these insane acid melodies and plays a dozen tricks on your mind. Fun, danceable, funky and banging, and inclined to smack an ear to ear smile across your face – isn’t that what techno is all about? Absolutely essential for all lovers of London’s underground acid techno scene.

Cygnus X – The Orange Theme [1994]
February 28, 2012

Now here’s a track that inspires either flat out joy or absolute hatred in all that know it. Its one of those tracks that has been played to death for years, for me, thats for good reason, its a blinder of a track. Its a guaranteed floor filler, appealing to a wide slate of electronic music fans and perhaps thats one of the reasons it inspires such hatred in many. Its origins are from “A Clockwork Orange”, made by one Wendy Carlos who in turn took inspiration from Henry Purcell’s “March” from “Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary”.

Hoffman, under the Cygnus X moniker simply cranked the speed up, chucked in a bass drum and wavey ravey acid riff underneath and stuck it on wax. As you’ve probably noticed, im a big fan of simple arrangements and this is no different. There are hundreds of remixes, many of which make small insignificant tweaks to capitalise on the popularity of the original. The standouts for me being the Man With No Name mix released in 2000;

and the VERY crowd friendly, Moonman’s Orange Juice remix from ’99

Regardless of your opinion of the track, its hard to deny that The Orange Theme played an integral part of the techno and trance scenes. For good or bad its a track that can transport me back to dark, smoke filled rooms with lasers in an instant.

From Discogs
One of the best classical techno-trance themes. My guess is that it is techno-trance at its best. Unforgettable, but then again we must remember that the original melody was created by the genious Purcell, and beautifully worked by Wendy Carlos on the “Clockwork Orange” famous theme.

Eye Q reached the pinnacle of the classically melodic euro trance milieu with the ‘The Orange Theme’.

The Original Mix takes the ‘Vernon’s Wonderland’ (Vernon) approach, but raises the stakes to a quick 147+ bpm, and adds background bubbly acid line to drive it through. The result is a classical music masterpiece that has been often copied and remixed, but never bettered.

That is not to detract anything from the remixes here though, they are both worthy treatments.

Recreating a song composed by a classical music composer (such as Beethoven) into an electronica tune sounds like a good idea in almost every instance, but I have yet to really find an example of this that has really worked. The Orange Theme, which is also the main theme from the movie “A Clockwork Orange”, is just not very good. Granted, the Solar Stone remix is good trance, with a great build, but the main synth line is just not that good. It really isn’t that catchy, and is just plain cheesy. There are better trance anthems out there that are worth owning in this format.

I’ve always considered “The Orange Theme” a turd in Eye Q’s catalogue. It’s crude, in-your-face and unsophisticated, and reeks of UK superclubs and “Now that’s what I call trance” compilations.

But the flip side of this original release is magnificent. See, “Introspective” is just that – a pensive, poignant track imbued with the kind of warm melancholy often heard in the best early 90’s trance. You needn’t waste your time on the overplayed A side – this is the real deal. Beautiful.

Pamela Fernandez – Kickin’ In The Beat (Extended Mix) [1992]
February 27, 2012

I reckon its about time we paid our repects to the excellent Pamela Fernandez and the seminal classic that is “Kickin’ In The Beat”. Yeah, that accapella has been caned within an inch of its life, found predominantly listed as remixes of this tune but often just snippets of the whole. You’ll find a bunch of those tracks listed on here but the highlights for me have to be Sublime’s The Theme and the Club For Life track from Chris & James. Fernandez’ voice is tailor made for house music and the Todd Terry remix of this just brings it all together with a funky but chunky house arrangement and the vocals stomping all over the track like Godzilla. There’s a bunch of other decent remixes out there, some house heavy tracks, some more progressive. Lets see if we cant list some of the better ones eh?

Tommy Musto Remix – Glam House from 1994

Standard Issue Dancing Diva’s mayhem from 1994

Deeper Alex Party remix, also 1994!

The cracking Sub-Urban Kickin’ Mix from……. 1994!

The inexplicably popular AIM Dub mix, choppy raveyness/bouncy houseness in here… 1992

Finally and most importantly, the original accapella;

Clivilles & Cole – Pride (A Deeper Love) [1992]
February 6, 2012

How about we go the other way, this is a track that Aretha covered a couple of years AFTER Deborah Cooper lent her considerable vocal talent to this classic from Clivilles & Cole. This was a medium level hit for the boys, shame because its as classic a house track as any other. Lots of vocal talent from Cooper, lots of hallmark C&C funky bassline business.

A couple of years later, Aretha covered this track, turning it from a housey banger into a soul stormer. It got remixed a ton of times, even Cliviles and Cole did a couple of remixes, no doubt due to their original involvement. While all of Aretha’s mixes are great, her original is the better but I have to say, in this case, Deborah Cooper’s original vocals still sound better to me!

Rood Project – Thunder [1994]
November 25, 2011

Legendary track from the man who would become Bay B Kane, Mel Tanur. Its got an even split of 94 dark Jungle and what would soon become “Intelligent” DnB, supposedly one of the very first. Regarless of its lineage, the quality of this track cannot be overlooked. The break work is top notch with Amens and a cheeky shaker break layered perfectly. Add those haunting strings and a rough as hell bassline and its easy to see why its such a winner. Bona fide classic tune.

From Discogs
This is my favourite drum n bass tune of all time. Many people seem to have forgotten it ever existed. It was ground breaking in many ways, I consider it to be ‘the first’ “intelligent” drum n bass track, a good few months before Bukem started doing the same sound. The track starts of with lush strings and female vox “ooh” “ahh”, etc… the intro is loooooong, before dropping into HUGE mashed up amen and HEAVY bass that might destroy you’re speaker if you’re not careful. Totally underrated and awesome.

Jack Ruby – Global Torrents [1994]
October 3, 2011

Wow, what a cracking Jungle tune from Jack Ruby/Knowledge Records. That bass is so warm and deep its like swimming in a warm ocean. Chopped up by that two step break and the amazing vocals that pepper the track and your well on the way to a winner. Definately stands out against many of its contemporaries of the time for retaining a good dose of soul and bridging the gap between the “Intelligent” DnB scene and the Junglists. Fantastic tune, it really is.

Mory Kante – Yeke Yeke (Hardfloor Remix) [1994]
September 27, 2011

From late ’93 to about ’97 you likely wouldnt have heard a house set anywhere that didnt feature this classic remix from Hardfloor. It was literally everywhere, you’d be in an underground place listening to it, down your local Ritzy nightclub listening to it, in some Glam’d Up Superclub and hear it. Why? Cause its a banger of the highest order. The composition is simple as they come but crafted perfectly, with that cheeky acid line weaving in and out of the vocals while that throaty synth bubbles away in the background. It features one of the best breakdowns in dance music history, although I always felt that the drop failed to deliver on the buildups promise. That said, your arms will still be waving in the air, eyes clenched shut with a massive great grin on your face when the track comes back in. A progressive house masterpiece.

Mory Kante’s Bio
Mory Kanté (born February 24, 1950 in Kissidougou, Guinea) is an acclaimed vocalist and player of the kora harp. He was born into one of Guinea’s best known families of griot (hereditary) musicians. After being brought in the Mandinka griot tradition in Guinea, he was sent to Mali at the age of seven years – where he learned to play the kora, as well as important voice traditions, some of which are necessary to become a griot.

In 1971 Kanté became a member of the Rail Band, in which Salif Keïta was a singer. Keïta left the band in 1973, leaving Kanté as the singer.

Mory Kanté is best known internationally for his 1987 hit song “Yéké Yéké”, which was also one of Africa’s best-ever selling hits.

From Discogs
File this under “guilty listening pleasure.” OK, no serious (cough) electronic music type would be caught dead listening to a record that now seems to have all of the elements that are generally despised: the “ethnic” vocal sample (OK, at least Hardfloor were actually remixing the vocal here, instead of it being another example of Johnny Laptop going down to the World Music section of his local Best Buy and picking up “African Tribal Noises Vol. 13” and looping it in his sampler) – the acid line – and, since it’s 1995 – the obligatory big, big, oh-so-big rolling-snare-drum build up right in the center of it.

Yes, this record has 1995 written all over it – but there’s just something about it that just kicks ass. If I could only have one record in my collection that exemplified this 1995 sound, it’d be this one. One night I listened to it about ten times in a row. You get the idea!

Doc Scott – Far Away (Fourteen Flavours of Funk) [1994]
September 2, 2011

Christ its been a busy week. However, ive been caning some old Jungle mixes while on the burn, featuring stone cold classics like this offering from Doc Scott. Laid back breakage, some great strings and a simple vocal hook. Sure, its pretty cookie cutter but thats why Jungle & DnB got so huge I guess. If there is a formula that works, use it!

From Discogs
This is without question one of the best 12″s I’ve ever heard in any genre. Doc Scott is a master of jungle. Though his output is limited, he takes great care to smash it with every release and this one is no exception. “Far Away” is a drum and bass epic, taking you farther away than you can imagine to another dimension of space travel and blissful relaxation. “It’s Yours” samples the famous old T LaRock track, and while it isn’t quite as good as “Far Away”, it’s still better than just about any other song in your record box.

Far Away on first listen has all the components of an anthem – The haunting vocal, the ’94 break and chord progressions. And it actually follows through years later! I listen to this and am reminded of how jungle used to be.

Unlike many that have said It’s Yours is boring. I love It’s Yours more, and not just because of the heavy Amen break! It’s fun to dance around to and I can see mixing this with any new track out on the market. I love that. And You’ll love it too.

DJ Misjah & DJ Tim – Access [1994]
August 9, 2011

What. A. Tune. So huge this tune, every single DJ everywhere had this in their crate in ’94/’95. Its probably one of the most instantly recognisable tracks of the time, it was played everywhere, everyone loved it. In a single weekend I would hear this in the pub I was drinking in, the cheesy club I was in (always mixed into Higher State of Consciousness) on a Friday, on a saturday I might be at a free party/house party/underground club and lo and behold, out would come Access and the place would go off.

It not hard to see why, the track builds up perfectly with that pounding bassdrum marking your entrance into acid bliss. The track builds up, the bassline forces the track on further with its relentless rolling rhythm before dropping in a piercing string that cuts through a crowd like a knife through butter. Your senses are now under assault, the bassdrum is pounding your chest, the bassline is shaking your teeth, your skull is getting drilled by some evil string. Cut to the bridge, just that string, slicing through the crowd and suddenly from the depths, there’s an evil creeping acid riff, climbing up your spine, your eyes begin to throb, the snares are here. The buildup is almost done and BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM in it all comes, running your ass down like a steamtrain, dragging your writhing body through… WAIT, whats this, more buildup? nope, just an 8 bar break with “Ooooh” BOOOM! Your back, being dragged through an acid assault of biblical proportions.

Truly one of the greatest dance tracks of all time. Absolutely killer.

From Discogs
Seriously now, Access is one of the most inspiring pieces of electronic music – ever! Starting off with a ridiculously hard and fast drum kick accompanied by an equally menacing bass line, it stops only for a brief moment a few minutes into the track, and then following a crescendo of screaming 303s, it transforms into a high octane acid techno burner, never looking back once it really takes off!
Fairly simple in all its greatness, but it’s perfectly pitched, with a classic build up, which is just turgid with desire to be unleashed upon the party crowd. It still occasionally slips into modern DJ sets, and believe me, it has lost zero power and its devastating effect is still fully in tact. Truly a classic, and quite probably the best track to have ever been recorded under the X-Trax imprint, although Temple Of Acid is my own personal favorite.

It’s very difficult now to capture in words the devastating effect Access had on the worlds dancefloors at the time. Although plenty decent acid tracks had been released prior to 95, the 303 sound had taken a breather after the onslaught of the late 80’s & early 90’s and was then more familiar within the goa/hardtrance sounds.
The hard dance scene was absolutely huge in the uk due to the previous 7 years of innovation and as that had started to become stale the scene was screaming out for a fresh path.
Then Access Arrived!!!
Nothing had been heard quite like this and it was like a nod to the past with a wink to the future, combining a mixture of the best acid tweaking of days gone by but with the strength and power of very early 90’s gabba in a new hardtrance kinda style, very fresh at the time.
The minute that kickdrum and stab broke through a track in the mix, you could feel it like a tremor literally shaking and pounding the club, testing the sound system to it’s max like it was invented to play this track. Whatever was played before it became irrellevant, whatever was played after could not compete. Simply it caused crowds to go absolutely wild resulting in Total Dancefloor Annihilation!!! Exactly what Misjah and Tim intended it to do, i’m sure. X-Trax Rocks!!!