Slacker – Scared (Of Tomorrow) [1996]
October 30, 2014

An absolutely classic slice of Mid-Nineties progressive house from Shem McCauley. A killer driving bassline and an actual percussion track is what really set itself apart from the glub of 4 to the floor House tracks of the time. Couple that with the insanely catchy riff that just relentlessly repeats over the top of that brutal bassline and your in for 6 minutes of pure bliss. Definately one of those tracks that would just drop and have the entire place staring into space, locked into some of the purest house of the time. I cant tell you the number of times ive lost it on the dancefloor to this beast.

Sadly for reasons unknown, Shem McCauley decided to end his own life in Bangkok in January of 2012. Whatever his reasons, he left behind a catalogue of classics with this being his Magnum Opus. RIP man.

Capleton & Yami Bolo – Put Down The Weapon [1996]
October 6, 2014

This is how you start a week, with Capleton and Yami Bolo filling your ears with truck loads of conscious lyrics and some fantastically repurposed dancehall favourites. Its hard not to be drawn in by Bolo’s voice, its absolute butter and a great contrast to Capleton’s legendary gruff, gravelly lyrical gymnastics. All told, its a track that might be almost 20 years old but carries a message so relevant in today’s batshit crazy world.

The Lisa Marie Experience – Do That To Me [1996]
December 15, 2012

Fast forward 6 years to 1996 and its a totally different, cleaner house sound but still echoing the construction of the previous two posted tunes. The bassdrum still pounds, the high hat is crisp as you like and the bass riff is catchy as hell. Throw into the mix the HUGE piano and vocal chorus and you can see why this track just exploded like a nuke across dancefloors. There’s no buildup, your bouncing and then suddenly your in the rafters, swinging like and ape and gurning like a muppet. If ever there was a track that defined the term “Crowd Pleasing”, I think you’d be hard pressed to argue against this classic.

Ultra – The Industry Is Wack [1996]
March 28, 2012

A really quality cut from Kool Keith and Tim Dog, seriously laid back and funky with some cracking content. Taken from the decent “Big Time” album from Kool Keith evoking some nostalgia using the Ultra name. Tim Dog’s intro is pretty damn tight but Keith does what he does best, commenting on everything that pisses him off about the state of Hip Hop. Still one of the best MC’s, Kool Keith.

Ray Keith – Special Technique [1996]
March 2, 2012

Ah Ray Keith, what a legend, not many people mastered the darkness like Keith. This track is vintage Ray Keith too, with its light choppy breakbeat and brutal wobble basslines designed to ruin your speakers. A cracking cut of proper drum n’ bass this one.

Meat Beat Manifesto – Cutman [1990]
February 6, 2012

The very last track on MBM’s first and in my opinion best album is a full on breakbeat assault using a ridiculous number of samples. I have no idea how they managed to get clearance for so many tracks considering the sampling backlash was in full effect at the time. Still, its the reason the track is called Cutman and all the chopping is what makes the track. It features a wicked mini re-edit of Rocksteady by Aretha Franklin amongst the mayhem which just kills it before going way off back into some heavy electro business. Now the above video is taken from the beginning of the incredible “Live At The Social” mix from The Chemical Brothers. A mix, so good, if you have never heard it before, perhaps its time you started!

Alex Reese – Candles (DJ Pulse Mix) [1996]
January 6, 2012

Absolute classic, this got absolutely caned, summer 1996. You couldn’t move for it, it was on the most underground station you could tune to right through to Radio 1 and Leicester Sound! Definitely a showcase of the sounds of the time, the jungle was still firmly on the underground with the “intelligent” sound dominating 96 and 97. Did it help those summers were baking hot? We may never know but I’ll tell you this, there aren’t many tracks out there that bottle the sunshine like this. Awesome.

Earl Grey – Oblivion Express [1996]
January 6, 2012

Another cracking release from Earl Grey on a heavy Jazzy DnB tip. Crisp breaks, crafty rolling basslines and truckloads of jazzy piano. Nothing not to love here, crank it up, make sure you bass is warm and you have a beer in hand. A tune to kick back with for sure.

From Discogs
This release came from Rugged at a time when it was building a reputation within the Jazzy Drum and Bass field. It represents a real summertime roller from the man like Earl Grey typical of the classic 1996 period! Both tracks are on a similar tip driven by lively Alex Reece style grooves, waves of string synths and punctuated with jazzy piano keys throughout! Fairly light tracks admittedly, and weren’t really breaking any new ground at the time but they are clean and well produced taking you on a really good trip back to a golden era which should bring a smile to any Drum and Bass aficionado’s face!

Mary Kiani – Let the Music Play (Perfecto Radio Mix) [1996]
July 8, 2011

Cracking progressive house banger from Kiani and Perfecto, so much better than the original. I have to admit I do rather like the Perfecto vocal more but since there’s no copy of it anywhere, the radio edit will have to do. Its a pretty standard Progressive House offering but thats no bad thing, with some excellent production from Oakie.

Sweep & Linda Carriere – Running Up That Hill (Jam’s Labyrinth Mix) [1994]
July 6, 2011

If your going to cover Kate Bush, you had better not screw around and full respect has to go to Carriere for taking a quality stab it. Its not Kate and thats a crying shame but regardless of that, this is an incredible rework of a classic. It retains all the necessary sweeping strings, quality vocal work of the original and mashes it with some amazing acid and synth work that just makes it sound so lush. Strangely, ive not heard this track in ages and having just dug out my Tunnel Mixes compilation, ive found myself suddenly transported back to summer 96, working at McDonalds, Warner Village, Leicester. I love how music can do that.