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Tuesday (OK, Wednesday) Time Machine: Fat Stacks Edition

A Berlin classic: Currywurst from Zur Bratpfanne on Schloss Strasse

Ok, this should have been posted yesterday, but such is life!

If you saw Mondayday’s post you’ll know that I’m currently sorting through my records in our new Berlin flat. So, for today’s edition of the (very occasional) Tuesday Time Machine, here’s a look at all nine of the tunes that are nestled (somewhat precariously) on top of the stacks in the picture. I have a big collection, so there are even more tunes out of view!

First up, let’s jog your memory with the pic again:

Continue reading Tuesday (OK, Wednesday) Time Machine: Fat Stacks Edition

Pearsall – Dreaming Of Berlin (Forthcoming on Freeformatted Vol. 2)

Berlin street art
Street art in an alleyway off Brunnenstrasse in Mitte, Berlin

As you might know, since I keep going on and on about it, my family and I are moving to Berlin very soon, so two weeks ago I made my way to Orpington, on the south-eastern edge of London, for a day in the studio of Alex ‘A.B’ Bailey of Stamina Records, where we cooked up this tune, ‘Dreaming Of Berlin’.

It was quite an interesting day out for me. I had sent a lot of different influences through to Alex in advance (from hard trance to jungle), so when I got there he was able to quickly translate my somewhat hazy ideas into a real actual track in just one day. As is the usual case when a dj works with an engineer, what I did was basically arrangements (“no hi-hats there”, “let’s make the acid stab sharper”, “put the Amen snatch right on the bass note in the break”, “how about we take the bubble off the bass and stick to a straight off-beat?”), with him doing all of the actual manipulations for the sake of speed and clarity. Overall, it was a lot of fun being in the studio, and I am personally very pleased with the results.

With this tune I wanted to capture some of the magic of the mid-90’s M-Zone and Mark EG hard trance sound and cross it with contemporary freeform … judge for yourself how well we did it!

This tune will be featured on the forthcoming Freeformatted Vol. 2 compilation that we, the Freeformaniacs crew, are very excited to be unleashing on Halloween.

Other artists to feature on the album include Qygen, Le Dos-On, Olly Addictive, Wyrm, SamHard vs Meke, Ikaruga_Nex, Evolutionize, H-Blast, Sebucan, and more! If you want to hear some of the other tracks from the comp, check out Dyzphazia’s latest mix.

I am Edward Snowden! (Or at least his voice …)

In my professional life, I work for ITN Productions, the in-house production arm of ITN (although not for much longer, as I am actually leaving in a few weeks to go to a new job at Viewster); anyways, yesterday, being the only American guy in the office, I got roped into voicing Edward Snowden’s statement for the Truthloader team. Somehow, I doubt a future in voiceover awaits me, but if you’ve ever wondered what my voice sounds like, here you go …

If you listen to one thing today …

Champion NattyJungle Souljah

… make sure you listen to this incredible Congo Natty tribute by Uncle Dugs. All junglist crew!


01. Rebel MC Feat Tenor Fly – Comin On Strong
02. Rebel MC Feat Tenor Fly – The Wickedest Sound (Don Gorgon Mix)
03. Rebel MC Feat Little T – Rich Ah Getting Richer (B-Line Ruffneck Mix)
04. Rebel MC Feat Tenor Fly & Barrington Levy – Tribal Base (Foundation Mix)
05. Rebel MC + Prince Lincoln Thompson – Humanity (Bass Till Your Head Buss Mix)
06. Rebel MC + Prince Lincoln Thompson – I Can’t Get No Sleep (Jungle Fever Mix)
07. X Project – Walking In The Air (Mix A1)
08. X Project – Inah Sound
09. Conquering Lion – Phenomenon 1 (Catch The Fever Mix)
10. X Project – Dub Plate Special (Ruff Cut)
11. Conquering Lion – Code Red (Wild Apache Mix)
12. Blackstar – Kunte Kinte
13. Blackstar Feat Top Cat – Champion Dj (Blueprint Mix)
14. Conquering Lion – Stamina
15. Rebel MC Feat Junior Reid – Banana Boat Man (Original Mix)
16. X Project – Jah Sunshine
17. Barrington Levy & Beenie Man – Under Me Sensi (Jungle Spliff) (X Project Remix)
18. Conquering Lion Feat Beenie Man – Rastaman (Original Dubplate Version)
19. Blackstar Feat Sweetie Irie – Get Wild (Knowledge & Wisdom Mix)
20. Tribe Of Issachar Feat Peter Bouncer – Junglist Pt2
21. Conquering Lion Feat Beenie Man – Code Black (Remix)
22. Tribe Of Issachar Feat Peter Bouncer – Fever (The Revolution Has Now Begun)
23. Lion Of Judah Feat Bounty Hunter – Emporer Selassie I (King Of Kings)
24. Tribe Of Issachar – Wardance Millennium (Original Dubplate)
25. Tribe Of Issachar Feat Top Cat – His Imperial Majesty (Original Dubplate)
26. Congo Natty Feat Top Cat – Original Sess (Police In Helicopter)

Tuesday Time Machine: Optical – The Shining

Today the Tuesday Time Machine is headed back to 1997 with The Shining, a vintage slice of techstep from the legendary Optical!

Optical - The ShiningBest known for his long-running partnership with Ed Rush, Optical (known to his mom as Matt Quinn) was originally a solo producer, responsible for many excellent releases like this one, which appeared in 1997 on Metro Recordings, a label owned by his brother, Matrix. It’s not a particularly complicated tune, but a highly effective one. For the first minute and twenty seconds there are no beats, just deep, atmospheric chords, with the first hints of percussion percolating through at about the one minute mark. When the beat finally drops, it is a crisp two-stepper undergirded by a grimily distorted bassline, the legendary Reece bass tortured into a new shape. And that’s … about it. A simple and hypnotic tune – if you’re listening to this on headphones you can’t help but move, and if you are on the dancefloor you find yourself swept away without being really conscious of it.

This is hardly one of his most famous tunes, but it is one that I have always really liked. If you like this, you should definitely make a point to check out the Ed Rush and Optical albums Wormhole and The Creeps, which are both fantastically produced slabs of that minimal neurofunk sound (which they, of course, pioneered).

Tuesday Time Machine: Alex Reece – Basic Principles (Dillinja Step 1)

Alex Reece - Basic Principles (Dillinja Step 1)

An occasional feature where I grab a record from my collection … and write about it

On today’s edition of the Tuesday Time Machine, we are going to look back at a vintage, yet relatively unknown, Dillinja remix – his 1995 remake of Alex Reece’s Basic Principles on Metalheadz. Unlike a lot of Dillinja’s most famous tunes from that era, this is not a tear-your-face-off Amen smasher designed to completely annihilate the dancefloor. Something like that wouldn’t really make sense, given the fact that the original, in true Alex Reece style, was a mellow, jazzy roller designed for the dreamier floors (and for top-down summer driving). So, instead of going completely berserk, the Dilli-man reaches a nice compromise, draping Reece’s summery chords and vocal vamps over some properly iron-plated drums and stomach-punching bass that hint at the total madness that Dillinja so often unleashed. However, by practicing some restraint, this tune retains a versatility that it might not have if it really went balls to the wall. As such, it can work either as a tougher moment in a mellower set, or as a lighter moment in a harder set, or just as a nice vibing tune in the midst of a rollers selection.

Plus, because it is not one of his better known tunes, it is available really cheap on Discogs.

Want more Dillinja? Check out the History of Dillinja mixes by The Law.

If you want more drum n’ bass/jungle, here are my three most recent mixes:

King of the Rollerz – My DJ Zinc tribute
Dark Side of the Nuum – Vintage ragga jungle
Urban Takedown – Classic mid-90’s jump-up

Girdler Synthetic’s Lab 4 Tribute – A Must Listen!

clapham junctionrolling road

What are you doing right now?

Well, whatever it is, stop it. Right. This. Second.

And go listen to the new Lab 4 tribute by Girdler Synthetic, the Soundcloud player of which I have helpfully embedded above. It’s two hours of wall-to-wall amazing tunes from Lab 4, who were pretty much my favorite hard trance act of all time. I first encountered Lab 4, aged 17, at the Pendragon Summer Solstice rave in Brixton Academy, and I was absolutely blown away by the power of tunes like ‘XL6’, ‘Genetik Response’, and ‘Reformation’ (to be fair, there was a little, um, assistance in the process 😉 ), and I must have seen them at least a dozen more times over the years after that, at places like The Drome, Heaven, The Astoria, The Fridge, Camden Palace, etc, and every single time they rocked it good, and they rocked it hard, the intensity and the tempo building and building into a crescendo of fist-pumping, teeth-clenching madness. Somehow their genius transcended normal scene boundaries, with their sets destroying crusties, Antipodeans, and northern furry-booted donkmeisters with equal efficiency.

Damn, they were good.

In fact, I love them so much I was planning on doing my own tribute, but I suppose I don’t have to now!

I’ve also made a cue file, for anyone else who wants to split up this mix, which you can grab here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!