Peoples Station #6: Pearsall [My old skool jungle guest mix]

Pearsall drops a mix of exceptional old skool jungle for Berlin’s Peoples Station crew

Peoples Stations #6: Pearsall

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Pearsall ยท Peoples Station #006: Pearsall [Old Skool Jungle Special!]

Mixed in Berlin, March 2023
100% Vinyl
(59:41, 136 MB, 320 KBPS MP3)

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Cue File

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  1. DJ Dextrous – Nice n’ Slow [Breakdown]
  2. Skool of Hard Knocks – Kan U Feel It [Grand Larceny]
  3. DJ Monk & Kenny Ken – Good Body Girl (Remix) [KLP]
  4. Sedzy – All My Love [Flex]
  5. Danny Breaks – Step Off [Droppin’ Science]
  6. Pascal – Freedom [Frontline]
  7. Foul Play – Being With You (Van Kleef Remix) [Re-Animate]
  8. Uncle 22 – Searchin’ Hard [Strictly Underground]
  9. A-Zone – Calling The People (Remix) [White House]
  10. Lemon D – Bad Man [Conqueror]
  11. Method Man – Release Yo’ Delf (New Blood Mix) [Def Jam]
  12. Tom & Jerry – Slam [AKO Arcade]
  13. Jack Horner – After Midnight [Spectrum]
  14. DJ Ruffkutt – Heavyweight Vol. 3 (Side B) [Heavyweight]
  15. Chuck E – Smokin’ A Blunt [White House]
  16. Remarc – Bad Bwoy [Planet Mu]
  17. Love Dove Jay – Stick ‘Em Up [Vinyl Addiction]
  18. Liftin’ Spirits – Cup-A-Cha [Liftin’ Spirit]
  19. DJ Gwange – Adrenalin (Tango Remix) [Legendary]
  20. Pooch & Coulter – Musique [Cut & Run]
  21. The J.B. – Stand Easy [Back 2 Basics]

Peoples Station is a bi-weekly radio show on that launched earlier this year, hosted by Berlin’s DJ Chromz and my friend Vali NME Click, boss of the super dope Parallax Recordings (I recorded a promo mix for their big album release two years ago).

Vali invited me to contribute a mix to the six edition of the show back in, uh, March, and this is what I made for them.

Yeah, really on the ball over here!

To make this mix, I tried a new strategy, which I’m calling the ‘half shelf lucky dip’ – the idea is basically that I have a very nice record collection (if I do say so myself), and spending hours poring through many shelves to make an exquisitely perfect jungle selection is, well, a lot of work, so instead I literally just pulled out half a shelf of records from my jungle selction and made the mix with what I found in there.

Which was a lot of fun, actually! Even with taking such an approach, I was still greeted with an embarrassment of riches, and it was challenging to even figure out what I should use, so I shuffled through the selection and re-shelved the stuff that I obviously wouldn’t use, and sorted the rest into a couple of different piles based on sound / vibe, and then hit record! I’ve kind of come full circle on my thinking about mixes like this – I figure for radio shows I don’t need to get too obsessive about the mix structure, I can just play stuff I like.

I hope you enjoy the mix – 1994/1995 jungle is basically a musical cheatcode, there’s just so much good stuff that it feels like even after years of listening, I’m still discovering new gems.

To round things off, let’s pick out five tracks to focus on:

DJ Dextrous – Nice n’ Slow

Telepathy was one of the biggest original jungle raves, and in 1995 they released this compilation in collaboration with Breakdown Records, a sub-label of the mighty Suburban Base. Look at that lineup on the cover! This album featured many of the biggest names in the jungle scene, all contributing exclusive tracks. For many years this was the only place to get your hands on these tracks (although some have been subsequently re-released), including the track I used to kick off the mix, Dextrous’ lush, rare groove sampling ‘Nice n’ Slow’. Why not kick things off with a bit of funk and soul? (Side note: I used the DJ Rap track from this album on my mix Intelligente Frau a few years back). Great album! The only problem is that the vinyl is pressed four tracks to a side, so it’s difficult to use in a mix as you have to really crank the levels up.

Foul Play – Being With You (Van Kleef Remix)

‘Being With You’ is an all-time jungle anthem, one of the key tracks in the development of a more soulful, atmospheric style of jungle (the style that I featured on my mix ‘Rolled in Sunshine‘), and a key beacon on the path to the development of so-called ‘intelligent drum n’ bass’. Although the original came out on the mighty Moving Shadow, this remix appeared exclusively on a compilation called ‘Renegade Selector Series 2’, which appeared as both a mix cd by Randall, as well as an unmixed double-pack. Van Kleef was an alias used by Jason Kyriakides and Michael Bennett, two members of the original old skool hardcore trio Top Buzz, the act behind the legendary rave anthem ‘Livin’ in Darkness’ . Van Kleef was an alias they used only on two releases – this as well as the absolutely classic ‘Life Began Changing‘, which has now become one of the most sought-after jungle records. A true anthem! In the late 90’s, Kyriakides (better known as Jason Kaye) went on to become one of the pioneers of the emerging UK Garage scene, and he spent the rest of his career as a beloved elder statesman in both the Old Skool and UK Garage scenes, before tragically passing away earlier this year.

Uncle 22 – Searchin’ Hard

Uncle 22 was one of the dj/producers associated with East London’s De Underground shop and label, the best-known member of which was Cool Hand Flex, and this track came out on yet another compilation, ‘Dub Plate Selection Vol. 1’, which was released by Essex-based Strictly Underground. Strictly Underground are one of those labels that have seen their stock rise dramatically over the years. Unapologetically working-class rave, all graffiti, bomber jackets, and crazed rave anthems, back in the day they weren’t talked about in the dance music press to anywhere near the same extent as more ‘serious’ jungle / drum n’ bass labels, yet the releases on their various labels have become major collectors’ items over the year. Funny how the wheel of opinion turns! Mark Ryder, the label boss, is another one who caught the garage wave in the late 90’s, putting out tons of releases and compilations, and, from what I can tell, making a tidy sum of money along the way. Good for him!

Method Man – Release yo’ Delf (New Blood Remix)

If you’re my age, you will need absolutely zero introduction to Method Man, one of the most storied members of State Island’ Wu-Tang Clan, almost certainly the most important and influential rap crew of the 1990’s. The original track appeared on his 1994 solo album ‘Tical’, which was the first Wu-Tang solo album (although far from the last!), and this remix appeared on the UK single release in 1995, at the point where jungle was transforming into drum n’ bass and influences were switching from ragga to hip-hop. New Blood is one of the more famous influences of DJ Stretch, who over the last ten years has been one of the most important figures in the jungle revival via his AKO Beatz family of labels. This is a really cool remix that shows the direction in which things were heading – Method Man’s lyrics and unique delivery layered over rolling beats and bass.

The J.B. – Stand Easy

Although the jungle scene was centered around London, there were key players spread throughout England, and the Back 2 Basics label from Tipton in the West Midlands was one of the most important labels outside London. This track by label boss Jason Ball is a perfect encapsulation of their sound – huge, crowd-pleasing rave anthems! To me, this was a perfect set closer – it kicks off with some awesome euphoric synths and then it drops with stunning force. Back 2 Basics released a ton of tracks like this, and, sure, you can argue that it was a bit formulaic, but you can’t argue with the results if you play this to the right crowd.