Tuesday Time Machine: My Top 10 (Hard) Trance Tracks of All Time

Molecule Man
Molecule Man

A few weeks back, Dyzphazia of Freeformatted asked me to name my 10 favorite trance tracks of all time; here was my answer:

In the interests of sharing, here are those ten tracks for you to listen to and enjoy.


Tuesday Time Machine: Doc Scott Remixes

Graffiti in Berlin
Graffiti in Berlin

OK, yes, this is one day late. That’s life.

Here are three quality remixes from one of my favorite drum n’ bass dj/producers, the legendary Doc Scott of Metalheadz and 31 Records fame. At some point this year I will be doing a Doc Scott tribute mix, so watch out for that!


Tuesday Time Machine: Vibes & Wishdokta

Ice on the Spree
Ice on the Spree (image by Sandra Juto)

Today in the Tuesday Time Machine we are looking back at a few tracks by two of the finest producers from the ’94/’95 glory daze of happy hardcore … Vibes & Wishdokta!

Later on Vibes would go on to become the cheesiest of the cheesy, and Wishdokta would become one of the pioneers of the UK Garage sound under his actual name, Grant Nelson, but for a brief shining period in the mid-90’s they made classic after classic after classic together. Everything that was awesome about Happy Hardcore in its initial incarnation can be heard in their music.

Propulsive breakbeats? Check.

Euphoric piano breaks? Check.

Exploding cascades of diva vocals? Check.

Deeply dub-tastic basslines? Check.

Cheeky samples? Check.

Sheer, unadulterated fun? Check, check, and check.

Don’t believe me? More fool you. Check this shit out:


Tuesday Time Machine: Undercover Dom & Roland

Hong Kong Apartments
Hong Kong

Hello Tuesday!

Here’s three tracks from the almighty Dom Angas, aka Dom & Roland, aka one of the finest techstep producers of them all (check his recent banger Unofficial Jah here) – but not tracks under his best-known alter-ego. Nope, these tracks are all undercover Dom – but still with that same amazing quality that has been his hallmark for so many years.

All of these tracks were featured on Vetoe’s recent Dom & Roland tribute mix (check out his guest mix for Sonicrampage here).



Tuesday Time Machine: DJ Dub Rush Special

Snow Angel by Clayton Cubitt
Snow Angel by Clayton Cubitt

One of the great bonuses of the existence of Discogs and YouTube is that you can use the two services to discover all kinds of amazing music.

Case in point: DJ Dub Rush. The other day I was casually going through a Discogs seller’s list of available ’94 jungle and adding items to my cart (no joke, I have like 100 items in my Discogs cart at any given moment), when I discovered a rather pricey item by someone called DJ Dub Rush.

Look, I consider myself reasonably well informed about jungle, but I’ve never heard of this guy.

So, interest piqued by the combo of stiff price tag and obscure artist name, off to YouTube I went, eager to have a listen.

Whoa …

Damn, this guy made some SERIOUS tunes.

I mean really. Some of the finest jungle I’ve heard. Full stop.

Yet funnily enough, almost no info on this guy exists online – a very cursory Google search found only one post from Blog to the Old Skool. Still, it doesn’t matter, because these tunes are so insanely excellent.


Tuesday Time Machine: Good Looking Sounds

Dusk on the Thames, Wandsworth Park, London
Dusk on the Thames, Wandsworth Park, London

This week’s Tuesday Time Machine looks back to some of the sweeter sounds of drum n’ bass from LTJ Bukem’s Good Looking camp:

Blu Mar Ten – Futureproof

Seba & Lo Tek – So Long

“So Long” is one of the deepest tracks you will ever hear. I agree 100% that this is the sort of tune to listen to in the dark by yourself. Stunning. I can confidently say that I will listen to this tune for the rest of my life. The way the amen slowly fades in and joins the other two breaks is incredible, and the atmosphere created in this track is unrivalled. Along with tracks such as photek – “rings around saturn”, and goldie – “sea of tears”, “so long” is an example of how powerful drum & bass can be. – jasonjohnson

If more people were aware that this kind of drum ‘n bass existed, it’d have a far greater following. One of, if not the most beautiful pieces of electronic music to have ever been created, ‘So Long’ just blew me away the first time I heard it and even now, sixteen years later, it still gets heavy rotation. Nothing else really comes close to this track in terms of depth, emotion, structure, in fact in every aspect. The kind of record that would make similar producers want to hang up their headphones and give it up. Completely essential drum ‘n bass. – philfunkyness

Possibly the best drum and bass record ever. Anyone who knows how drum & bass developed in the 90’s when Bukem was at the top of his game and labels like Good Looking/Looking Good were bringing out tunes that actually formed a genre will know how pivotal this tune is. If you like this type of d&b and you dont own anything else on this label then at least own this. A perfect tune. My ‘desert island disc’ of drum & bass. – tomjameswray

Aquarius & Tayla – Soul Searching

What a killer release from Danny Bukem’s Good Looking imprint… As many of you may or may not know, Aquarius is Rupert Parks’ other alias to his more common psuedonum Photek. And Tayla is man that has been there from the very beginning (check his Bang the Drums track out) and so needs no introduction. No wonder then that both these tracks still send rushes up my spine…

First up is Bringing Me Down… A track that starts off with a nice little break beat edit (that just paves the way for what’s to come) and has a whale/dolphin sample overlaid to it (something heard also on Aquarius’ Drift To The Center). This then drops into one of the most lush D&B synth lines that has the title vocal Bringing Me Down repeated. Then it drops… And this is where the breaks that only Photek and Talya can program really get flowing. Typical Aquarius and Tayla attention to detail, attention that really makes this track gleam with feeling, as it jitters into break downs and build ups. What an anthem… Still remember hearing this being played all over the city from summer 1994 onwards, while vainly searching for it down at Black Market, in Soho OR Total Music, in Bethnal Green.

On the flip is Soul Searching, another Classic that rocked me out there at Speed and Tempo, and just shows what can be done with the Amen break. Lovely intro with a lush drone, overlaid with a little catchy melody and a woman’s deep breath. Then pure Amen heaven… What killer edits! Done in a fashion that only Talya and Photek know how to do: pure grooved out, dicey chops that keep it interesting and rolling out to the end…

All in all, these two tracks complete a timeless release that beautifully sums up Good Looking’s vibe at the time… Lush, heady with spinning break beats, and totally danceable. If there was just one release on Danny Bukem’s label that you had to listen to, it would be this…

What more can I say other than Bukem Dan-O… – karlrichard

On a slightly different tip, my Cold World mix is finally on Soundcloud … enjoy!


Tuesday Time Machine: Leftover Dubstep

record collection

One of the projects I am working on at the moment is the tenth edition of my Drop The Hammer series of crate-digging mixes. For the tenth edition I am utilizing a concept I got from the /r/realdubstep subreddit a while back – a mix composed entirely of dubstep remixes (one of their other ideas, of dubstep white labels, is something that I am saving for the future). In the end, I’ve picked twenty tracks for this mix, but in the process I ended up discarding a whole bunch of great tunes, because they didn’t quite fit the flow of the mix and there was no logical place to include them. This happens with every mix I do.

So, for today’s edition of the Tuesday Time Machine, here are three choice ‘leftovers’:

The Body Snatchers – I Like What I See (Joker Remix) (Passenger)

First up is this awesome remix from Bristol’s purple maestro, Joker. The original might be a fairly straight-forward fidget house tune, but this remix is all brightly-colored synth squiggles, cavernous drums and pulsating bass. Probably one of his lesser-known productions, but still a fine piece of work.

Pinch – Get Up ft Yolanda (RSD Remix) (Tectonic)

Secondly we have RSD taking on ‘Get Up’, which originally featured on Pinch’s (excellent) album Underwater Dancehall. RSD, for those of you who are unaware, is the dubstep alias of Bristol music legend Rob Smith, best known as one half of Smith & Mighty. Rob Smith is one of the longest-serving members of the Bristol scene, having been involved in production since the 80’s, and having released everything from dub to hip-hop to jungle and beyond. I’m personally a big fan of his dubstep output as RSD – always rhythmically complex, danceable, fun music. This tune is a particularly joyous example of his sound.

Juju – Half Ounce (Tes La Rok Remix) (NarcoHz)

Finally, there’s this tough remix from Finnish dubstepper Tes La Rok of the Colombian San Franciscan dj/producer Juju. Actually, think about that for a second – this is a Finnish guy remixing a Colombian guy doing a style of music that had only emerged from London a few years earlier. Dubstep was definitely the first stop on the nuum where the internet allowed people around the world to get involved right from the start. By comparison, it took years for drum n’ bass to go truly, unambiguously global.

This is a fine example of the minimal, dark side of dubstep – this remix doesn’t really do all that much, but what it does, it does well.

Tuesday Time Machine

Tuesday Time Machine: Jungle Fever Edition

Hohenzollerndamm, Berlin
Dusk at Hohenzollerndamm, Berlin

I’m sick. Which blows. So I can’t work for a week. Which also blows.

But at least I have my tunes, so that’s some compensation!

One bonus of living in Germany is super cheap domestic postage for packages (DHL, after all, is part of the state-run Deutsche Post). So, last week, I gorged myself on vintage jungle from the Discogs seller simplyfreshtunes, and I would like to share with you five of these tunes to brighten up your Tuesday.

Few things on this earth are as awesome as classic jungle!

Mensa – White Rock (Tearin Vinyl)

First up is one of the lesser known tunes from Krome & Time’s Tearin Vinyl label. Mostly this label is remembered for their own massive anthems ‘The License’ and ‘Ganja Man’, but they also released a bunch of other quality jungle tunes from some smaller names, like Mensa, a.k.a. Arif Salif, Matt Taylor & Steve Caddell – who? The only single they ever released, ‘White Rock’ is an absolutely blazing Amen tearout tune that sounds, frankly, quite like a lot of other blazing Amen tearout tunes from 1994/1995. And that’s no bad thing! ‘White Rock’ is also, of course, a reference to the infamous crack cocaine – weirdly enough, that was a bit of a theme on Tearin Vinyl, as they also had released a tune called ‘Glass Pipe Fury’ by DJ Exodus & Head Pressure.

Of course, at one point there were rumors that jungle music itself was linked to crack (which was bullshit, of course):

While Quest is pretty much trouble free, there are reports of jungle clubs that are much rougher. Where people get attacked and where crack is openly used. This happened to me at a jungle night: Two 15 year olds spotted my friend’s little hash pipe and asked it they could use it. A moment later there was an unpleasant sweetish smell. “What are you smoking?” he asked. “Snood,” they replied, giggling inanely. “Snood?” “Yeah, snood, you know, snood, crack. You want some?”

Anyways, I hope the crack reference is just because they wanted to be ‘dark’, not because they were actually crack addicts, since crack is, you know, whack. Right, Whitney?

Dillinja – Sovereign Melody (Deadly Vinyl)

Second up is the most expensive tune I’ve bought in a while (jungle prices have really gone through the roof over the last few years!) – this is Dillinja in an unusually mellow and restrained mood. No cascades of tearing Amens, just solid rolling beats and summery chords, with a firm bassline undergirding the whole thing. This is an extremely versatile tune, one that could work as well in an LTJ Bukem-style set of dreamy and deep drum n’ bass, or as a nice palate-cleanser in the midst of a much harder set. Dillinja really set the standards in the mid-90’s, and this, in my opinion, is one of his finest tunes.

Cutty Ranks – Dark Justice (Half Breed Remix) (24 Karat)

Here’s a confession: I wasn’t even aware of this tune until last week!

I only found out about it because I was looking through simplyfreshtunes’ sale catalogue and I found this, was curious, had a listen on YouTube, and, bang, added it to my cart. Sold!

Cutty Ranks, for those who are unaware, was one of the great Jamaican dancehall mc’s of the early 90’s, and the DJ SS remix of his ‘Limb By Limb’ (which also appeared on my Street Dreams mix) is perhaps the ragga jungle anthem.

Obviously, this is a much much much less well-known tune, but it is still a fine combination of ragga vocals, choppy drums, and rib-shaking bass. A keeper.

Dr S. Gachet – The Dreamer (Aphrodite Remix) (Labello Blanco)

Using the classic “behold, here cometh the dreamer” sample, this Aphrodite is just a perfect distillation of his sound circa ’95 – massive euphoric melodies leading to an incredible explosion of energy as the bassline drops. Simple but oh so effective!

This appeared on Labello Blanco’s The Babyface Ragga Tribute Vol 1 EP, which was a tribute they did to a friend of theirs who sadly passed away. Other tracks featured come from Bizzy B and D’Cruze – all in all an extremely solid purchase.

Simpleton – Unity (Remarc Remix) (Kemet)

Last but not least, here’s another vintage ragga jungle workout, as the lord of choppage himself, Remarc, gets to grips with Simpleton’s ‘Unity’, from Kemet’s Repatriation EP, which also featured tracks from the likes of Family of Intelligence, Dan Man, and Fusion. Remarc was the absolute master of drum edits, as you can hear from this tune, where the drums are constantly twisting and shifting in between the dubwise bassline and Simpleton’s vocals. A glorious tune on an amazing EP.

Hard to argue with this review from Discogs:

If you do not already own this I suggest that you buy it pronto.

Has to be the one of if not the best jungle EP out there.

Tuesday Time Machine

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:

Tuesday Time Machine

Tuesday Time Machine: Eternal Bass – Infinity

Goddamn, wasn’t 1994 jungle amazing?

What a fucking tune!

Also available at Discogs at a non-outrageous price. Awesomeness cubed.

Eternal Bass also did Way of the Future, one of the better homages/rip-offs to Origin Unknown’s anthem-of-anthems, Valley of Shadows.