Tag Archives: Tuesday Time Machine

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

Tuesday Time Machine: The Two G’s ‘Energy’ (Vintage Goldie and A Guy Called Gerald Collaboration from 1995!)

Evening! Here’s a new feature I’ll be doing from now on (hopefully) … the Tuesday Time Machine!

Every Tuesday I will reach into my record shelves and pull out one vintage tune from yester-year to share with you, and briefly rabbit on about.

Juice Box RecordsTo kick things off, here’s ‘Energy’ by The Two G’s, a 1995 collaboration from two of the absolute pioneers of drum n’ bass music, Goldie and A Guy Called Gerald. Originally released on Gerald’s Juice Box label, this tune was also later released in an extended form on Gerald’s trailblazing album Black Secret Technology, which was one of the first serious drum n’ bass artist albums – I can’t quite remember if it was literally the first, or whether that honor goes to 4 Hero’s Parallel Universe or not, but in any case it was well ahead of its time!

Lesser-known than Goldie’s own Timeless, I’ve always had a soft spot for Black Secret Technology, since it was one of the first drum n’ bass cd’s I ever bought – as well as for the obvious reason that it is absolutely brilliant! The album has sadly become a bit of an obscurity over the years, so if you’re a new school drum n’ bass fan who wants to learn more about the roots of the sound, I seriously cannot recommend highly enough picking it up if you chance across it. Wonderful album.

Every album has it’s standouts, though, and ‘Energy’, for me, was and is the highlight of Black Secret Technology. To my knowledge this tune (and its flipside ‘The Reno’) represent the only tunes that Goldie and Gerald made together, which is a shame, because this track is an absolutely gorgeous hybrid of their two distinct styles, with intricate drum programming and solid bass thumps offset by swirling pads and a lovely little vocal snippet.

This is music equally at home on the dancefloor and in your headphones.