A faultless 4 tracker of gritty, sweeping, panoramic, industrial electro that somehow manages to successfully combine ultra warm, low end fuzz with frigid, Carpenteresque, dystopian rave shiver – like sweating and tripping hard on a warehouse dance floor in your bomber jacket, watching your own breath exhale, not sure if your fingers are going numb or if it’s the drugs? ‘Density 3’ is my personal fave – a claustrophobically hard-jacking acidic dirge with cold siren calls of toxic melody that strafe the metronomic beatbox pulse and glide. Dance into oblivion my friends! (His ‘Days of Dissent’ LP from last year is also definitely worth checking too).
I’ve just done a whole bunch of new(ish) release reviews for the next issue of Datacide so I’ll try not to double up/copy, but this latest one by Aquarian deserves special mention.
His best and most slamming release to date and probably my favourite Bass release of the moment. Drenched in dark warehouse rave vibes, he’s definitely beefed up the low end and fine-tuned his chopped breaks & kicks aesthetic; strong tension and release composition too. In fact I would go so far as to say; no-one does it better! Proof that keeping it simple always leads back to something stronger.
‘Bad Feeling’ could almost be of D’Arcangelo/SNS/ADC/Anibaldi Italian broken beat techno vintage, just as ‘Insulin’ hints at a Mover vibe too!
This is a must for any fans of that era/sound.
Ok, ok, ok. Last one I promise, before I come back to reality.
If one tune epitomises the sheer intensity, unstoppable momentum and ‘avin it abandon of that period for me, it surely has to be Spiral Tribe’s “Do Et” off their seminal first ‘Breach The Peace’ EP. This is before they became synonymous with their more incessant, bubbling 4/4 French ‘Tek’ sound and when sonically there was still ‘ardcore dropping in their sets (possibly their most vital and exciting period…for me anyway). When I found my copy of the EP in Rough Trade W11, I remember being both totally gobsmacked and feverishly excited (but also with a creep of disappointment) that something of their energy had materialised in physical recorded form and cover artwork. It felt like contraband from the netherworld but also as if the vaults had been split wide open.
Regardless, this tune stands as the most joyful, hilarious (and inadvertently poetic) ode to Free Parties/Rave ever! Over to you MC Scallywag.
“If you’re a raver and can’t score an E…you must be buzzing on Acid!”
All that graffiti reminiscing got me all misty eyed about other characters from back in the day and while I don’t in any way want to turn this into a retro archiving sesh (…too many quality sites already doing that job on a far more impressive scale!) I couldn’t resist another follow up. And this segues nicely out of Fume.
The first proper rave nights I went to were the Tonka Sound System nights at the Zap in Brighton (circa 1991?) Harvey & Choci… what a line up! Can never forget the decks set up right in the middle of the dance floor below the stage, Choci with his shirt off, girls massaging him mid-set, everyone down to the last wo/man totally off their nut. Sweat, Vicks, Amyl and uninhibited dancing. Wildly eclectic sets right across the spectrum (and if you were lucky an after party on the beach down at Shoreham or wherever). And God’s honest truth, I cannot remember a single tune from those days, except (for some bizarre reason) Naz aka Naz’s “Organised Crime” !?! – the Godfather trumpet intro. “Just when I thought I was out…They pulled me back in.” I remember Choci dropping that at the peak of collective euphoria and the whole place going OFF!!!
“Your name’s not down…you’re not comin’ in”
Whatever happened to old Choci I started thinking?? He had a pretty wild run, from his Choci-Roc graffiti days in NYC, the first British writer to get up on the trains, to his DJ/producing/studio and record shops in Soho. The first record shops where I made weekly trips to and started buying and collecting vinyl obsessively from in fact (and where I discovered many an early Industrial Strength/Magnetic North/Drop Bass Network/Praxis hard techno gem and their like). Heady days. He went all Acid later and my visits tailed off but it was definitely a seed of my musical turn on and tune in.
I’d forgotten, or probably didn’t even register at the time, that one of his first tunes (if not the first?) was Mark One “Hoovers and Spraycans” from 1991 – featuring a pneumatic drill sample no less (Nomex would have been proud!) in a ’91 stylee – 4/4 kicks AND old school breakbeats. Solid ‘ardcore tune. Anyway, from what I can tell he’s back at the walls and spraycans now with the Team Robbo crew (who had that old school v new school spat with Banksy), some mention of him going into carpentry and not involved in music anymore theses days.