The Godfathers of DnB, Part 5.

In the final part of the series we discuss 4Hero, Nicky Blackmarket, Dillinja, and The Winstons.

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one. So I’ve searched far and wide, and came up with a list that explores the creators and shapers of this thing we like to call Drum & Bass, from producers to Dj’s and MC’s. In no particular order, here are the fifth 4.

Check Part 1 here where we covered Rebel MC, Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie, and LTJ Bukem; Part 2 here where we covered Doc Scott, Shy FX, DJ SS, and Stevie Hyper D; Part 3 here where we covered Andy C, Bad Company UK, London Elektricity, and Marcus Intalex; and Part 4 here where we covered Rob Playford, Ed Rush & Optical, DJ Hype, and  Kemistry & Storm.

 

17. 4Hero (Tom & Jerry)

4Hero

Marc Mac (born Mark Clair) and Dego (born Denis McFarlane) are not only known for their work as 4hero or Tom & Jerry, but are also the creators of the much influential Reinforced label (along with Gus Lawrence, and Ian Bardouille).

The musical careers of 4Hero started with them having and operating a soundsystem (called “Solar Zone”, later “Midnight Lovers”) with which they fiddled around 1985. Later, through their knowledge in electronics attained in College, they started their own pirate radio station (Strong Island Radio). This radio station (as apparently every radio station) needed jingles, so the group decided to create a tune the groups first venture in producing. The early years of their musical carreer saw them playing mostly the sounds they naturaly came in contact with like Soul, Groove, Reggae and Hip-Hop. By the late eighties they also started to gain interest in the Acid House scene, that was on a rise at the moment. “Strong Island Radio” was a finger on the pulse of what was going on in the underground music scene at the moment.

Early productions where more Hip-Hop oriented, but already had that Jungle-feel to them, like in their track “Mr Kirk’s Nightmare“, or the break in “Rising Son” (from Johnny Pate’s “Shaft In Africa“), two very different tracks. “Rising Son” was also their first release on their own imprint: “Reinforced Records”. The labels early output was mostly their own music, as 4hero, but also their solo projects like Manix and Tek 9.

4Hero also played gigs at the legendary London Astoria. One faithful night one of the ravers there pulled Marc to the side, and gave him his number, saying “Look, I do a lot of artwork and stuff, I wanna work with you.”. That raver was Goldie, and that rave was Goldie’s first contact with breakbeat. Shortly after that, Goldie went to 4hero’s studio in Dollis Hill, and redesigned Reinforced records’ logo. Goldie later released on Reinforced records before (and after) creating his own imprint Metalheadz.

In the meantime 4hero wasn’t sitting still, releasing many anthems under their “Tom and Jerry” moniker, released on a label bearing the same name. Most notable tracks released under Tom & Jerry are “Maximum Style” and “AirFreshner“. These releases are on the most wanted list of any serious Jungle and Drum and Bass collector, but because of their limited pressings, and high nostalgia factor, the prices for on of these Tom & Jerry imprints can run quite steep. (expect to drop around €80 for a 12”, easily) Luckily for us, those releases can now also be found on various jungle samplers and compilations.

In 1993, when Jungle was blowing up, you couldn’t miss reinforced records. Marc Mac is quoted saying: “I was driving through London in my car and I went through about 10 different pirate radio stations and every single one was playing a Reinforced record.“. They had a must buy status. They had releases from big names of that era: Goldie’s Rufige Kru, Doc Scott, Dj Randall, DJ Peshay, and later on even Aphrodite, and Aquasky.

4Hero’s second full album “Parallel Universe” was voted “Best Album of the year” by NME when it was released, and their third full album called “Two Pages” gained instant critical acclaim, getting on the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize, as well as receiving a MOBO award.

Even though 4hero went almost all-jazz in their later days, it’s hard to understate the importance they had on the early Jungle scene.

 


 

18. Dillinja

Dillinja

With over 500 releases produced since 1991, Dillinja (born Karl Francis) can undoubtedly be called one of the hardest working persons in Drum and Bass.

Starting of listening to 80s electro, moving on to oldschool Hip-Hop, and eventually House, Dillinja formed his musical tastes early. Those tastes where more then fed with him going to local parties in South London, where big sound systems like King Tubby’s Hi Fi and Jah Shaka were all the rage. He later got into building his own sound system, at the early age of fifteen, but called it a day when some time later the infamous “Criminal Justice Bill” was introduced, clamping down on sound systems and the events they were used at. He sold of his equipment, and started producing.

His early work as a producer where mostly all white labels (like “Tear of your Chest“) but later on he created a myriad of labels like Deadly vinyl, on which he released classics like “Sovereign Melody” and “Deadly Deep Subs“. As well as these homegrown labels, Dillinja went on to record for many other drum’n’bass labels, including V Recordings, Hardleaders, Prototype, and Metalheadz. Dillinja used these labels to show his unique musical versatility; while labels such as Philly Blunt and Lionheart Records showcased some of Dillinja’s more raw jungle based sounds, his critically acclaimed release “The Angels Fell” was the frontrunner of the new wave of drum’n’bass encapsulated in the cutting edge Metalheadz sound.

Mid 1990s Dillinja was introduced to Lemon D (born Kevin King) through a mutual friend. The duo started Valve recordings in 1997, with Dillinja’s “Violent Killa” as its first release. It took them till 2002 to release the labels first album called “Big Bad Bass”, an album including dancefloor smasher’s like “Thugged Out Bitch” and the seminal “It Ain’t Too Loud“. It was also with Lemon D that he created Drum and Bass’ first big sound system called “Valve Sound System“.

 


 

19. Nicky Blackmarket

nikki-blackmarket

As part-owner of the world famous (and sadly closed) BM Soho, Nicky Blackmarket’s (born Nicholas Andersson-Gylden) influence in Jungle and Drum and Bass is not to be downplayed.

In the early eighties, at the mere age of fourteen, Nicky found himself playing Electro at the many youthclubs in London. Together with his long-time partner-in-crime Clarky, he started mixing a wider variety of electronic music at Star FM, which he left later for Friends FM, run by Mad B. During that period he met Dave Piccioni (who later started Azuli records, one of the most successful independent labels of all time), with who he bought Blackmarklet Records in Soho, from Steve Jervier and Derek B in 1990. Around 1992, amidst the rise of Breakbeat and Jungle, Nicky decided to dedicate a seperate department in the record store catered for the sounds that would eventually evolve into Drum and Bass.

Nicky was found pushing the sounds he loved with a regular show on Pulse FM, and Eruption FM, and many performances at the Roller Express. During those times he also produced the excellent D’Bounce vol. 1 and 2, at the Reinforced studios (of 4hero fame).

His partnership during that time with the now gone Stevie Hyper D has set a new bar for what a Jungle/Drum and Bass set should be, and are considered by many peers and ravers alike as legendary.

By 1997, Nicky set up his own independent label by the name of Kartoons, releasing material from the likes of Ray Keith, Dragon Fist, and Twisted Minds.

On February 27th 2015, a note adorned the almost empty shop-window of BM Soho, just stating: “Due to circumstances, BM Soho has to close.”. That statement was later that day explained more elabaratly on their facebook page with the following message:

Unfortunately due to contractual dispute over the building that has been home of BM Soho for the past 25 years we have been forced to temporarily close. Our landlord has been certain that our address, will join the massive gentrification of Soho and regrettably we could no longer afford to fight the legal battle to stop that happening anymore. Unlike many businesses that have closed recently, BM Soho BeatControl was performing well, so it is a massive shame to end this way. Fear not though we plan to be back bigger and stronger than ever very soon in central London. Until then we remain open for equipment in Edgware North London and online at bm-soho.com.Thanks to all our loyal customers and friends, cheers for all the support over the years. We will keep you updated here as soon as we have news!

This sounded in the end of an era, yet Nicky Blackmarket can still be found sharing his knowledge of the history of Drum and Bass, touring the world, and promoting his

 


 

20. The Winstons

The_Winstons

An american funk and soul band based in Washington D.C. that has released 2 full albums and 16 singles in their career between 1968 and 1976.

Early 1968 they’ve signed on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom records, but lasted there for only one release: the rousing “Need a Replacement“. The Curtom imprint wasn’t as big as it would be on later days, when it released Curtis Mayfield’s own album “This is my Country“, with his band “The Impressions”. A year after leaving Curtom, they signed to the Metromedia label and released their hit single “Color Him Father“, reaching the Billboard Hot 100, at number 7, and winning a Grammy.

Fast Forward to 1986, when a Downstairs Records employee known as Breakbeat Lou compiled his first edition of the bootleg series “Ultimate Breaks and Beats”, featuring the lesser known B-side of The Winston’s hitsingle, called “Amen, Brother“.

That small and clean easy-sampleable 4 bar loop in the middle of the song shaped Drum and Bass as we know it today, and is probably the most used sample in the world today, seeing used by N.W.A., The Prodigy, and even the late David Bowie.

Never asking for any royalties, stating the sample to be “plagiarism and flattering at the same time, drummer G.C. Coleman finaly received payment after Brittish DJ’s Martyn Webster and Steve Theobald set up a GoFundMe campaign in his honour, they raised around €24.000.

 


 

Check out our Spotify playlist, containing every song mentioned in the series, and more:

 

 

The godfathers of DnB, Part 4.

This is the fourth part in our “Godfathers in DnB” series. This time we discuss Moving Shadow’s Rob Playford, Ed Rush & Optical, DJ Hype and Kemistry & Storm. Stay tuned for the last part and the epilogue next week!

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one. So I’ve searched far and wide, and came up with a list that explores the creators and shapers of this thing we like to call Drum & Bass, from producers to Dj’s and MC’s. In no particular order, here are the fourth 4.

Check Part 1 here where we covered Rebel MC, Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie, and LTJ Bukem, Part 2 here where we covered Doc Scott, Shy FX, DJ SS, and Stevie Hyper D, and Part 3 here where we covered Andy C, Bad Company UK, London Elektricity, and Marcus Intalex.

 

13. Rob Playford

Rob_Playford

This Thump article starts off with the words “For those who don’t know, it’s hard to explain how important Rob Playford is.” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s easy to understate the importance to the scene of someone whose name is unknown to probably more than 50% of the people in it. yet we all know his labor of love and passion: his label “Moving Shadow”, probably most widely known for the MSX FM radio station in the game GTA III.

Starting out as an Acid House DJ (like most people on this list) during the late 1980’s, he found himself amidst the turbulence of the UK rave scene in the early 1990’s with the police crackdown on illegal raves in full effect. He decided to stop DJ’ing and acquired an S950 sampler, a Yamaha DX7 keyboard, and an Atari Computer and started to record his own tracks while waiting for the ruckus to cool down. He pressed his first track “Orbital Madness” under the moniker “The Orbital Project” selling 1500 copies. His subsequent releases gotten more and more known with DJ’s and producers alike, who asked him to help with their projects. Busy with his day-job as a software engineer and his family, he decided his talent could be more used in the releasing part of the tracks, so he released those songs on his own “Moving Shadow” imprint, from which the money he made was directly put into his own studio.

In 1992 the aforementioned studio was used to produce the now classic and essential  “Timeless” by Goldie. being credited by artists like David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails, as the inspiration for the tracks linked. Producers around the world tried to imitate the song’s sonic effects and sparse ambience.

Playford continued to work with legendary producers, signing Dom & Roland, Aquasky and EZ Rollers on Moving Shadow as well as releasing material under his own project “2 Bad Mice“.

2007 saw the official end of Moving Shadow, but Playford wasn’t done yet, he continued to work his engineering magic on albums by The Cut Up Boys, Joris Voorn, Paul Oakenfold and soundtracks for Hot Fuzz and Casino Royale to name but few.

 


 

14. Ed Rush & Optical

Ed_Rush_Optical

The kings of Neurofunk partnered up around 1995, when Ed Rush (born Ben Settle) and Optical (born Matt Quin) met at “The Music House” in Islington London where they used to cut their dubplates to use in their sets, naturally a place where lots of DJ’s hung out sharing the music they’ve come to eternalise on wax.

The first couple of years consisted mostly of them playing gigs, with Ed Rush Producing on himself, releasing tracks like “Gangsta Hardstep” and “What’s Up“, both on No U-Turn records. Moving Shadow’s Rob Playford (see entry 13, above) gave the duo some space in his office building in Soho, London, to allow them to build a studio for producing. This led to their debut single “Funktion” (V Recordings) in 1997, followed by the critically acclaimed “Wormhole” (Virus Recordings) in 1998, weirdly enough both not on Playford’s Moving Shadow imprint.

“Wormhole” not also defined a new genre (it’s regarded as the first Neurofunk album ever), it was also the first big release on their newly created label “Virus Recordings” (after releasing 3 of their own singles prior that year).

The pair continues to release high hitting tracks and albums together, like “Chubrub“, “Pacman“, and “Sick Note“, as well as collaborations with other producers and vocalists.

Virus recordings are at more than 20 years in the game a frontrunner in the Neurofunk genre, with releases by Audio, Cause 4 Concern, and many more, but mostly still Ed Rush and Optical.

Fun Fact: Even though they’re known for their dark and brooding style of DnB, Optical also produced lots of other stuff in the early to mid-90’s under different monikers, like this track here, Billy ‘Daniel’ Bunter & J.D.S – “Let It Lift You”. Hey, everybody needs to make a living, right?

 


 

15. DJ Hype

DJ_Hype

When you have to follow just one DnB artist on social media, you should make it DJ Hype (born Kevin Ford). His jokes and banter are always a welcoming sight, and he’s really just a well-meaning and funny guy.

 

Hype started out as a DJ, spinning mostly Reggae and Hip Hop on a London pirate station. He started producing as early as 1988 under names as Doctor K (the same name he took as a radio-DJ) , The Warrior, and M Double A. When a new House radio station called “Fantasy” started up he managed to get a show on it in August 1989. He needed a new DJ name to call himself as he had used Doctor K on the other station. He was wearing a T-Shirt with HYPE printed on it, so he decided to call himself DJ Hype.

Later he lost his Day job, and luckily enough for him around that time Kickin’ records was looking for an A&E person, and through some mutual friends, they decided on giving the job to Hype. There he came in contact with a Techno producer called Scientist and thought it to be a good idea to mix his love for breakbeat and Scientist’s passion for Techno, which resulted in the track “The Exorcist” to critical acclaim. Unfortunately for him, all the praise went to The Scientist. Later (in 1993) he released his first record under his DJ Hype moniker called “Shot In The Dark” on Suburban Base Records, setting a blueprint for all his future work.

Later in 1993, he got a booking through his good friend Brockie to play a full on Jungle set at Jungle Fever. After this the bookings just started to flow in, skyrocketing his career as a Jungle-DJ.

In 1994 he decided to start up his own imprint “Ganja Records”, with his first releases being under the name “Dope Style“, and later releasing classics like DJ Zinc’s “Super Sharp Shooter“. In 1996 he teamed up with Pascal and Zinc to release the compilation album “Still Smokin” (featuring the excellent “We Must Unite“) and later form the “True Playaz” label.

1996 saw Hype aiding in the creation of the semi-legal dubplate containing the remix of The Fugees “Ready or Not“. Even though it’s officially been released as a “DJ Zinc remix”, Zinc himself later confirmed everybody’s suspicion that Hype helped him out with the bassline, which had that signature Hype-feel to it.

 

16. Kemistry † and Storm

Kemistry_Storm

Kemistry and Storm are not only the first (and only) female entries in this list, they’re both regarded as being the first female Drum and Bass DJ’s, paving the way for women in a male-dominated industry.

Kemistry (born Kemi Olusanya) and Storm (born Jayne Conneely) met at the college they both attended in Northampton. Starting out in various bands together, Storm ended up in a cover band, while Kemi discovered raves. Being somewhat weary of Kemi’s new-found pass-time, Storm and a third friend decided to go along to a rave in Cambridge for Kemi’s birthday, an event that changed their lives for the better. They later borrowed some money (from Goldie), bought some decks and started spinning records themselves, taking turns between them, Goldie and some other friends.  Kemistry brought Goldie along to a rave, and after returning home, Goldie stated  “Right, I want to make this music, you’ll be the DJs, we’ll have a label and a club, we’ll make some t-shirts”, which later became Metalheadz.

Kemistry and Storm helped Goldie out at the beginning of the Metalheadz era. Summer 1995 saw the start of landmark drum ‘n’ bass night Metalheadz at Blue Note, with Grooverider and Kemistry & Storm as residents in the basement sweatbox. They had arrived as DJs – and the vision forged in the crucible of Rage’s dancefloor had been realized. Touring the world the duo finally ended up doing a mix for the renowned “DJ Kicks”-series. Their LP on !K7 came out in January 1999, three months before Kemistry was taken from us in a car accident.

 

A woman DJ was killed in a freak accident when a reflective marker was flicked up from the road byanother vehicle and smashed through the windscreen of a car in which she was a passenger, an inquest heard today.  

Kemi Olusanya, 35, who performed under the name Kemistry, died instantly with a fractured jaw after being struck in the face by the 4.5kg plastic and metal reflector.  

The object was thrown up by a van which swung out from a slip road on the M3 at Winchester.  

Ms Olusanya, of Finsbury Park, was in a VW Golf GTI driven by her friend Jane Conneely returning from a late-night gig in Southampton.  

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Grahame Short said he would be writing to the Highways Agency because it as clear some reflectors were not set in the road properly.

Her death sent shockwaves of grieve through not only the DnB-scene but the electronic music scene in general. “We went from the pinnacle, touring America and having the !K7 release, to me looking at coffins.” Storm said. “I always wonder what would have happened if Goldie hadn’t seen Kemi in Red Or Dead that day. Imagine if he had walked past…”

Drum and Bass would defiantly not be the same.

 

 

The Godfathers of DnB, Part 3.

In this third installment of the series we continue to explore the people who made this thing we all love into what it is today. This week we talk about Andy C, Bad Company UK, London Elektricity and Marcus Intalex.

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one. So I’ve searched far and wide, and came up with a list that explores the creators and shapers of this thing we like to call Drum & Bass, from producers, to Dj’s and MC’s. In no particular order, here are the third 4.

Check Part 1 here where we covered Rebel MC, Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie, and LTJ Bukem, and Part 2 here where we covered Doc Scott, Shy FX, DJ SS, and Stevie Hyper D.

9. Andy C

Andy_C

There’s a good reason Andy C (born Andrew Clarke) has won Best DJ year after year on the Drum&BassArena Awards. He has graced virtually every venue and festival in the world where Drum and Bass is played with his signature “Double Drop” fast-paced style of DJ’ing his personal MC Ton Piper, and his baseballcap.

He and his friend Ant Miles used to make up “Origin Unknown”, and their track “Valley of the Shadows“, while not being his first track, surely was his most popular and important one, released at a time where Drum and Bass started to taking shape and cutting its ties with Hardcore. It’s hard to deny the impact those 5 minutes of samples had on later releases by Andy C himself. It defined the style he was looking for and was followed up with classics as “Slip ‘n’ Slide“, “Foul Mouth” (with Moving Fusion) and “Quest” and “Bodyrock” (both with Shimon).

His compilation albums “Nightlife” have turned into a who’s who of Drum and Bass music, bringing a meltingpot of bonafide classics and unreleased bangers. I ,for example, remember hearing a lot of old classics being played again that where on Nightlife 6, in the weeks after it released.

His and his friend Ant Miles’ record label “Ram Records” (est. 1992) is home to a host of big names such as Audio, Delta Heavy, Loadstar, and recently Bad Company UK. It found it’s first success with the release of “Valley of the Shadows”, but really took off when it released Moving Fusion’s classic “Turbulence” in 1999.

Fun Fact: Andy C’s sister designed Ram’s original “Horned” logo at the diner table in Andy’s parental home for his first release (Sound Mash EP – RAMM001).

 


 

10. Bad Company UK

Bad_Company_UK

Crafting many tunes in different configurations on Renegade Hardware (dBridge/Maldini as Future Forces Inc and Fresh/Maldini as Absolute Zero and Subphonics), Fresh (born Dan Stein), Maldini (born Jason Maldini), and dBridge (born Darren White) joined forces with Vegas (born Michael Wojcicki) to create the monster Drum and Bass anthem “The Nine“(1998) released on their own label BC Records. This highly acclaimed release (it’s widely recognised as one of the best Drum and Bass songs ever) was followed up with “The Fear EP”, and their first full length album: “Inside The Machine“.

Their Third album called “Book of the Bad” was an amalgamation of their three “Book of the Dead” EP’s, featuring such classics as “Ladies of Spain“, “Mind Games” and of course “Planet Dust“. It also further defined and refined their style, taking the darker elements of their previous work, and adding elements to it only these four could come up with.

Bad Company went on a hiatus around 2005, here’s a breakdown of what its members did during that period:

Fresh released “Escape from Planet Monday” (2006) on his and his pal Adam F’s label Breakbeat Kaos (a combination of Fresh’s “Breakbeat Punk” and Adam F’s “Kaos recordings” labels). Later came “Heavyweight” and “Kryptonite”, and then the hugely succesfull “Nexlevelism” with top 30 hits like “Louder“, “Hot Right Now” and “Gold Dust“.

dBridge, after feeling lost for a time he released his first solo full album “The Gemini Principle”(2008) on his own label “Exit Records”. His label continues to put out quality tunes from the more deep side of DnB with artists such as Calibre, Spectrasoul and even Dub Phizix and Skeptical.

Maldini and Vegas continued under the Bad Company UK moniker, touring the world, and also formed the trio “Blokhe4d” with swiss producer “Uman”.

In 2016 UKF announced the return of Bad Company UK with them releasing their first new song “Equilibrium” and signing on Andy C’s Ram Records.

Fun Fact: Popular Drum and Bass forum “Dogs on Acid” was originaly created as a BCUK fan forum.

 


 

11. London Elektricity

London_Elektricity

London Elektricity started out as the duo Chriss Goss/Tony Colman, around 1996 after first releasing under the alias “Peter Nice Trio” (to mixed reviews). They started the label “Hospital Records”, with the promise to only release their own music on it, in which they obviously, and thankfully, failed. After releasing their hit single “Song in the Key of Knife“(1998), and a year later their first full album “Pull the Plug” (1999) Chriss Goss decided to leave the duo to focus entirely on the Hospital label, leaving Tony to continue with the London Elektricity moniker alone.

The second full album “Billion Dollar Gravy” involved more guest-musicians, and resulted in a live tour with the studio-band and Drum and Bass’ first ever live album. , a feat he later repeated with the “London Elektricity Big Band” (who premiered at “Hospitality in the Park”, the labels first ever music festival).

Meanwhile Chriss Goss leads the label to new hights, signing acts like High Contrast, Danny Byrd, and later the mainstream succes Netsky.

Tony presents the weekly Hospital Podcast, who is at the time of writing at its 348th episode, which makes it one of the longest running Drum and Bass podcast ever. The Christmas podcasts remain a fan favourite, where London Elektricity combines his with the listeners top 10 of the year.

 


 

12. Marcus Intalex †

Marcus_Intalex

Starting out as a House DJ in 1991, Marcus Intalex (born Marcus Julian Kaye) soon discovered the then up-and-coming sounds of Jungle and Drum & Bass. He got himself a residency at a club called Angels in Burnley at night, and worked in a record shop during the day. It was at that residency he met Mark XTC, with whom he later formed “Da Intalex” producing tracks like “What Ya Gonna Do” and “I Like It” and landing their own radio show on Manchester’s Kiss 102 FM.

Being considered by many as a pioneer of the “Intelligent Drum and Bass” genre, Marcus continued his journey through the more soulful and deeper side of DnB with releases on labels like Hospital with his friend S.T Files, with whom he later formed the duo “M.I.S.T.” and started their own imprint called Soul:r.

Having his own label made it possible for Marcus to push the artists he liked, and that he felt deserved to be pushed forward. This made Soul:r maybe not the biggest, but undoubtedly one of the most respected labels in the scene, and gave it a must-buy reputation because of the quality it had put out over the years. Releases on Soul:r include tracks of his own M.I.S.T., but also tunes from artists like Calibre, DJ Marky, Break and Manchester’s own Chimpo.

Marcus Intalex passed away on May 28th 2017, resulting in an outpour of tributes and hommages, like the 4Marcus series, in which his friends and peers paid their respects the only way they know how: through the music that connected them all to him. This is all just more proof of what kind of a man Marcus really was, and how he touched the lives of those he met and worked with.

 

 


 

Stay tuned for more Godfathers of DnB next week!

In the mean time, enjoy our Spotify playlist, featuring songs from this and previous parts on our Godfathers playlist:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Godfathers of DnB, Part 2.

In part two of the series we continue to explore the lives and careers of the OG Junglists that made DnB into the goliath it is today.

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one. So I’ve searched far and wide, and came up with a list that explores the creators and shapers of this thing we like to call Drum & Bass, from producers, to Dj’s and MC’s. In no particular order, here are the second 4.

Check Part 1 here where we covered Rebel MC, Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie, and LTJ Bukem.

5. Doc Scott

Doc_Scott

Referenced by his childhood friends as The Doctor, for prescribing them their daily dose of Breakdance tapes. Doc Scott (Born Scott McIlroy) was around during the explosion of Detroit Techno in the UK in the late 80’s, where he first got into contact with the deeper side of electronic music, later joined by Chicago House and New York Garage. By the time the rave scene popped up in the early 90’s, Doc Scott already had some years under his belt as a DJ, and he brought his wide interest in music with him when he played, shooting him straight to the headliner spot.

1991 saw him realising another big dream of his, producing his own music. With his years-long experience in Dj-ing, record collecting and his natural affinity to quality music, this was set out to be a chartbreaking hit. “Surgery“, taken from his “The NHS EP” was an instant rave anthem, smashing in the dance charts at #3, and breaking into the national 12″ top 40. Not bad for a first try at producing.

Playing alongside his professional heroes Fabio & Grooverider, and rubbing shoulders with the DJ elite from the time, Doc Scott got noticed by that other Godfather Goldie, who has just released his anthem “Terminator”. They got introduced to eachother by Rider in a North London record shop, went to a rave together, and a lifetime friendship was born. This Friendship gave him an “in” at Reinforced records, the label Goldie was signed to at that moment, and when that same Goldie started his Metalheadz label, there would be no better artist to sign for it’s first release. “Vip Drumz” & “VIP Riders Ghost” a double bill with Doc Scott and Goldie’s alter ego Rufige Kru was an instant hit, and helped put the label on the map.

Mid to end 1990s he reentered the studio to write his (probably) biggest hit to date. “Shadow Boxing” was released under his alias Nasty Habits, and was the second release on his own label “31 records”. This label has seen some quality material from the likes of Dom & Roland, Ed Rush & Optical, Calibre and launched the career of the band Pendulum.

 


6. Shy FX

Shy_FX

Widely considered to be one of the most recognised Jungle tunes in the world, Shy FX’s (Born Andre Williams) “Original Nuttah” has had dancefloors chanting along to it’s iconic ragga-styled lyrics by MC UK Apache.

Fun Fact: Shy FX was at first misspelled on MTV as Shy Fox (as seen in the YouTube-link above).

In later days he collaborated with T Power to form the duo Ebony Dusters, producing the classic “RA” but also releasing tracks under “Shy FX and T Power” like the summer classic “Shake Your Body” Featering Di. It was also with his friend T Power he created the label “Digital Soundboy” in 2005, but unfortunately it seized to be in 2015 after 10 years of putting out records not only in Drum and Bass but also crossing over to Dubstep (With the likes of Skream, Benga and Caspa), House and Elektro. He has also produced many hits for Dizzee Rascal, Emilie Sandé, and many more, and released numerous classic remixes like his take on DJ Fresh’s “Gold Dust“.

 


7. DJ SS

DJ_SS

DJ Scratchen Stein (Born Leroy Small) started out (as his moniker suggest) as a self-thaught scratch DJ in his hometown of Leicester in the 1980’s. When in the early 90s Jungle and Hardcore were emerging in the UK DJ SS and his partner Eidris started promoting their own parties called “Total Kaos”.
Later that decade, around 1992, they founded Formation Records, with a must-buy catalogue for anybody that’s into the darker side of jungle. Not only has Formation released a stellar set of producers (Like Grooverider, Shy FX, Ray Keith, and even Carl Cox) But it (and he) also is responsible for launching the careers of such names as John B, Twisted Individual and Nero.

His biggest hit to date is the Piano-heavy track “Lighter“, released in 1995, that sampled the theme song of an old romantic film called “Love Story”. Try listening to it without shouting “LIGHTAH”. I dare you.

Fun fact: It was tha B-side of the single “The Lighter” that got  famous, and not the A-side as was intended. The Piano intro also makes the B-side more rewindable than the A-side (and is one of the few tracks that justify a rewind.) (These views are my own and do not represent the scene in any way).

 


8. Stevie Hyper D †

Stevie_Hyper_D

The originator, the pioneer, Stevie Hyper D (Born Stephen Austin) was one of the first MC’s to grace the Jungle and Drum & Bass landscape and is often called the “inventor of Double Time MC’ing”, a style since then dominant within Drum and Bass.
He was the first Drum and Bass MC to have a major release on Island Records (Of Bob Marley fame) with his album “The Next Step”. Unfortunately he never saw the release of his record, as he died the year prior due to a heart attack attributed to “Deep Vein Trombosis” after a long intenational tour.

“I’m just a junglist so-o-o-oldier// Fighting to keep the jungle ali-i-i-i-ve”
“Junglists are you re-e-e-e-ady? Oh Lord a-mercy mercy…”

These are just a few of the many catchphrases-turned calls-to-arms he coined, and are repeated to this day, out of respect for the best MC that ever lived.

Check out this live set, recorded during his last living year, with Kenny Ken on the ones and twos.

 


Stay tuned for more Godfathers of DnB next week!

And enjoy our playlist, featuring songs from this and previous parts on our Godfathers playlist:

 

 

The Godfathers of DnB, Part 1.

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one.

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one. So I’ve searched far and wide, and came up with a list that explores the creators and shapers of this thing we like to call Drum & Bass, from producers, to Dj’s and MC’s. In no particular order, here are the first 4.

1. Rebel MC

Rebel_MC

Michael Alec Anthony West (Born 27 August 1964), aka Congo Natty, aka Tribe of Issachar, aka Blackstar, aka… lots more.
Rebel MC is one of the earliest junglists to date (not counting famous Jazz musician Duke Ellington, whose music was at the time described as “Jungle Music”, seriously, look it up.). Older ravers might remember Double Trouble’s Street Tuff , a top 10 Hip-Hop song from 1989 featuring Rebel MC, Tuff Enuff, Leigh Guest and the now deceased Michael Menson. After that came the critical acclaimed album “Black Meaning Good” (1991) where he mixed the Hip-Hop he was known for with his other musical love: Reggae, Dance and Jungle. The album featured Ragga-royalty under the names of Barrington Levy, Tenor Fly and Dennis Brown.
Fun Fact: it was from the track “The Wickedest Sound” ft. Tenor Fly that Jay Fay and DJ Fresh took the sample that made up the chorus in Dibby Dibby Sound. Just listen to the first 3 seconds HERE.

By 1992 Rebel MC Formed his own label “Tribal Bass” and released his last significant hit (in terms of UK hit charts) to date bearing the same name. Tribal Bass evolved over the years to “Congo Natty”, and on this label, under the moniker “Tribe of Issachar” he released one of the most iconic Jungle anthems to date called “Junglist“. Without clicking the link just read the words: “Now before making records, the hood was my saviour..”, I’m fairly confident you’re saying the rest of the lyrics in your head.
Check out this blogpost, that goes in depth about the song, and why it’s probably one of the best Jungle-songs ever made.

 


2. Fabio & Grooverider

Fabio_and_Grooverider

The earliest Pioneers and launchers of careers of lesser gods like Goldie, Dj Marky, Calibre and Chase & Status. After teaming up a little over 25 years ago, spinning mostly House and funk they evolved to a more darker and bass-heavier style, championing the up-and-coming jungle music, but giving it their own personal touch. Fabio (Born as Fitzroy Heslop) is said to be the first person to use the term “Liquid Funk” which would later evolve in the “Liquid” sub-genre, while Grooverider (Born as Raymond Bingham) is creator of his own label Prototype, with a mountain of classics under its sleeve like Bad Company’s “Planet Dust”, to name one.

Both also have outstanding careers as radio dj’s, ranging from pirate radio, to BBC Radio 1, where they first gave exposure to producers we now all know and love.

Fun Fact: It’s by Fabio’s doing that the dance-chart topper “Hide U” by Kosheen became such a big hit. Read all about that on Kosheen producer Markee Ledges interview here.

 


3. Goldie

Goldie

If the previous two entries represent the earliest, then this entry must represent the most famous. Goldie (Born Clifford Joseph Price) started out as a breakdancer and graffiti-artist (the latter alongside Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, who he accidentaly outed as being Banksy) which took him to New York and Miami, where he (according to Wikipedia) also sold golden grills. Later his girlfriend at the time DJ Kemistry introduced him to Drum and Bass producers 4Hero (of Reinforced Records) for which he did some A&R work. The first song he ever was involved in was Ajax Project’s Ruffige, on which according to some sources he was an uncredited vocalist, although other sources cite him as being a producer on it as well. Whichever was the case, he apparently liked the Ruffige name, and used it as the alias Rufige Cru (later Rufige Kru) to release the legendary song “Terminator“in 1992.
Skip ahead to 1994, where he, Kemistry and Storm founded Metalheadz after a night out raving saying “right, I want to make this music, you’ll be the DJs, we’ll have a label and a club, we’ll make some t-shirts.”.
Goldie went on to make “Timeless”, an album that hasn’t stolen its name. Look for a list of most influencial electronic albums, and I bet you Timeless is on there somewhere.
His track “Inner City Life” is still one of the greatest songs from that decade, featuring the now deceased Diane Charlemagne.

If you want to know more about the history of Metalheadz, check out “Talkin’ Headz”, a documentary from 1998 detailing its history to that point.

Fun Fact: Goldie also has an acting career, check him here learning about “Moissanite” in the movie Snatch.

 


 

4. LTJ Bukem

LTJ_Bukem

Being a trained classical pianist, and playing in a Jazz band in the early 80’s LTJ Bukem (born Danny Williamson) surely wasn’t destined to play at raves, yet by the time the 80’s where done, that’s where he found himself. Fusing the up and coming jungle sound with his own jazzy background he created such legendary songs as “Atlantis“, “Logical Progression” and “Horizons” the latter was released on his own label “Good Looking Records”. That label was hailed for releasing tracks in a style dubbed “Intelligent Drum and Bass”, much to LTJ’s chagrin. Even though he started producing in the early 90s, it took him until 2000 to release his first full album, entitled “Journey Inwards”.

Fun Fact: In 2007 at age 40 he found his biological mother who was an Ugandan woman living in Paris, who in her turn revealed that his father was Egyptian.


EDIT: We here at Junglelists know about the drama surounding LTJ Bukem, MC Conrad, and Goodlooking records, yet we don’t care and want to focus on the achievements and history of the music, and less on the hear-say. Though, admittedly, we should’ve included this, since it’s part of history. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, Google it, and you’ll find write-ups from all sides of the story.


 

Continue reading with the next part in “Godfathers of DnB”. And maybe check out this playlist, with the songs discussed in the series, along with some extras: