Boards of Canada

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Subwayz Selectionz 2014 Reissues

My Top 5 Reissues of 2014

5. Donato Dozzy: K (Further Records)

  1. K1
  2. K2
  3. K3
  4. K4
  5. K5
  6. K6
  7. K7

K was originally released on cassette back in 2010 and was thankfully reissued in July of 2014 by Further Records. The tracklisting of K sums up the general feel of the album as all these tracks are mixed and blend in seamlessly, so in effect there's very little evidence of separation apart from the smooth edges of transition. There are sections in this album where it's chilled, but there's enough variation by contrast in tempo and melody throughout the album to make it interesting and diverse. The intricate streams of ambiance that wind and build through K are contrasted by the beat driven elements of pulsating ambivalent techno. K is a wonderfully creative body of work by Donato Dozzy that deserved to be reissued to a wider audience.

4. Suburban Base Records: The History Of Hardcore, Jungle, Drum & Bass: 1991-1997 (New State)


Side 1

1. Kromozone - The Rush (Sub Bass Mix)
2. Phuture Assassins - Shot Like Dis
3. Austin - I Get High (Munchies Mix)
4. M&M - I Feel This Way (feat Rachel Wallace - The Beefed Up Mix)
5. QBASS - Hardcore Will Never Die (Telepathic Mix)
6. Sons Of A Loop Da Loop Era - Far Out (original Scratchadelic Mix)
7. Run Tings - Fires Burning
8. Phuture Assassins - Future Sound
9. Phuture Assassins - Rydim Come Forward
10. Phuture Assassins - Future Sound (2 Bad Mice Remix)
11. Krome & Time - This Sound Is For The Underground
12. SmartE's - Sesame's Street (vocal Mix)
13. Rachel Wallace - Tell Me Why (M&M Full Vocal)
14. Run Tings - Back Again (Austin Remix)
15. D'Cruze - I Believe (92 Revamp)

Side 2
1. DJ Hype - Shot In The Dark (Gunshot Remix)
2. QBASS - Deepa
3. Phuture Assassins - Roots N Future (Make Dem Know Mix)
4. D'Cruze - Bass Go Boom (DJ SS & EQ Remix)
5. DJ Krome & Mr Time - The Slammer
6. DJ Hype - The Chopper
7. Boogie Times Tribe - The Dark Stranger (Origin Unknown Mix)
8. Johnny Jungle - Flammable
9. QBASS - Gun Connection (M Beat Remix)
10. DJ Rap & Aston - More Time
11. Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era - What The...Session One (Riots In Rayleigh)
12. DJ Rap & Aston - Get Rushed
13. DJ Dextrous & Rude Boy Keith - Wicked
14. DJ Hype - Dawn Of The Fever
15. DJ Hype - Dreams

Side 3
1. Run Tings - Ruff Revival
2. D 'Cruze - Lonely
3. Johnny Jungle - 94' Johnny (Dillinja Remix)
4. Marvellous Cain - Dub Plate Style
5. The Dream Team - Stamina
6. Remarc - RIP (DJ Hype Remix)
7. Run Tings & Liftin' Spirits - Come Easy
8. Johnny Jungle - Killa Sound (Krome & Time Remix)
9. Cutty Ranks - Limb By Limb (DJ SS Remix)
10. Basic Movements - Bubble & Wine
11. Mampi Swift - On The Beat
12. Remarc - In Da Hood
13. Remarc - Single Finga Killa
14. Ill Figure - Untouchable
15. D'Cruze - Land Speeder

How or where do you put the legacy of a record label like Suburban Base into it's proper perspective?

I started buying records by Suburban Base in the early nineties. The hardcore scene was in full swing and this record label produced quality music which also embraced an urban aesthetic. The hardcore scene eventually fractured into different sub-genres, and for a while Suburban Base was at the cutting edge of the fledgling jungle, and later drum n bass scene. The tracklisting of this Suburban Base compilation is a map how the music progressed and mutated within such a relatively small amount of time, and where Suburban Base was at the forefront of this movement. What I liked about Sub Base was that whenever I would get to see and hear their new releases there would be an original version, that was later accompanied by an excellent remix. The vinyl was packaged with a creative record sleeves designs that reflected the urban-graffiti hip hop origins of the label. There are some absolute classic tracks amongst the Suburban Base discography that has come to define the scene over a relatively small amount of time.

The jungle and drum n bass scene has continuously evolved, and eventually other record labels emerged that featured artists and deejays who developed their own ideas and took the scene into new directions. Dan Donnelly, the owner of Suburban Base rightly or wrongly decided to embrace the dark garage scene at the expense of drum n bass, and Sub Base itself went the way of many other labels that got left behind in the wake of an ever changing UK drum n bass scene.

There are some classic tracks in this compilation. If I had to pick a few of my own favourites, I'd choose Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era, with the evergreen breakbeat classic, Far Out. DJ Hype's dark tinged, A Shot in The Dark and The Chopper. The caustic breaks of Flammable by Johnny Jungle, and possibly one of the watershed tracks in the history of Suburban Base, the Origin Unknown remix of The Dark Stranger, originally by Boogie Times Tribe. But there are many more tunes in this compilation that highlight the contribution that Suburban Base has made to a uniquely British urban dance music scene.


3. Nasty Habits: Shadow Boxing (Thirty One Recordings)

  1. Om Unit Remix
  2. Re-Mastered Original Mix

Shadow Boxing by Nasty Habits was originally released in 1996 on Doc Scott's own label 31 Records. Whether it being under the names of Nasty Habits or Doc Scott, on labels like Absolute 2, Reinforced Records or on his own 31 Recordings imprint, Scott McIlroy has always been an innovator throughout the UK hardcore scene and drum n bass genre. When I first heard this track it was nothing like I had never heard before, and has always remained a firm favourite of mine. Over the years this track has been remixed a few times, however in 2014 Shadow Boxing was remixed by Om Unit and the original version was digitally remastered. The original mix still sounds as dark, menacing and epic as the first time I ever heard it, and will rightly remain a stand out tune in dance music history.

2. Model 500: The Passage (Apollo)

  1. The Passage
  2. Mind Changes
  3. Vessels In Distress

I first bought this EP back in 1992. Back in the day it was released on Network Records and was called 'The True Techno EP' which I took as a slight by Juan Atkins, the godfather of techno on all the pretenders using the name 'techno' as a brand to sell a mish mash of various contemporary music offerings. My favourite track was The Passage.

I've been waiting patiently for quite a few years for this track to be reissued. So imagine my delight when I discovered that The Passage was going to be remastered and reissued in all of it's sumptuous glory on Apollo in September of 2014.

1. Boards of Canada: Hi Scores EP (Skam Records)
  1. Hi Scores
  2. Turquoise Hexagon Sun
  3. Nlogax
  4. June 9th
  5. Seeya Later
  6. Everything You Do Is A Balloon

Back in 1998 the album, Music Has The Right To Children was released by Warp Records, in conjunction with Skam. What unsuspecting fans may not have know at the time was that Boards of Canada had a huge back catalogue of previous material. One such item was the Hi Scores EP, that was originally released in 1996 on Skam. It was announced in 2014 that the Hi Scores EP was going to be remastered and reissued in October, much to the delight of fans like myself. What I liked about Boards of Canada was their ability to create music with hip hop breaks and heavy basslines, but which were contrasted with electronic music that was subtle and melodic. Possibly the greatest example of Boards of Canada's design and execution is the seminal Everything You Do Is A Balloon, which is over 7 minutes worth of bass driven surreal bliss. 

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