Saturday 22 October 2011

Drums & Bass 2: You got Jazz in my Jungle

Last week I got a package with a huge label on it that said "FROM THE NETHERLANDS". What was inside? nothing shady I promise you, it was a limited edition copy of Goldie's 1995 debut album Timeless in one of those old school bulky 2CD cases. So I get to talk about old school Drum & Bass instead of the new school Liquid Funk!

You might know of Goldie. Though you probably remember him as that guy with the gold teeth in that Bond film, Goldie was one of the artists that brought Drum & Bass and Jungle to the attention of mainstream audiences at the time. How did he do this? well he and Rob Playford (who would later go on to found the legendary Moving Shadow label) produced a ton of tracks that combine the breaks and basslines of Drum & Bass and crossed them with some pretty jazzy sounding elements and a general chill feel, the result was pretty spectacular, and very accessible to new listeners. I'm not gonna post a lot of it because it's a REALLY long album: 1 hour 43 minutes and 7 seconds start to finish and that's just the standard six track version, not the twelve tracker I got. The opening track itself accounts for 21 of those minutes, which means it clocks in at a beefy 48MB as a 320kbps MP3. Have it, and some of my other favourite slices from Timeless

A couple years later in 1998, a duo called the E-Z Rollers would do the same thing, but with a bigger emphasis on the Jazz elements and sounds and a much more upbeat tone than Timeless. It's surprisingly obscure compared to massive success Goldie's effort, but Weekend World just sounds like a success. It all works so well together and it's a shame for it to go so unnoticed. Do me a favour and give it a listen wouldya?

It's interesting to listen to the evolution of Drum & Bass between 1993 and now. I like both types almost equally, but the older stuff has a certain charm to it that just makes it great. That about wraps it up, there was meant to be another album in here: Even Angels Cast Shadows by Omni Trio, but in hindsight it probably doesn't fit in too well here - there's definitley some Jazzy influence for sure, but not as much as on other Movign Shadow records of the time like Flytronix's album for example. Still, I suggest you check it out though - and the Flytronix album too if you're looking for more like this too!

Sound Shakin',
-Claude Van Foxbat

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