S/D - Spring Heel Jack

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DnB history is hard to navigate but I seem to enjoy everything I hear by these guys. What should I focus on?

gospodin simmel, Thursday, 7 September 2017 15:32 (nine months ago) Permalink

68 Million Shades, There Are Strings, and Versions. They also did some great remixes. For me, their best period was 95-96. I wasn't a fan of Busy Curious Thirsty and the stuff they did after that album.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 7 September 2017 15:42 (nine months ago) Permalink

I think their early EP's are their best stuff. The Sea Lettuce is tops for me, Osceola/Double Edge also very good. Their shimmering take on to DnB made me think of The Durutti Column. There Are Strings too, though I didn't really warm to the dubby elements on 68 Million Shades.

henry s, Thursday, 7 September 2017 15:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

Surprised we didn't have a thread already!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 7 September 2017 16:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah, they sort of slipped out of the conversation it seems.

gospodin simmel, Thursday, 7 September 2017 16:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

The dubby elements of 68 Million Shades are what won me over. Basically I think if you focus on stuff from 95/96 you're good.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 7 September 2017 16:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

I've only heard their free jazz/improv albums - Masses, Amassed, Live, and The Sweetness of the Water, and some of the releases on their own label, Treader. No idea about their d'n'b stuff.

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 7 September 2017 16:57 (nine months ago) Permalink

"Where Do You Fit In?" is great.

Mr. Snrub, Thursday, 7 September 2017 18:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

I really like sweetness of the water and also their work with EBTG, fight me

streeps of range (wins), Thursday, 7 September 2017 18:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

All I have is the EP they did with Low, it's very good but tangential I guess.

michaellambert, Thursday, 7 September 2017 19:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

No love for 'Treader'? Still play that album regularly!

Steve Reich In The Afternoon (Against The 80s), Thursday, 7 September 2017 20:30 (nine months ago) Permalink

I had a complicated relationship with Spring Heel Jack where I always liked descriptions of what they were doing more than listening to what they were doing at the time, but I'm listening to 68 Million Shades right now and I think my 90s self was just being willful because this shit bangs.

this iphone speaks many languages (DJP), Thursday, 7 September 2017 20:31 (nine months ago) Permalink

(I think at the time I was on some "this is kind of cool but I'm way more interested in literally every other thing in this space that I'm encountering" nonsense; taken out of the context of Discovering A Billion New Records/Acts, this is hitting me way harder than it ever has. That, or nostalgia is even more insidious than I thought.)

this iphone speaks many languages (DJP), Thursday, 7 September 2017 20:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

I saw Spring Heel Jack support Orbital in 1996. They were incredible live.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 7 September 2017 20:56 (nine months ago) Permalink

I got through one track. Pleasant? As someone who didn't listen to this stuff when it was big I'm finding it's a really, really thin line in dnb between boring and not boring. (but then I tend to like jungle more)

Dominique, Thursday, 7 September 2017 21:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

That was my initial reaction at the time so I guess my advice is "try again in 2038"

this iphone speaks many languages (DJP), Thursday, 7 September 2017 21:24 (nine months ago) Permalink

"Bank of America" was a jam, iirc

brimstead, Thursday, 7 September 2017 23:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

Have a soft spot for "Where Do You Fit In?" from close listening due to Tom E's lovely piece back in 1999(!):


etc, Thursday, 7 September 2017 23:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

I really liked Busy Curious Thirsty a lot at the time. I haven't listened to it for years since, but loved the Hale Bopp tribute, and was quite into staring at actual Hale Bopp comet in the night sky, stoned, quite often back then as well.

calzino, Friday, 8 September 2017 00:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

Y'know it's funny, I listen to drum and bass a lot, and I never hear these guys mentioned. Rinse anything else from '95 and dnb nerds will piss themselves and try to take selfies with your records in them, but I feel like if I brought up Spring Heel Jack I'd get blank looks.

airdnb (Tom Violence), Friday, 8 September 2017 01:48 (nine months ago) Permalink

I used to have a copy of Busy Curious Thirsty but it got stolen in 1999 and I haven't listened to it since. Last year I listened to "Disappeared" and I liked it a lot. It's heading towards free jazz but it winds up sounding more like "Nu Jazz" a la Jimi Tenor (who I also like a lot). Record after that they went full free jazz which I didn't like so much. If I want to listen to Evan Parker I'll listen to "50th Birthday Concert" and not a Spring Heel Jack record.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Friday, 8 September 2017 02:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

I remember getting 68 Million Shades when it came out, really liking the first track, and feeling disappointed that the other tracks weren't as exciting. I should probably give it another try.

Moodles, Friday, 8 September 2017 02:39 (nine months ago) Permalink


Will prob go to the afternoon performance - Bevan seems semi-resident in Glasgow these days, which is cool - once saw him in a great trio w/ Sunny Murray and John Edwards at the old Vortex in Stoke Newington, in the v. pleasant company of mr xyzzzzz.

Gulley Jimson (Ward Fowler), Friday, 15 September 2017 19:30 (nine months ago) Permalink

They're not talked about much by drum and bass people because they weren't really from that scene. Not that they pretended to be. The Sea Lettuce EP is more Seefeel with a very straightforward breakbeat IIRC. Only briefly around There Are Strings did they actually sound like 'artcore' drum and bass.

Noel Emits, Friday, 15 September 2017 20:32 (nine months ago) Permalink

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