roni size & reprazent - new forms

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one of the best albums of all-time and possibly the only good drum n bass full-length ever(?)

Poll Results

OptionVotes
1-02 Brown Paper Bag 12
1-09 Share The Fall (Full Vocal Mix) 5
1-03 New Forms 2
2-02 Hi-potent 1
1-11 Beatbox 1
1-06 Matter Of Fact 1
2-08 Hot Stuff 1
1-10 Watching Windows 1
2-04 Change My Life 0
2-03 Trust Me 0
2-05 Share The Fall 0
2-06 Down 0
2-07 Jazz 0
1-01 Railing 0
2-01 Intro 0
1-13 Destination 0
1-12 Morse Code 0
1-08 Heroes 0
1-07 Mad Cat 0
1-05 Digital 0
1-04 Lets Get It On 0
2-09 Ballet Dance 0


flopson, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:24 (one week ago) link

i used to see this in used cd bins all the time but i never picked it up.

cheese canopy (map), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:29 (one week ago) link

it's absolutely fantastic

flopson, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:32 (one week ago) link

so groovy, so catchy, really tasteful sound that didn't age poorly at all (truly a miracle for late 90s dnb)

flopson, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:33 (one week ago) link

bow oh wow
bow oh wow
dingle ding
ding ding

Seany's too Dyche to mention (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:33 (one week ago) link

Someday Clive Deamer will get credit not for being the second bald drummer in Radiohead's live show, but for being the key to this album and the first two Portishead albums.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:34 (one week ago) link

some of the best basslines in all electronic music

flopson, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:34 (one week ago) link

(although honestly I never got into this one much, but listened to In the Mode a ton in the audiogalaxy days)

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:35 (one week ago) link

(although honestly I never got into this one much, but listened to In the Mode a ton in the audiogalaxy days)

highly suggest revisiting... it slaps brother

flopson, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:36 (one week ago) link

brown paper bag nobukazu takemura mix is some kinda godhead

massaman gai (front tea for two), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:38 (one week ago) link

I love jazz and dnb, but have some residual embarrassment about mixing the two

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:40 (one week ago) link

Bahamadia sounds so good on the title track

omar little, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:42 (one week ago) link

xp- it's actually some of the least embarrassing dnb ever imo! i usually leave the rave when they start playing dnb

flopson, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:44 (one week ago) link

I played SHJ's Busy Curious Thirsty and the first disc of this thing a lot in '97.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:53 (one week ago) link

honestly I never got into this one much, but listened to In the Mode a ton in the audiogalaxy days)

― change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, October 9, 2019 1:35 PM (eighteen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

otm

lumen (esby), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:55 (one week ago) link

The second disc is flawless and unimpeachable.

The first disc is great too but I rarely listen to it by comparison. Would have been improved by using the faster version of “Watching Windows” they saved for the video clip, which effectively turns it into “Share The Fall Pt. 2”.

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:04 (one week ago) link

i have checked in on this in the past couple years and agree that it really holds up!

tbh when it came out i was young and knew nothing about dnb, but spin gave it a 9 and that was good enough. i’m glad they did.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:21 (one week ago) link

Also (and I might expand on this later) I think the secret to understanding this album is to think of it as the D&B equivalent of krautrock.

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:29 (one week ago) link

This barely left my walkman in '97, great album. DJ Die has just remastered a load of his stuff from '95-00 for an album on his Gutterfunk album which should be a real treat.

help yourself to another slice of apple ... crumble (Willl), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:32 (one week ago) link

*label not album doh.

help yourself to another slice of apple ... crumble (Willl), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:33 (one week ago) link

Will forever be inextricably linked in my mind with, of all things, the Elton John Diana tribute single as on the Saturday that song was released and we had customers literally queuing outside the door my manager decided the appropriate soundtrack was this album played at uncomfortably loud volume while he sat out back leaving me to deal with complaints from every fifth customer. Good times.

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:39 (one week ago) link

I got this as a Xmas present that year!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:43 (one week ago) link

I bought this the same day I bought that first Thievery Corporation CD.

omar little, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:44 (one week ago) link

Thanks for this Roni, had you to win the Mercury at 10-1

I mean I dunno, "Brown Paper Bag"? Way better without the unnecessary MCing imo. "Share the Fall"? Kruder and Dorfmeister's "Heroes"? Title track? I mean it's all one huge jam.

Xia Nu del Vague (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:48 (one week ago) link

Got to see them support this album with a full band followed by multiple DJ sets from their crew. A very fun and memorable night.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:58 (one week ago) link

i saw them do their first live gig as Reprazent at a very muddy Glastonbury, from what I recall they were about an hour late but pulled it off in fine style.

help yourself to another slice of apple ... crumble (Willl), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:02 (one week ago) link

it's all one huge jam.

otm. and in the best sense of the word

flopson, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:03 (one week ago) link

I think it’s unhelpful to think of this album as fusing jazz and d&b. I mean, obviously it is liberally festooned with jazz motifs, but that’s what they are: motifs.

I think the producers smartly realised that if you’re going to make these long, largely unchanging minimalist tracks with only a few melodic elements, then the elements you choose need to punch above their weight; the advantage of using these really jazzy sounds is that they kind of over-signify. Think of the tension that the album version of “Brown Paper Bag” builds in its intro’s endless counterpoint between a short double bass riff and that sunlight-flecked guitar lick. There’s really not much to it, but the sounds feel so flushed and bursting with a particular kind of vibe that they really fill the space.

It’s a similar logic at work in the simplification of the rhythms relative to the producers’ earlier work. There are a few tracks on the first disc where I think they risk slipping into rhythmic monotony (e.g. “Digital”), but otherwise much of the album locates this lovely sweet spot where the rhythms are complex enough to be involving but simple enough to be mnemonic - such that very slight changes seem much more invested with meaning and significance than they might otherwise. The music asks the listener to be at once hypnotised and fully alert at all times.

I also suspect that they wanted to create a sense that all the minor deviations and fills and one-off patterns were the choices of a human drummer performing in real time, which you could never say about a full-blown amen mash-up.

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:12 (one week ago) link

Very well. I'll play while baking some chicken.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:24 (one week ago) link

Listen to disc two!

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:37 (one week ago) link

I am -- "Change My Life"!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:38 (one week ago) link

As far as the poll goes, I have to choose Share The Fall, that track would just destroy every time it dropped. It sounded so distinct and futuristic compared to pretty much any other DnB at the time, with that weird triplet vocal line cutting across the beat.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:51 (one week ago) link

my god how haven't I heard "Jazz." When the woodwinds enter and blow over that bass.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:52 (one week ago) link

Yeah what i was talking about above in respect of the interplay between the jazz-derived melodic motifs and the rhythms and bass really comes to the fore on disc two - see also those waves of In A Silent Way-style ambient jazz noise on "Hot Stuff", or the horn blasts before the double-bass attack on "Ballet Dance".

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 21:59 (one week ago) link

I always thought of disc 2 as weaker (or perhaps just less obviously focused) than disc 1 but maybe it's just the latter's first 5 tracks being such a great run. This was never quite as jazzy nor as jungly as I would've preferred (and others provided copiously including Size and Krust on their own repeatedly) on the whole but hearing the title track for the first time is still something I'll never forget.

nashwan, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:02 (one week ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxgNiLBtcUI

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:02 (one week ago) link

btw flopson you're wrong about this being the only good D&b album, though it's definitely one of the best. Leaving aside DJ mixes and compilations, you still have Timeless, Black Secret Technology, the Jacob's Optical Stairway album and Dom & Roland's Industry to contend with (just to focus on the immediate favourites that come to mind).

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:04 (one week ago) link

As far as 1997 D&B albums go, this has aged way, way better than Adam F's 'Colours' album despite using a very similar formula.

help yourself to another slice of apple ... crumble (Willl), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:13 (one week ago) link

how do y'all rate In the Mode?

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:17 (one week ago) link

I haven't played it in almost 20 years, but the Breakbeat Era project Ultra Obscene got even more play at Manse Soto than New Forms.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:18 (one week ago) link

Colours is good! As with Boymerang's Balance of the Force it tries to cover all bases (now a dolphin tune, now a techstep track) a bit too obviously, but tracks like "Metropolis", "Music In My Mind", "Jaxx", "Circles" and "Aromatherapy" are pretty undeniable IMO.

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:18 (one week ago) link

@ Tim F - its a great album but sounds a bit more dated to my ears?

help yourself to another slice of apple ... crumble (Willl), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:25 (one week ago) link

I think the "collection of tracks that are totally archetypal of a couple of different styles that are (or until recently have been) hot" approach definitely time-stamps it more. And there is a certain lack of... subtlety... in the way Adam F would go out of his way to make the "perfect" Good Looking-style tune or the "perfect" techstep tune.

Whereas with New Forms the album sounds almost out of time, because the specific approach that Reprazent took isn't really reprezentative of any particular moment in any particular scene.

I can think of one-off tracks trying to do something very similar and to great effect (e.g. the Peshay and Decoder remix of Photek's "Rings of Saturn"; Dillinja's "Promise") but it's more like different artists verging on the same territory almost by accident.

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:33 (one week ago) link

I remember listening to a decent amount of Grooverider and Mocean Worker in the wake of this album too.

omar little, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:37 (one week ago) link

thinking now that this being my entry point into D&B ruined techstep for me, which was most of the D&B i heard out at raves at the time

davey, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:37 (one week ago) link

@ Tim F: Agreed - that explains it in a far more succinct way than the screed I was just tapping out.

help yourself to another slice of apple ... crumble (Willl), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:39 (one week ago) link

This album, Drum & Bass for Papa by Plug, and Time & Bass by Future Loop Foundation are the only dnb albums I've pulled out and (mostly) enjoyed in that past 20 yrs

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 22:40 (one week ago) link

The fact that there's a kind of d'n'b called 'dolphin' is one of my favorite things about the genre

Frederik B, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 23:16 (one week ago) link

Ooh, I need to play this album again. There was a time when I thought it, Logical Progression and Platinum Breakz were the last CDs I'd ever need -- so much music! Those two had lost (only) some of their luster last I checked but I suspect New Forms is still the coolest.

geoffreyess, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 23:16 (one week ago) link

Brown paper bag for all time. Still remember the first time I heard it - as a white label they put on in Black Market Records, the surge to the counter by people wanting to know what the track was, to buy it was quite something. The bass lick still sends tingles down my spine and some very happy dancing memories.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:00 (one week ago) link

Brown paper bag for all time. Still remember the first time I heard it - as a white label they put on in Black Market Records, the surge to the counter by people wanting to know what the track was, to buy it was quite something. The bass lick still sends tingles down my spine and some very happy dancing memories.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:00 (one week ago) link

Love this album, but the best thing was the live session for John Peel. Voted Share the Fall, the most soulful moment

Dr X O'Skeleton, Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:30 (one week ago) link

Sorry Tim but Logical Progression is sooo not boring.

Of late I’ve come to think of the Photek mix of Brown Paper Bag as the greatest of all dnb remixes.

As for Roni Size, none of his best stuff is on this album (It’s a Jazz thing, Music Box, Timestretch)

the article don, Friday, 11 October 2019 15:49 (one week ago) link

As a contrast to the very fun Roni Size/Reprazent/V Recordings show, the one LTJ Bukem set I saw was a soul crushingly dull mess of electric piano noodlings. Logical Progression starts well, but get very samey after a while.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 11 October 2019 15:52 (one week ago) link

The MCing on New Forms is utter cheese. I don’t know when you saw Bukem but from 92-200 he was pretty unimpeachable. Shite now, though

the article don, Friday, 11 October 2019 21:58 (one week ago) link

the weird thing abt this album was it kinda crossed over in the states to ppl who had never before or since bought a dnb album

anyway revisted this a couple years ago & love it

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Friday, 11 October 2019 22:20 (one week ago) link

xp

Think it was around 98 or 99

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 11 October 2019 23:46 (one week ago) link

This is what turned me off - or rather, made me shrug - at New Forms at the time. It wasn't the 'curse' of the Mercury Prize, it was just that New Forms felt more like a jazz album than a dnb album. It's such a highly stylized and polished dnb album. It was 'future funk', really. And it's good! It took things to a new level, but I wasn't sure if it was a road I wanted dnb to go down (having been raised on both atmospheric/Bukem/J.Majik stuff and the more abbrasive, abstract takes of Optical&Rush, Source Direct etc). It def felt like a new take, albeit a - dare I say it - MOR take on dnb.

I see takes along these lines all the time but they seem a bit odd to me - arguably New Forms was the end of something (the idea that d&b tracks could do something other than pound one single loop into the ground) rather than the start of something. It's pretty difficult to point to anything that came out after 1997 that even resembles it (even 4 Hero's Two Pages was really building off their own prior album and Timeless rather than taking cues from Reprazent).

One can imagine a harder/crunchier/more dance floor oriented version of this album, along the lines of Roni Size remix of "New Forms" or the DJ Die remix of "Watching Windows" (both excellent), but in truth a less "MOR" take would probably have ended up closer to stuff like the Krust remix of "New Forms" or the Grooverider remix of "Share The Fall": physically impacting, sure, but ultimately less enjoyable as a longform listening experience and kinda boring after one runthrough. Or, indeed, the 2007 and 2017 "updates" of these songs (almost always for the worse).

Tim F, Saturday, 12 October 2019 00:05 (one week ago) link

i just want to say, as someone who listens to a lot of jazz, it doesn't really sound much like jazz to me -- the instrumentation is almost more out of R&B ... Tim already basically said this but texturally I get that its taking, like, a surface aesthetic from jazz. but its way more built on this tension of repetition-variation at a macro level that feels closer to dance music

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Saturday, 12 October 2019 00:43 (one week ago) link

Exactly.

The relationship to jazz is basically derived from rap sampling and indeed d&b’s existing approach to sampling breaks: pretty much an instrumentalising one that is disinterested in genuflecting to the concerns of the source genre.

There’s a certain irony that sampled breaks per se kinda disappear from Reprazent’s approach with this album - everything is built up from single hits, which is remarkable given the complexity of a tune like “Share The Fall” - but the album maintains continuity with jungle’s sample aesthetic by focusing so heavily on weaving these scintillating webs of sampled licks.

That decentering of the sample aesthetic forms the essential break between the album material and earlier productions like “11.55”.

Tim F, Saturday, 12 October 2019 01:17 (one week ago) link

The fact that the Roni Size crew didn't go full-on jazz was probably what kept their output interesting well past some of their peers. There are tracks with some jazzy instrumentation, but they had plenty of tech elements too.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 12 October 2019 01:19 (one week ago) link

the weird thing abt this album was it kinda crossed over in the states to ppl who had never before or since bought a dnb album

anyway revisted this a couple years ago & love it

― ILX’s bad boy (D-40)

This was the only dnb album I ever bought. Voted beatbox.

enochroot, Saturday, 12 October 2019 02:43 (one week ago) link

The tight snare slaps on New Forms are like Madaleine cakes for me: I go years without listening to it and within seconds of putting it on I'm in dimly lit 4am lounges waiting for the sun to come up.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Saturday, 12 October 2019 18:28 (one week ago) link

texturally I get that its taking, like, a surface aesthetic from jazz. but its way more built on this tension of repetition-variation at a macro level that feels closer to dance music

Feel like this is the case 95% of the time when ppl say stuff from a different genre is jazzy

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Saturday, 12 October 2019 19:00 (one week ago) link

only thing jazz about it is double bass and live drum sound imho

flopson, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:00 (one week ago) link

There’s a certain irony that sampled breaks per se kinda disappear from Reprazent’s approach with this album - everything is built up from single hits, which is remarkable given the complexity of a tune like “Share The Fall”

I disagree with this! They had their own in-house drummer to create breaks, but I hear lots of slightly longer phrases from him that get chopped and looped. You can get close to that sound with single hits (especially if you have them all isolated with different velocities etc, and god knows I spend enough time doing that in the early '00s), but that's not what I'm hearing here.

change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:09 (one week ago) link

I meant sampled breaks in the sense of “obviously sampled from other records” (e.g. 11.55’s use of the break from blowfly’s “Sesame Street”), but yeah, I had also forgotten the use of sampled live drumming.

Tim F, Sunday, 13 October 2019 01:05 (one week ago) link

I still dig this out every couple of years and am as blown away by it as when I first heard it. I don't think there's much jazz in it either, although parts of it remind me a bit of that first Weather Report album.

I never had the two-disc version, so have never heard all the extra stuff.

fetter, Monday, 14 October 2019 07:45 (six days ago) link

The MCing on New Forms is utter cheese

i fucking love it

flopson, Monday, 14 October 2019 22:14 (six days ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 00:01 (five days ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 00:01 (four days ago) link

btw flopson you're wrong about this being the only good D&b album, though it's definitely one of the best. Leaving aside DJ mixes and compilations, you still have Timeless, Black Secret Technology, the Jacob's Optical Stairway album and Dom & Roland's Industry to contend with (just to focus on the immediate favourites that come to mind).

IMO 4 Hero's Parallel Universe, T-Power's The Self-Evident Truth of an Intuitive Mind, Omni Trio's Haunted Science, and Apache 61's self-titled record are also genuine album-length classics of '90s drum'n'bass, though it is true that the scene wasnt't really album-oriented, and a lot of the best stuff can only be found on singles and comps.

I haven't heard the Jacob's Optical Stairway album in 20+ years, but IIRC it was more like Detroit techno, not D&B? Or am I confusing it with some other 4 Hero side project?

Tuomas, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 08:32 (four days ago) link

Definitely more of a Detroit Techno vibe to JOS. This was probably the most 4 Hero sounding track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFeVfTW_tzs

groovypanda, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 08:38 (four days ago) link

There's a 20th anniversary edition of this (2017) that has most of the contemporaneous b-sides (Western, Sounds Fresh) and remixes (Photek, Grooverider, NuYorican Soul).

I think Onnalee is the secret MVP on this, STF and Watching Windows are both ace and her contribution to Brown Paper Bag, though tiny, is one of its signatures - the "mmmmmmm" into the drop.

I'm sure there's another (superior) DJ Die mix of Watching Windows that never got released but got played loads at the time?

Twelves, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 09:16 (four days ago) link

btw flopson you're wrong about this being the only good D&b album, though it's definitely one of the best. Leaving aside DJ mixes and compilations, you still have Timeless, Black Secret Technology, the Jacob's Optical Stairway album and Dom & Roland's Industry to contend with (just to focus on the immediate favourites that come to mind).

I logged onto this thread to make exactly this point. You've listed most of the ones I was going to, but I'd also throw in Omni Trio, Foul Play and 4Hero's Parallel Universe as well.

The Jacob's Optical Stairway (4Hero under another name, of course) is mindblowing.

New Forms sounded pretty good at the time and yet I haven't bothered to listen to it in years.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Wednesday, 16 October 2019 09:27 (four days ago) link

IMO 4 Hero's Parallel Universe, T-Power's The Self-Evident Truth of an Intuitive Mind, Omni Trio's Haunted Science, and Apache 61's self-titled record are also genuine album-length classics of '90s drum'n'bass

Ah, just seen this post as well.

I have to be honest though, the T-Power album bored the arse off me at the time.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Wednesday, 16 October 2019 09:28 (four days ago) link

Alex Reece's So Far - does that count?

fetter, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 10:05 (four days ago) link

Photek 4 life tbh

Xia Nu del Vague (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 16 October 2019 10:19 (four days ago) link

It's a positive that you can easily make a DIY comp of all of these producers respective singles and remixes that would be better than any of their albums. OK maybe not JOS.

Gonna have to dig out Foul Play's Suspected LP later now tho.

nashwan, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 10:29 (four days ago) link

Foul Play’s album is good but they’re probably the act for whom this is most true.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 11:12 (four days ago) link

Like an album that was:

Open Your Mind (Remix)
Omni Trio - Renegade Snares (Foul Play Remix)
Being With You
Hyper-On Experience - Lord of the Null-Lines (Foul Play Remix)
The Stepper
Omni Trio - Feel Better (Foul Play Remix)
Total Control
Nookie - The Sound of Music (Foul Play Remix)
Music is the Key

... would be the best album ever?

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 11:32 (four days ago) link

Didn't Foul Play split up immediately after the album came out, because one of them (Steve Bradshaw iirc) had died of cancer or something. Tragic story.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Wednesday, 16 October 2019 12:40 (four days ago) link

Apparently MS not cancer and died in 98 but yeah awful either way.

nashwan, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 12:50 (four days ago) link

The surviving member of Foul Play (after Steve Gurley's departure in early 1994 I think), John Morrow, now has an act called Skeleton Army making house / uk bass type stuff.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 13:00 (four days ago) link

somehow i missed this poll but flopson otm this album rules!!!!!

marcos, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 13:04 (four days ago) link

I own a Twisted Individual album and tbh I'm not sure why

Xia Nu del Vague (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 16 October 2019 13:07 (four days ago) link

I'm sure there's another (superior) DJ Die mix of Watching Windows that never got released but got played loads at the time?

― Twelves, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 09:16 (twelve hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Do you mean something other than the Gnarly mix?

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 22:12 (four days ago) link

I haven't heard the Jacob's Optical Stairway album in 20+ years, but IIRC it was more like Detroit techno, not D&B? Or am I confusing it with some other 4 Hero side project?

― Tuomas, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 08:32 (thirteen hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

You might be thinking of Marc Mac's (first) album under the Nu-Era moniker.

Jacob's Optical Stairway is strongly detroit-influenced in terms of the melodies, but no more so than say T-Power's first album. The beatwork is pretty much pure jungle.

Tim F, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 22:13 (four days ago) link

I remember when getting into dnb Jess I think recommending the dj hype drum n Bass selection mixes (esp 4) more than any specific album artist albums, also an option flopson

And of course I guess this is more proto dnb but if you haven’t heard “history of our world vol 1” you’ll love it

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Thursday, 17 October 2019 00:55 (three days ago) link

Also the album art is cool af

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Drum-Bass-Selection-4-Reload-Part-4-Running-It-Red/release/82629

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Thursday, 17 October 2019 00:56 (three days ago) link

I guess maybe that’s more jungle ... whatevr

Do ppl not recommend remarc any more?

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Thursday, 17 October 2019 00:57 (three days ago) link

kind of ironic (though not incorrect) that you're caveating that a compilation called 'drum n bass selection' is 'more jungle'.

the remarc comp is very good but there was an element of contrastanning at work, like, 'this relatively anonymous producer who just churned out dancefloor killers is actually more important/consistent/enjoyable/etc. than yr geniuses like goldie' - which is not an unreasonable position to adopt but in that case you may as well just boost comps and dj mixes?

Tim F, Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:03 (three days ago) link

should have said, 'there was an element of contrastanning at work to the critical hosannas that greeted its release'

Tim F, Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:04 (three days ago) link

ya I’ve history, it’s great

flopson, Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:39 (three days ago) link

what i should do is post an upload link for grooverider's (long out of print) 'hardstep selection vol. 2' DJ mix a/k/a the best album ever made

Tim F, Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:41 (three days ago) link

Do you mean something other than the Gnarly mix?

It seems the Gnarly mix is the one I've been puzzling over, thanks Tim. The commercial 12"/CDS had a "DJ DIe Remix" which is shorter and less good, which is a baffling choice.

It does seem like this is the first time the Gnarly mix has been available on CD/digitally. It's as good as I remembered.

Twelves, Thursday, 17 October 2019 11:48 (three days ago) link

what i should do is post an upload link for grooverider's (long out of print) 'hardstep selection vol. 2' DJ mix a/k/a the best album ever made

― Tim F, Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:41 PM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

pretty sure jess mentioned this too tbf

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Friday, 18 October 2019 07:45 (two days ago) link

Jacob's Optical Stairway is strongly detroit-influenced in terms of the melodies, but no more so than say T-Power's first album. The beatwork is pretty much pure jungle.

It is also one of the greatest electronic albums ever made. There's honestly not a single duff or even mediocre track on it.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Friday, 18 October 2019 14:11 (two days ago) link

This would easily make it into my top 20 albums of all time, still listen to it a lot and if anything it just grows on me more. It's a wonderfully tasteful and unique album, of its time but somehow timeless, in that it's very 1997 but hasn't dated at all. Even the artwork doesn't suffer from any of the design tropes of the time.

I went to one of the live gigs for In The Mode, first concert I'd been to where everyone was dancing! Made a change from men appreciatively nodding their heads and drinking pints.

Fried Egg Sandwich, Friday, 18 October 2019 15:05 (two days ago) link


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