Jump up in the mid to late 90’s had it’s big hits and plenty of them but what’s really interesting about this period is the amount of undercover labels that you probably picked up one or two releases from but knew little about them, who made them and what labels were responsible for them.
‘Body Rock’ by Chris Howell and DJ Influential is a prime example of this, the same could also be said for the label it was released on – Influential. You might remember it’s parent label, one of the largest record labels of the happy hardcore generation – Kniteforce Records which was responsible for the likes of ‘Six Days’ and ‘Simply Electric’ among many others.
Jimmy-J + Cru-L-T – Six Days
DJ Force & The Evolution – Simply Electric
Kniteforce Records diversified to many other happy hardcore projects and in 1997 Luna C created Influential, a place he could call home to many drum and bass projects.
I came across ‘Body Rock’ on it’s release as an unknown promo. As this was before the likes of Discogs and proper Internet access I decided that I would personally name the tune ‘Doin’ Da Doo’ and thus track marked it on my mixtapes under this fictitious name for many years. Until last year I had assumed it was produced by Aphrodite which is pretty coincidental considering Luna C based many of the releases on Influential on his earlier production styles.
‘Body Rock’ is a superb example of what you would expect to hear at any big event in the UK around 1997 and the likes of Darren Jay, Ellis D and Nicky Blackmarket supported it in plenty of their sets. It’s a full on mixing bowl of everything you would expect from the era – hip hop instrumental loops, gunshots, vocal samples and elastic basslines that reverb around your head like a tennis ball.
One thing I’ve always been confused about is the kick drum. Have a listen for yourself but to me it sounds ever so slightly out of sync with the rest of the beat – don’t let my over sensitive ear put you off though! This tune’s wicked and gives a real insight into jump up as it was back then.
The quotes below are taken with permission from the excellent book ‘How To Squander Your Potential’ by Luna C.
“I set up a new label called Influential Records which focused on drum and bass music. The label was inspired by a track called ‘Tower Bass’ by Aphrodite. He had taken hip hop elements and mixed them with a wobbling bassline and beats that felt almost half speed.
I loved it as soon as I heard it, partly because it’s touch tone was hip hop – a music I was intimately familiar with – and also because whilst it wasn’t “happy”, it was definitely energetic and exciting.
It was probably the only track I loved at the time and it was exactly what I was looking for as far as inspiration went. So I scraped together some money from hiring out my studio, set up a new label and got to work.
The label survived for 17 releases before gradually grinding to a halt in 1999 due to my own waning interest.”
Fancy reading some more of the Luna C story? Check it out here.