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Undercover Beats – What Have You Missed?

Undercover Beats – What Have You Missed?

Undercover Beats, the tunes you heard once or twice or maybe even never. Tracks that the DJs chosen for this future feel need further representation in today’s modern drum & bass circles.

Don’t expect anthem after anthem, the guidelines for these mixes was to dig deep for tunes that needed some extra love. This is just part one in a series of articles so if you’re an up and coming DJ or just someone that fancies giving this mix series a go then hit me up via Twitter.

90’s themed for the first edition, we are going IN!

Teebone

What did you want your mix of undercover beats to represent?

“The vibes of the mid 90’s jungle heyday that brought so many people out every weekend, to skank!”

Can you explain your mood before, during and after putting the mix together?

“When Jamie mentioned the concept I thought it was a brilliant idea, something I certainly wanted to be involved in. During the mix, it was just like anytime you do a mix session, you just zone out and enjoy the music just as much as you hope the listeners will. After, you feel like you have given back and played your part in progressing and promoting the scene. It was good to hear tracks that I had mad over 20 years ago, hearing all that drum programming and basslines that had taken up so much of your time as a youth.”

How did it feel hearing some of these tunes again?

“It reminds me of how high my work rate used to be in those days, brings back great memories.”

Why do you think the tracks in your selection went undercover?

“Because most of them where only made for dubplate and not for general release back then.”

Do you have a favourite?

“It has to be ‘Dubplate’ because it has such impact when it drops.”

What’s your take on repressing old tunes?

“I currently do a series called ‘Dubplate Classics’ where I am doing limited runs for collectors of unreleased tracks that I made in the 90’s. These are pressed on a 10” with 2 music house stickers with a limited run of 100. I’m pleased to say they have done really well and I am on volume 2 at the moment.”

Is it healthy for the scene?

“I think any pressing of vinyl is healthy for the scene. I wish it was stilled the preferred method.”

  1. Teebone – Dubplate Style (VIP)
  2. Maximum Style – One 4 Da MCs (Teebone Remix)
  3. Teebone – Nasty
  4. Dubplate (VIP Rework)
  5. Teebone & Dextrous – Selectors Roll (Tom & Jerry Remix)
  6. Grand Larceny
  7. Teebone – Sunshine
  8. Dextrous – 24/7
  9. Dextrous – Loveable (VIP)
  10. Teebone & Stretch – Can We
  11. Teebone & Dextrous – Selectors Roll
  12. Teebone & Stretch – Shoalin Style (Tom & Jerry Remix)
  13. Teebone – The Bugle
  14. Cool Hand Flex & Chris Energy – Like Dis
  15. King Of The Jungle – Charged (Teebone VIP Remix)
  16. Teebone & Dextrous – Heroes Welcome (VIP)

Mollie Collins

Recently signed to Charge Recordings, Mollie gives us her unique breakdown of how she finds 90’s beats in 2016.

What did you want your mix of undercover beats to represent?

“I wanted my mix to represent the way I mix as well as how people used to mix back then. I always wanted it to represent a mixture of beats , some from a friend of mine who produced back in the day but didn’t get to release anything properly.”

Can you explain your mood before, during and after putting the mix together?

“To be honest I wasn’t sure how they were going to flow together, the tempos are a lot slower to what I am used to. I was excited to do this project as I was born in 1996 but I’m surrounded by older DJs so it was good to go back in time and do a mix with tunes I would of never have heard before or for a long time. Saying that, it was probably one of the most enjoyable mixes I have done!”

How did it feel hearing some of these tunes again?

“A few I have heard before but some I would never knew existed so it’s been a great history lesson.”

Why do you think the tracks in your selection went undercover? Do you have a favourite?

I think they might have gone undercover due to producers wanting to keep them to themselves as specials or maybe they couldn’t get them signed or just simply didn’t want to! My favourite one in my selection is 7 Danger ‘God’s Only Son’ because I really like the switch after the 32 & 64 bars.”

What’s your take on repressing old tunes? Is it healthy for the scene?

“I think where drum & bass has changed over the years a lot of tunes have been forgotten.

Undercover beats from all years should be used as ammo, a DJs selection is everything in my eyes.

A lot of DJs are good at mixing, but it takes a lot to select in a way that creates a story.”

Chris77 (a member of the Drum&BassArena forum crew)

“A few lesser known tunes from my collection that sound fresh today (well, they do to my ears anyway) and hopefully capture a bit of what was special about the 90s dnb era.

Some names here like Plug (aka Luke Vibert), Kid Loops, and Spring Heel Jack were probably more acknowledged outside drum and bass circles, but could all fire off the occasional dnb/jungle gems which sometimes tended to fly under the radar.

Louis Coultrane and Microtek’s tracks were random finds on compilations. Each has only one track credited to their names on rolldabeats, which is a shame judging by their lone efforts included here. More info on both artists also seems hard to come by.

I’ve included 3 tracks from German producers: the Photek-ish ‘Sir Alfred’ by Myer, Third Coming – Reset, plus a track off the underrated album Different Faces by Bassface Sascha.

Guardians Of Dalliance’s hypnotic Blue Green is probably the best known track here, but still slightly overlooked in my opinion.

Some chilled minimal grooves from Misterjon (Sea Change) and the amen crasher Rock Vhile by Onyx (not sticky Fingaz and co although it does
sample them, I believe it’s either a Mark Ruff Rider or A-Sides alias) round off the mix. Thanks for listening.

  1. Louis Coltrane – Placid Frequency – Creative Wax (1997)
  2. Myer – Sir Alfred – Groove Attack (1998)
  3. Misterjon – Sea Change – Ultimate Dilemma (1996)
  4. Plug – Drum N Bass – Ninja Tune (199?)
  5. Spring Heel Jack – Take 2 – Trade 2/Island (1996)
  6. Microtek – Anaconda – Second Movement (1996)
  7. Kid Loops – Sixes And Sevens – Filter (1997)
  8. Bassface Sascha – Touched By Soul – MLP (1999)
  9. Onyx – Rock Vhile – Strictly Hardcore (1996)
  10. Guardians Of Dalliance – Blue Green – Moving Shadow (1999)
  11. Third Coming – Reset – Groove Attack (1998)

Binar (a member of the Drum&BassArena forum crew)

1) Ed Rush & Nico – Technology – No U Turn

“Easy reason for this one, all about the ‘anastasia’ sample. I loved all the early belgian ’91 techno stabs that became incorporated into breakbeat hardcore thru ’91 to ’92, When applied to drum and bass this fits perfectly.”

2) DJ Rap – I Can’t Stop – Proper Talent

“DJ Rap was known more for other tunes but this was a mixers dream, layer upon layer being added all the way through the tune plus it still sounded fresh to these ears long after ’95. It had staying power that’s for sure.”

3) Concept 2 – Lucid Dreams – Liftin’ Spirit

“A great little tech roller, strong clean drums and great for mixing with and not too well known at the time.”

4) Renegade – Midnight ’96 – Dread

“Love this from the ‘Alison Moyet/Yazoo’ sample in the intro through to the great breaks and bass in the drop.”

5) Rude and Deadly – Give Me a Dubplate – No Smokin’

“Just love the amens on this, “chrome plated” as I remember a review saying at the time. Vocals are superb also, great atmosphere, proper dark.”

6) Ray Keith – Who The Hell Am I – Chronic

“All about the JVC Force samples of course, one for all the late 80’s hip hop headz. I remember someone asking someone at BM records – is this ‘dark or jump up’ – answer ‘a bit of both’ – back in the day that was pretty much what I loved about this era above all.”

7) Facs – Times Out (Remix) – No Smokin’

“Spooky intro that goes on for half the tune before the massive drop that comes in from nowhere, hard, rolling and deadly.”

8) Danny Breaks – Volume 1 (Zinc Remix) – Droppin’ Science

“Another great intro with atmospheric vocals and growling bass followed by the most perfect rolling amen to mix just about anything with. Another that has been played and played to death ever since ’95ish. Pure Zinc.”

9) Play The Game – Freestyles – True Playaz

“Great vocal with loads of diverse sections but that amen and bass when it drops.. and again later! 90’s Zinc at his peak.”

10) Mask – You Rang – Dope Dragon

“Love that 60’s kinda keyboard intro then the drum rolls, layers on layers – another great mixing roller with breaks all over the place. I’ve rinsed this to death.”

11) Unknown Artist – Volume 1 – Kartoonz

“I know Jamie likes this one! Another great intro and those two alternating stabs are just about perfect. When that amen and bass hits it’s like another tune entirely. Once from Nicky Blackmarket’s label and one of my most played tunes of all time, end of.”

12) Zinc – On Fire Tonight (Remix) – Ganja

“As standard for Zinc in this era it’s all about the great rolling amens, b-line and perfect vocal samples. The outro from the last drop literally mixes with anything round the 170bpm mark, pure class.”

13) The Prisoners of Technology – Total Control – Fresh Kutt

“Again, ‘dark jump up’ if anything – as are quite a few of the above. This label was all about class, raising the bar above all others and this one had the best breakdown of it’s day in my opinion. One of the best of all time which seems very apt to end the mix with.”

You can follow Jamie Section 23 on Twitter, @JamieS23
Jamie S23 is part of the editorial team at Drum&BassArena, has a huge collection of vinyl from the 90’s and spends many hours wishing music still came on cassette. He’s stupidly into fitness and most importantly, a devoted Dad. Reminisce about air horns, lighters and The Sanctuary with him via Twitter or Soundcloud

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