Our very own Chief Jungle Corespondent DJ Lush with the first edition of articles entitled “TRACKING THE HARDCORE CONTINUUM”. A dnbfederation.com exclusive series where DJ Lush shuffles through the crates and reminisces about the “golden days” of drum and bass. LUSH describes his sound as Jungle Music at 130, 140 and 175 bpm. Sounds crazy? Maybe, but with Lush the single most dominant trend over his 19 years of DJing has always been unbridled passion for the music that he plays.
What’s up good people? As some of you may know already I’ve been DJing Jungle in all its incarnations since the start of this music at the beginning of the nineties. I’m not the oldest guy in the scene by any means but I’m not a young boy in the game either. Good thing is my passion for new fresh music keeps me young and inspired to share the music I love with people who want to hear it. Keep in mind that I don’t claim to be an all knowing authority on anything, you see that’s the thing about music and DJing, it’s a never ending learning curve that’s constantly evolving and that’s part of the fun. I am however “knowledgeable” in this department and I want to help share the roots of this music and connect the dots between the various styles and eras of underground Bass music so that if you just discovered this music more recently maybe I can help point you in the right direction to better understand the foundation and the culture of this sound we all love.
Every week or two (I’m busy eh!) I’m going to select a seminal record from the past twenty odd years of Bass music and talk about its impact at the time, its lasting legacy, and share some of my own personal memories of raving to or playing out the track.
I’m going to draw on everything from Acid House and Hardcore, to classic Jungle, and golden era Drum & Bass as well as important Garage, Grime and Dubstep records that marked pivotal stops along the constantly evolving tradition of UK Bass music that we refer to as the “Hardcore Continuum”
Sound good? Good. Walk with me…….
For my first installment I wanted to select one of the earliest and without question one of the most influential to the actual ‘sound’ of Drum & Bass records ever:
“Just Another Chance” by Detroit Techno godfather Kevin “Reese” Saunderson. Released on Saunderson’s landmark Incognito label in 1988.
One of the most important dance music producers to ever live, Saunderson had already been revered as a founding father of Techno as part of the “Belleville Three” (with Derrick May & Juan Atkins) and as the producer behind the first big House group, Inner City.
In reaction to the huge commercial success of Inner City he started his “Reese Project” alias as an outlet for some of his more stripped down experimental productions.
“Just Another Chance” was the first track where Saunderson unveiled a new technique for creating basslines that he had discovered that he called the “Reese Bass”, a distinctive synthesized bass sound comprising layered ‘clashing’ sawtooth waves.
Elements of “Just Another Chance” have been sampled in Jungle by everyone from Dillinja to Ed Rush but it was Ray Kieth‘s blatant incorporating of the “Reese” bassline over shimmering amens on his career defining “Terrorist” in 1994 that changed the sound of Jungle forever and ushered in the blue print for what Drum & Bass would become. The Reese bassline is the most twisted, morphed and equed bass sound in D&B history and is still widely used today to crushing effectiveness. Countless anthems incorporate versions of this sound but some notable examples are “Sonar” by DJ Trace on Prototype, “Messiah” by Konfict on Hardware and most recently “Headlock” and “Absolute Monster” by our own Rene Lavice
I’m not going to front and pretend like I was raving in a field to this tune in 1988 because I was 11 years old then. (Use the calculator app on your iPhone 5 and you will know how old I am slimes!) I discovered this tune in 94 after backtracking what the sample sources were after I read that this was the main sample in Terrorist and in Dillinja’s “Deadly Deep Subs”.
The tune remains today just as mesmerizing and fresh now as it was when first released. Truly one of the single most important pieces of electronic music ever recorded and an all time personal favorite of mine