Around 2002/3 (at the peak of my vinyl habit) I used to be a regular contributor of reviews to Discogs (http://www.discogs.com/), which was then the “the online electronic music database” but have found that in my absence (about five years off seriously collecting) that the remit for the site has shifted to include rock/country and other genres.
Whilst I’m not totally convinced that the site hasn’t lost some of its electronic niche appeal in doing so, it has now also (like Amazon) got a buoyant online marketplace.
I’ve been getting regular email offers since setting up a ‘wantlist’ so decided to take the plunge and test the service out by ordering some items that I’ve wanted for ages from a seller in the US.
As such, I’ve acquired a copy of The Unabombers first 'Electric Chair' compilation LP (http://www.discogs.com/Various-Basement-Soul-Music/release/22279), which I have to say is in pretty disappointing nick (considering it was advertised as “good condition”).
I first saw the Unabombers DJ at a club in Bristol that I used to work at, what must be six or seven years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thekla). The room was about half full (I’m possibly being kind in saying that), but they absolutely rocked it – their style is (or was as I’ve latterly learned) a new interpretation and presentation of soul music in all its colours and flavours. (The LP set here is subtitled as “Basement Soul”).
Anyone out there who was a fan of turn of the nineties indie may be interested to learn that, weirdly, one of the Unabombers used to be the bassist in New Fast Atomic Daffodils, (aka New FADs). I have to say, I wouldn’t go out of my way to see many DJ’s, having really grown out of the “six hours of one type of music” thing but really would for Unabombers based on the strength of their set in Bristol and mixes I've heard online.
Alas, looking at their website (which hasn’t been updated since 2009), I fear that they are no longer a going concern.
It’s a 3 x 12” set with a variety of soul flavoured tunes from “Chic Cheer” by Chic, through to modern hip-hop oriented nu-soul. The absolute ‘must have’ tune on here is the 15 minute plus (legendary 70’s synth pioneer) Patrick Cowley remix of “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer. (Complete with a warning not to attempt to listen to it on LSD).
Next up, is a collection from the consistently awesome reissue label Strut. I remember seeing that 'The Wild Bunch - Story of a Soundsystem' (http://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Wild-Bunch/release/100639) had come out and thinking, “I really should buy that” at the time.
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The Wild Bunch were a soundsystem in Bristol in the 1980’s, whom went on to spawn Massive Attack and heavily influence the wide Bristol sound of the mid-late 1990’s (particularly the Full Cycle crew http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Cycle_Recordings). I first visited Bristol in 1998 for a month at the beginning of a passionate, decade-long exclusive relationship with drum & bass (largely due to Full Cycle) and ended up living there for seven (not always happy, but always interesting) years.
The LP is a collection of the early eighties electro, hip-hop and soul that the Wild Bunch Soundsystem played at St Pauls Carnival and their early Bristol gigs (such as the Dugout). It’s an amazing release, but (as compiled by DJ Milo and not Daddy G) doesn’t feature any reference to the reggae (and heavily bass led sound) of Massive attack and the wider Bristol sound.
If you’re ever in Bristol, one of the Wild Bunch’s original neon pink sprayed Technics 1200’s is in the old Bristol Industrial Museum (http://mshed.org/) with an exhibit about the on-going musical scene of that city.
The last in my latest Discogs purge was FreQ Nasty’s Y4K “Next Level Breaks” comp on Distinct'ive Breaks (http://www.discogs.com/Various-Y4K-rarr-FreQ-Nasty-Next-Level-Breaks/release/81308).
The Y4K compilations were very hip at the time, but Distinct’ive closed their ‘breaks’ sublabel around 2007. Poignantly, there's actually still a card in here to go on the labels mailing list. I met the former Label Manager (whom was by then working outside the industry) in a pub in Shoreditch a short while later and he seemed rather shell shocked about how wrong things had gone.
Nu Skool breaks is a much maligned genre these days. Like Dubstep, it became a victim of its own success - the pioneers ground breaking releases becoming much copied by a huge of inferior international producers.
It's largely a fairly sedate selection considering some of the tear-out sets I've heard Freq Nasty do and I’ve already got a few of the tunes on here on original 12” releases, but really wanted the Aquasky vs. Master Blaster Remix of the perennial hardcore/jungle classic "Lord Of The Null Lines" by Hyper-On-Experience.
Freq Nasty now releases similarly bass led but more hip-hop tempo material aimed at the Californian booty bass scene. I keep listening to his new releases but am really not sure. He’s recently done a bootleg mix of Avenged Sevenfold. Rock/dance crossovers are very rarely done well. It’s no exception.