Mix CD: Pirate Soundz Vol. 1
Pirate Soundz is a new series of compilations, which will provide an outsider’s view of the music that has emerged from London’s pirate radio culture over the last 20-or-so years. This first volume concentrates on the twinned inner cities of jungle and drum & bass. Generally, it eschews the more conventionally musical “progressive” drum & bass to examine the more eccentric aspects of hard-and-fast jungle. Experts in this area of endeavor are asked to go easy on the layperson-compiled tracklist but they are also encouraged to suggest alternatives, via the comments box.
Pirate Soundz Vol. 1 begins with a couple of tracks that demonstrate how ‘arkore rave music evolved into jungle, with increasingly complex splicing of sampled drum breaks taking over from swooping synths and sped-up vocal samples as the music’s main narrative element (Rufige Cru, Nasty Habits). If the compilation itself has a narrative, it’s something to do with rave’s descent from euphoria into paranoid ganja psychosis – with samples from then-contemporary US rap hits providing a crucial undertow (DJ Zinc, Elementz of Noise). Where a more explicitly progressive sensibility is in evidence, it comes – once again – through the elaborate, time-warped drum programming (Tek 9, Photek).
As ever, if you were involved in the creation or marketing/distribution of this music and you’re offended by its appearance on this compilation, just let Bubblegum Cage III know and the decent thing will be done. For those of you who would like to do the decent thing yourselves by actually buying some product from the artists featured here, it’s worth noting that two other comps were particularly helpful in the creation of this mix. The first was Routes from the Jungle, a 2CD collection put together for Virgin Records by Kevin Martin aka The Bug (available via Amazon). The second was Here Come the Drums, complied for Caipirinha by Wire magazine writer Peter Shapiro (available from Amazon). Both are well worth buying. Anyone who can provide alternative routes to actually pay for some of this music are encouraged to drop some links in the comments box.
Here’s the full track-listing for Pirate Soundz Vol. 1:
1. Rufige Cru – “Killa Muffin”
2. Nasty Habits – “Here Come the Drumz”
3. 4hero – “Wrinkles in Time”
4. Tek 9 – “A London Sumtin”
5. Boogie Times Tribe – “Dark Stranger”
6. Roni Size & DJ Die – “Music Box”
7. Photek – “Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu (Two Swords Technique)”
8. Omni Trio – “Thru the Vibe”
9. Optical – “Slip Thru”
10. Ed Rush – “Bludclot Artattack”
11. DJ Zinc – “Super Sharp Shooter”
12. Aphrodite – “Woman That Rolls”
13. Elementz of Noise – “Other Side of Town”