TC just published a quick list naming his top 5 dnb tracks "every dnb fan should know." The artist himself has come out with some blinders this year already, ‘The Countdown’, ‘First of the Year’…closely followed by a tiny, underground tune with some fellow called ‘Wilkinson’ – not sure what that one’s called, but no matter – doubt it’ll gain much traction.
Sarcasm aside, TC (or Tommy Boy) is a bit of a ledge. He’s produced for Pendulum, bust a vocal for Sub Focus, and collabed with DJ Fresh. The picks featured on his ‘Top 5 tunes every DnB fan should know’ list are reflective of his buddies and experiences in the scene and I love that he went to the effort to educate on what’s close to his heart. As a very strong purveyor of each to their own (especially where music is concerned!!) I don't feel it's my place to offer criticism or approval of anyone's personal taste - however, I have not been able to resist the impulse to chime in below and I hope you'll forgive the history lesson behind each. There is so much background to consider in drum and bass and I am figuring it all out as we go along!
1. “The Nine” - Bad Company
TC: In my humble opinion DJ Fresh can do no wrong along with the other members of the unbelievable and ground breaking Bad Company. I know so many DJs that have more than a few worn out copies of this tune on vinyl.
Bad Company ran from 1998 – 2005 and was made up of a tasty combo of British producers; many who are representing their own style of drum and bass these days. You may recognise some of the lineup - dBridge, DJ Fresh, Vegas and Maldini. ‘The Nine’ was one of their iconic tracks and as you can hear, miles removed from the current style of the Freshmaker in particular.
2. “Messiah” - Konflikt with
TC: The most ahead of its time DnB tune ever made? The true power of this track is never to be underestimated, could it be credited the beginnings of the Nurofunk movement? I know it heavily inspired many producers from Noisia to Calyx and TeeBee through to the equally pioneering Pendulum.
Konflikt are a duo that had their time in the sun between 1998 – 2000 and hailed from minimalist techno roots - which in turn led through to the neurofunk-ish, tech-steppy dnb you hear above. This tune has since been remixed by both Noisia and Spor. I personally prefer these versions to the original, but when all is said and done you really can’t dispute an orginal.
3. “Drop It Down” - Calibre feat. MC. Fats
TC: Before I ever had a record out this tune was what I was listening to. I remember nights at Level, Lakota, The Thekla and later on Run at Native and it always brought the dance to its knees.
MC Fats is an OG of the drum and bass scene – a testament to the spread of his work can be heard on the special Hospital Podcast tribute. This tune with Calibre pushes the chilled, good time vibes which make this branch of drum and bass synonymous with closed eyes, beaches and the head sway.
4. "Compound" - Ed Rush and Optical
TC: I just can’t believe how real it sounds was all I could say to myself when I first heard compound as a youth. Would have been a summer at the one mate who was rich enough to get a pair of 1210s. The whole album was just incredible, the drums of a similar standard to Bill Riley but with this unexplainable funk and sounds that had literally never been heard before.
Ed Rush’s recent release ‘Scarabs’ still absolutely blows my mind and is one of my favourite tracks. But this circa ‘98 track from Ed and Optical (released on their label Virus Recordings) just goes to show that their dark depths are plumbed from wayyyy back in this pairs murky beginnings. ‘Compound’ is hailed as classic from a classic album – Wormhole.
5. "Biosfear" - Stakka and Skynet feat. Konflikt
TC: I wish I knew the story of what happened to Konflikt and I often wonder what he is doing today. Maybe he’s in Swedish House Mafia and flying around in a private jet or something.
Boppy, blippy and space age - all bundled up with a winding bassline. Bit of trivia from an interview with Stakka and Skynet in Knowledge magazine- "Kemal and Rob came down from Glasgow to Brighton for a few days and we all went in the studio and out of it came 'Bios-Fear'. Named because at the time because our PC had a complete meltdown and Kemal and Rob spent hours trying to revive it." All I can say for this one is that there is a lot of dark and ambient shit going on here for 2001!
Lastly, not on TC's list, but a tune I would like to include. A tune that I can vouch for as being one that has shaped my experiences in the rave scene (and by shaped, I mean been there as I sweated, skanked and generally engaged in some of the best times of my life) - TC's very own "Get Down Low."
Original list via TC's website
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