The latest of an absurd quantity of Bristol-related releases (with more to come), and after Four Tet’s LateNightTales, the second mixtape series contribution this month. This is the latest addition to the DJ Kicks series, mixed by Wild Bunch and Massive Attack member Daddy G (Grant Marshall).
The tracklist looks extremely promising. It should suit those who miss the humid warmth of Massive Attack’s original reggae and dub influences. There’s some great Studio One material, including the reverb-soaked beats and paving-stone bass of Willie Williams’ classic “Armagideon Time”. There’s Barrington Levy’s early dancehall hit “Here I Come”, Foxy Brown’s Maytals-sampling “Oh Yeah” and Melaaz’s French cover of Dawn Penn’s “No No No”.
Plus there’s a handful of rare Massive remixes — Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s “Mustt Mustt”, Les Negresses Vertes’ “Face A La Mer”, the ‘Napoli Trip’ remix of “Karmacoma”. Many of the Massive remixes seem to me to promise more than they deliver; those that strip the original material down to its guts (or, more usually, it’s bassline) seem to work best. I suspect that these will work very well in context, since it looks to be a remarkably consistent mix. Almost everything here features a wide, uncluttered mid-range and a thunderous bassline. In an excellent interview (it’s in English: scroll down), G recalls the Bristol scene in which the Wild Bunch came together:
We were sort of punks and stuff like that, we used to go to a lot of the reggae things and so there was a cross pollination of the reggae and punk thing at the time. So it did in Bristol actually get a lot of punks going into reggae sound systems and stuff like that. And that was a really big thing to go to a sound system and to see wall-to-wall speakers and stuff like that it was amazing. We were all into our sort of reggae at the time, so to have your stomach blown through your mouth by bass was amazing.
This mix seems designed to do the job.
There’s all kinds of other treats, including the Mos Def collaboration that appeared on the Blade 2 soundtrack, the Meter’s classic “Just Kissed My Baby” (everyone who knows EPMD’s “Never Seen Before” will have the riff hardwired into their brain). Most excitingly, there’s an early white label version of Tricky’s “Aftermath”, and the Danny Krivit remix of Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady”.
Worth looking out for.
UPDATE: Scissorkick is all over it. You can check out the very high-quality Melaaz track, and Paul Oakenfold’s remix of Massive’s peerless “Unfinished Sympathy”. In the words of Joe Cocker, it makes me wish I was home again in England.
Daddy G, DJ Kicks