As I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve been slowly ripping my vinyl collection, and I recently went as far as to pack up my mixer and buy a phono pre-amp to get better sound quality. I spent some time at the weekend ripping some more. When I’m ripping them I seldom listen to the vinyl I tend to check the levels and then hit record and leave it whilst I do something else, so I decided that would be my main listening on the way into work.
I’ve been mainly ripping my deep house collection and that means working my way through lots of mid 90’s house. Listening back today it struck me how so much of it still sounds fresh and relevant. Maybe that’s just my awesome ear for a gem, heh!, or just because the production hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years or so, but they still stand up. One track though that completely jumped out from the rest was:
Crime – Rhythm Graffitti (Extended Re-edit)
Crime was one of the many aliases for Crispin J Glover, in my mind one of the best British House producers we’ve ever had. The track is an absolute killer. It opens ferociously with an onslaught of Batucada style drums, before settling into a more routine 4/4 kick pattern. The drums snap all the way through and the track builds slowly before the most simple yet funk of bass lines creeps up and slaps you around the head. G-Funk style whining lead synths flutter in and out, but the crux of the track is that pounding drum track and backside shaking bass line.
One of the most outstanding elements of this track is the drums, I think they are a sample from Damien Harris – Music, but whatever they snap! Especially the kick, and that is something that is missing from a lot of modern deep house people opting for a kick that sits lower in the mix and softens the drum track a hell of a lot. This on the other hand kicks in the door and screams “HELLLLLLOOOOO!!!!!”. It’s been produced and mastered to sit alongside other forms of house and hold its own – which makes sense as at the time there was far more cross cutting between genres.
This version, interestingly enough it extended and re-worked by Harvey (and the results are pretty monumental) came out on Junior Boys own in 1995, actually the B Side to Flight In 2 Fantasy and a re-edit of the same track from the year before.