Top 10 Drum & Bass and Old Skool tunes.
Jul 8, 2001
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I have been raving since around 1989, and am still going strong. I DJ as well and have a vast collection, so can give you a pretty accurate opinion of my favourite jungle and old skool hardcore tunes ever dating from the early 90's up until the late 90's. Happy raving, and keep the vibe alive. These are in no particular order, as I like plenty of tunes, but am giving you the lowdown on some of my favourites.
The Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea (1992)
Written by Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain, this is one of the most relaxing and uplifting old skool tunes of our time. This melodic tune contains vocals sent to Dougans in a cassette from his girlfriend, when they were on the verge of splitting up. This combined with melodic tribal breakbeats and rolling basslines made Papua New Guinea one of the most relaxing and danceable tunes. This tune was made by The Future Sound of London, who pretty much invented British Techno in 1988. The record contains the original 4.58 version, and the 11.16 Weatherall mix, on Passion Music Ltd, but repressed on Jumpin & Pumpin Records. One of the greatest old skool tunes of our time. Brings back great memories of the early raving scene.
Acen – Trip II The Moon Part 2 (1992)
In my opinion, Acen (Acen. Razvi) was incapable of producing a bad tune. Volume 2 out of a 3 part series, which included the Kaleidoscopiklimax mix. Acen were obviously also incapable of making pronounceable titles, i.e. Close Your Eyes – Optikonfusion mix. Each of the three were brilliant tunes, but 2 was the one for me. This tune samples the orchestral work of John Barry, which was featured in the James Bond film – You Only Live Twice, later used in Robbie William’s – Millenium. Part one also sampled a different part of You Only Live Twice. Featuring sound samples such as ‘take me higher; I can’t believe this feeling; hear this; and enough respect to all the massive’ are appropriately placed to make this tune an absolute killer. Still played on UK pirate stations and in raves, this tune will go down as one of my favourites. In case you are after an Acen old skool tune, - they are very hard to stumble upon, and will set you back at least £25 (about $40)
Origin Unknown – Valley of The Shadows (1993)
Written and produced by Andy C and Ant Miles, this tune is one of the greatest drum and bass tunes ever made. It is still played in the main drum and bass rooms as well as the old skool rooms. Often referred to as 31 Seconds, Valley of the Shadows is an absolute classic. The tune starts with an eerie, tinkling, climbing intro, and goes into a fantastic drum loop. The bass adds a whole different level to the tune. The tune contains a sample from a NASA space mission, with ’31 seconds.’ – the long and dark remix contains a bit more, with the 5,4,3,2,1 countdown. It also samples a documentary from the BBC (British television channel) with a trippy sounding ‘I was in a long dark tunnel’ and later on in the tune ‘with a very bright light at the end’. Released on Ram records in 1993, and still available in its original form in HMV and good record stores, this is definitely one for your collection, whether you are a drum and bass or an old skool dj.
The Renegade – Terrorist (1994)
Written by Ray Keith, Terrorist is one of the hugest drum and bass tunes ever produced. When listening to this tune, you can see how drum and bass should really be made. The drums drop in and out as and when they should. Fantastic in its original state, but even better with the PA remix. Recently Dom and Roland brought out their remix of it, which also goes down well. I personally prefer the PA mix, which is on Vintage Dread 2000, if you don’t feel like tracking down an original copy. This tune starts with a fantastic and spine chilling piano, which when dropped by a dj will give the crowd a real treat. Then the bass kicks in, and believe me, the bass is nice and deep, as it should be. With a fantastic drum loop throughout, the piano is then brought back in to make an incredible tune, and probably my favourite tune of all time. Buy this tune – PA or Dom and Roland remixes. The original – I like, but it is best played and listened to in one of the two stated.
Urban Shakedown featuring Mickey Finn– Some Justice (1991)
Well I would have to say, that this is an absolute classic. One of the best old skool tunes ever. Mickey Finn went on to produce some of the best Drum and Bass and is still around dj’ing some of the finest drum and bass sets. This tune sampled the uplifting vocals from Ce Ce Rogers. The name of the tune just slipped my mind. Anyway, the Concrete Jungle remix also has a snippet from Ce Ce Roger’s vocals used in Liquid – Sweet Harmony. Not much to write about this tune, apart from – buy it. The original or the Concrete Jungle mix will do perfectly. Some Justice 95 is nothing like the original, but is still a very good drum and bass tune. The hardcore remix if anyone is wondering is called One Family by DJ Unknown.
Bass Selective – Blow Out Part 2
One of my favourite tunes of all time – aren’t they all? Hehe. Part 2 is the version played everywhere. The original, although good, lacked everything that Part 2 offered. This tune begins with an incredible bit of piano, which then kicks in with a lovely drum loop, and then those oh-so-fantastic vocals – ‘you had it, you had it all boy’. The woooohooo’s add to the track’s incredibleness. It then breaks down into a lovely bit of tunage, the pianos and vocals kick in again, making it a definite tune for the collection. For any of you hardcore heads outs there, Monty and D’Skys – ‘You had it all’ is the one for you.
Q Project – Champion Sound (1993)
Hugest drum and bass/old skool tune ever. The original was great, the alliance remix was better, and then the Total Science remix was even better. An absolute anthem dropped in both old skool sets and drum and bass sets. When the tune drops, the whistles are blowing, the horns are going, the crowd go absolutely mental. If the British national anthem was ever changed, it should be to Champion Sound. The Total Science remix slightly changes the pattern of the riff, but kicks in with a mad drum loop, and really gets the crowd, including myself completely hyped.
Sound of the Future – The Lighter (1995)
One of the greatest drum and bass tunes. This was produced by DJ SS, who also produced the coloured series of drum and bass tunes, i.e. black, blue, etc. This tune was remixed five times. The best ones in my opinion are the original and the dj friendly mix (don’t let the name put you off). This samples the theme tune from Love Story, and is an all time classic drum and bass tune. When the piano kicks in watch the lighters go up in the air, and watch the crowd go mad when it drops. One of my favourite tunes.
Baby D – Let Me Be Your Fantasy (1992)
Let Me Be Your Fantasy is one of the greatest rave tunes made. Written and Produced by Floyd Dyce, this tune was released in 1992 and sold over 40,000 copies. The tune was then re-released in 1994 and went straight to number 1 in the charts. The tune has been re-released on several occasions. Although being a huge commercial success, this tune is one of the greatest old skool tunes, finding itself played in old skool, house, and garage sets, with drum and bass and hardcore versions as well. The female vocals partly make the tune what it is, but behind that is an incredible tune. This 8 minute tune is a thriller from beginning to end, with lovely vocals, pianos and drums, and a live-sounding atmosphere, which seemed to crop up in several old skool tunes. If you don’t know this tune, then you must have been living on another planet for the previous 9 years. Buy it now if you don’t own it already. It was originally on Production House, who host Acen records. Baby D were signed up to London Sound in 1994, but this tune can probably be found on several dj friendly compilations.
Orca – 4am (1993)
What a tune! Instantly springs to mind. This was released in 1993 on a white label, and due to its success and anthem-status, sold out very quickly making the tune very difficult to get hold of. Starting with a brought back-scratching sample, this tune then kicks off with a nice drum loop, going into a lovely bit of piano, sampling vocals from two verses of Beverley Craven’s – Promise Me: ‘You look like you’re in another world and I can read your mind. Four o clock in the morning and it’s starting to get light.’ This tune is still played today in both old skool and happy hardcore sets. There have been several remixes of this, but the most well known is probably Question Mark 3 (???) by Red Alert and Mike Slammer on Slammin’ Vinyl. If you DJ, then it often goes down well at 4.00 in the morning :D . I have done it before, and the crowd went absolutely wild. Absolute tunage. If you manage to ever get hold of this, then buy it. Question Mark 3 is also a very good remix of this.