I’m not sure what was in the water supply around the Romford area during the early 90’s, but this North East London town was a hive of creativity and vision during the golden years of rave.
With a heritage of labels including the likes of Strictly Undergound, Out of Romford, and Ram Records, this small area would be responsible for unleashing some of the scene’s post pivotal and influential releases over the course of the decade. Arguably the most recognisable and biggest player at the centre of all this activity was the mighty Suburban Base.
Run from the back of the Boogie Times record shop, Suburban Base boasted a powerhouse of producers who would use the label as a springboard to go on and launch very successful labels and projects of their own. Dj Hype (True Playaz/Ganja), Dj Rap (Proper Talent), Danny Breaks (Droppin’ science/Alphabet Zoo), Krome & time (Tearin’ Vinyl) and Luna C (Kniteforce) are just a selection of artists who had their early works featured on Suburban Base before moving on to make a big impact in various scenes.
In Hull where I lived there was never much of a Jungle scene, and before the internet made the accessibility of music simple the only way for me to get hold of some of the records that I wanted was to call labels up directly and ask them for a discography so I could order records directly through the post. Suburban Base was one of the labels to do this for me and sent me a paper discography including all releases up to the date of printing (which at the time was SUBBASE 068).
As a kid I used to read the list and wonder what each release might sound like. Each time I ordered some records from the list I would tick them off as I got them. I used to imagine how amazing it would be to one day own every release on that list…
Well it took me nearly 20 years to do it, but earlier this year I finally picked up a copy of The Cutty Ranks Remixes (SUBBASE 059R) which was the last missing piece of the collection.
Now that I had all the releases from the list, I thought it would be a fun challenge to see if I could put together a mix that would include every release chronologically from SUBBASE 001 through to SUBBASE 068. The rules I set myself were that I could only pick one tune from each release (Remixes counted as part of the same release), and all releases had to be included, no exceptions.
Some of the mixes don’t sit as neatly as I would normally like, but then that was only to be expected when options are limited in such a way, and it was kind of fun trying to make it work in the best way that I could. I enjoyed putting this project together and it’s my little tribute to one of the finest labels there has ever been. So without further ado, starting with SUBBASE 001, here is over three hours worth of Sub Base for your face…