Monday 10 March 2008

DJ's Kid Andy & Nickle Bee "How We Fell Apart" (Back To my Heart Mix) (Boogie Beat Records, 1993)

My Guilty pleasure, is without a doubt, Old School Hardcore. From 1991-93, it was pretty much all I ever listened to. Some of the tunes from that era are now seriously sought after by Hardcore collectors, and go for silly money on the second-hand market. This tune is a case in point: you won't get much change from £50-£75 quid if you manage to find a mint copy.
"How We Fell Apart" is the sound of 1993, distilled into about 5 minutes. 1993 was a strange year for Hardcore, the scene was beginning to fragment, and the spectre of Drum'n'Bass was waiting in the wings. The two biggest musical movements of the time were "Darkside" tunes, dense doom-filled slabs of breakbeat paranoia which reflected the comedown from the glory days of great pills and smiley faces. Stronger, more evil drugs were filling the scene: Skunk, Crack, and "Snowballs" which gave the kids MDA (with all its intensity and darkness) as opposed to MDMA (with its happy faces and hugs).
On the other side of the musical divide were the "happy" tunes, filled with euphoric breakdowns, waves of pianos, and helium-pitch vocals. These songs were to be the precursors of Happy Hardcore, just as the Darkside tunes eventually morphed into Drum'n'Bass. DJ Seduction, Vibes, DJ Red Alert & Mike Slammer.....the list of tunes in 1993 seemed endless. For me, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest, though I'm not quite sure why. Let's face it, it's such a simple little tune: a rolling breakbeat, some little scratch samples, and that impossibly squeaky vocal. It's what we always used to call a "ladies tune" as it would give some sort of respite from the Testosterone rush of the darker tunes.
The helium vocals are what firmly places this in 1993- at that time, timestretching wasn't really possible on the samplers that were in common use (Akai's S900 and S950), but when the next generation of samplers was ushered in with the S1000, time-stretching became more commonplace, and the need to pitch vocals up to match the frenetic beats vanished. If the vocals squeak, you can bet it's either from late '92, or 1993. A year later, tunes like Dread Bass's "Dead Dread" laid out the template, as Ragga Jungle took over and samples began to turn themselves inside out. The sound of these helium vocals became locked in time. I guess that's another one of the reasons why I love it: it's another one of those Zeitgeist moments. It's completely of its time.

DJ's Kid Andy & Nickle Bee "How We Fell Apart" (Back To My Heart Mix) (mp3)


shift_4ward said...


Iain Baker said...

isn't it? what a TUNE :)))

Anonymous said...

There's nothing guilty about a bit of 'ardcore!

I Am Not The Beatles said...

I enjoyed that very much, cheers!

*raves a bit*