To mark the release of Musique Pour La Danse’s excellent Bleeps, Breaks + Bass compilation (you can read more about that in this dedicated post), the latest episode of Join The Future on Noods explores early breakbeat hardcore, and the express influence of the bleep & bass movement on how that sound became established and evolved.

Those who have read Join The Future: Bleep Techno and the Birth of British Bass Music will already know that this is a central pillar of my argument regarding the initial expressions of what would later become “UK bass”, or as Simon Reynolds put it, the “hardcore continuum” (which should really be the “bass continuum”, but that’s an argument for another day). To briefly summarise, a majority of the earliest records now considered “hardcore” featured some of the sonic trademarks of bleep – weighty,Jamaican soundsystem culture-inspired sub-bass and sparse, lo-fi “bleep” melodies – but reached for breakbeats sampled from funk, hip-hop, soul and rare groove records, rather than drum patterns inspired by Detroit techno and Chicago house. They were, I say in the book, attempted bleep records with breaks. Interviews with key early “hardcore” producers confirm this: 4 Hero’s Marc Mac explained that they were blown away by the heaviness of early bleep records, but were left asking “where’s the breaks?”

In this episode, I attempt to back up this argument with musical examples. I could easily have recorded a two or three hour show with more, but due to time constraints chose to focus on some key labels and crews, important crossover records and one particularly celebrated all-time anthem that many consider the first ever jungle record (or at least the record that inspired the early development of jungle more than any other). That means nods to Production House, Reinforced Records, Warriors Dance, D-Zone, Kickin’, Shut Up & Dance, Boogie Times/Suburban Base, Chill and Ibiza Records. You will instinctively know some of the records, but others may be fresh to your ears. Sadly, there was no place for one of my favourite lightly bleep-influenced breakbeat records of the period, Language’s deliciously loved-up ‘Renegade’, but there’s always a next time.

You can listen to the show via the embedded Mixcloud player below, over on Soundcloud, or via the Noods Radio website. A track listing can be found below the audio player

Join The Future on Noods: S3E3 – Break The Limits: Early Breakbeat Hardcore Revisited

1. Unique 3 – Digicality (Robert Gordon 2021 re-master)
2. Addis Posse – Let The Warriors Dance (Warriors Charge Re-fix)
3. The Ragga Twins – Hooligan ’69
4. Kick Squad – Soundclash (Champion Sound) (DJ Mix)
5. R-Solution – Blowing My Mind
6. Baby D – Daydreaming (You Can Handle It Mix)
7. Bassix – Close Encounters (Club Mix)
8. Phuture Assassins – I Like Techno
9. The Bogey Man – Horrors! (Asylum Dub)
10. Lennie D’Ice – We Are I.E (Original Mix)
11. Noise Factory – Warehouse Music
12. Little Big Bee – Scuba (Apiento 4am Mix)

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Freelance writer, editor, copywriter and communications professional. Music obsessive. DJ. Sports anorak.

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