Last week, my Join The Future mix of sub-bass propelled early UK techno and electro was named as one of the mixes of the month by Fact magazine, which was a pleasant surprise. Since then, it has also been named Mix of the Week by German blog Das Filter. While my German is a little basic, the accompanying write-up is rather positive.
I initially posted the mix a couple of weeks back, ahead of an appearance of three UK “bleep and bass” pioneers at a club in Bristol, though it was always meant to have a longer shelf life than that. In fact, it was meant as a quick introduction to the whole Join The Future project, which has taken over my life over the past few years.
For the uninitiated, Join The Future is the name of a book I’ve been writing and researching for the last few years, which will be published in 2019. The title tells the story of bleep techno and the birth of British bass music, charting a cultural movement – and those who played a role in forging it – that is so often overlooked. The book also busts a few often-repeated myths about how homegrown British dance music developed, how house and techno first took root in the UK, and the chronology of events that led to the rise of hardcore and later jungle.
More info will be released about the book in the lead up to publication next year. Before then, there will be plenty more Join The Future activity, including the launch of a dedicated website, which will contain unpublished interviews, archival material and more mixes (from me and others) relating to different aspects of the story in the book.
The first mix, imaginatively titled Join The Future: Mix 01, is now on Soundcloud. You can get your ears around it here, scroll down to the embedded SC player included at the foot of this page, or even listen to it on Mixcloud. There’s lots of heavy dub style sub-bass throughout, so for maximum enjoyment listen on headphones or hi-fi equipment with good bass response.
In terms of the make-up of the mix, I was determined not to fall back on familiar bleep-era favourites that everyone knows and loves (E.G “LFO”, “Testone”, “Track With No Name”, “The Theme”, “Dextrous” etc.), while also ensuring that those who initially shaped the sound were duly represented. As I know this story inside out – arguably better than some who lived through it, given the sheer number of interviews I’ve now done, and the research that goes hand in hand with that – I felt a desire to represent some of the lesser-known early pioneers, too, such as Leeds legend DJ Martin AKA Martin Williams (the original third member of LFO and the engineer/mixer behind a lot of the BASSIC Records output) and his sometime studio partner Homer Harriott (AKA DJ Homes), and of course Bradford’s The Mad Musician, who has long been overlooked despite his involvement in co-writing and co-producing “The Theme” with Unique 3.
You’ll notice from the track listing below that the mix also boasts a clutch of “Join The Future” re-edits. These form part of a growing collection of bleep and bass and early hardcore reworks I’ve done over the years. One day, some of these may see the light of day – licensed, of course – but for now the only way to hear them is via this mix and, of course, my club sets. Anyway, I’ll stop rabbiting on – tracklist as follows…
1. Intro [Tricky Disco – Tricky Disco (Inner Space Mix)/Mark Archer quotes]
2. Moody Boys – Jammin’ (Ital Mix)
3. Art of Noise – I of the Needle (Sweet Exorcist Mix) [Join The Future re-edit]
4. Inspiral Carpets – Commercial Rain (Forgemasters Rub-A-Dub Mix) [Join The Future re-edit]
5. The Step – Yeah You (Robert’s Dub 2)
6. Cabaret Voltaire – What Is Real? (Virtual Reality Mix)
7. Forgemasters – Metallic
8. Unique 3 – Digicality [Join The Future re-edit]
9. Ubik – Bass Generation
10. Sinewave – Sinewave
11. Cyclone – Internal Memory
12. No Smoke – Koro-Koro [Join The Future re-edit]
13. Man Machine – Animal (Primordial Jungle Mix by DJ Martin and DJ Homes)
14. Mad Musician – JazzOut [Join The Future re-edit]
15. Detromental – Rewind (Rebuilt by CP Smith)
16. Nightmares on Wax – I’m For Real (Remix)
17. Brothers Grimm – No Use Crying Now (Soundboy Mix) [Join The Future re-edit]
18. Ital Rockers – Dreams
19. LFO – We Are Back (Remix) [Join The Future re-edit]
20. Sweet Exorcist – Popcone
I’m late to this party, but want to say: super dope mix. Excited for the forthcoming LP as a lot of these records are big money now, thanks to the (rightful) resurgence in interest in this era. It’s remarkable how undated these records can sound, which I ascribe to the space left in the mix. Everything present has room to breathe, and is powerful as a consequence. I’m also looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for putting so much time and work into it, on this music-lover’s behalf!