Hi peeps! Happy new year from me, GFT.
Firstly, apologies for being late as I know I’m trying to get these posts out monthly, but honestly they are a lot of work, especially this one – it’s an epic. To make matters worse I lost a bunch of records on the London Underground and it took me a while to replace them. Do not fall asleep on the tube, people! Happily, the lost records did eventually turn up in TFL lost property, perhaps proving that humanity is worth saving after all. Thank you nice person for not taking/selling my crusty jungle records. So now I have doubles of these.
Secondly, it has been pointed out to me that for a blog supposedly dedicated to hardcore, jungle, and drum n bass music, there has been a distinct lack of actual dnb posts so far. Am I some crusty old skool dnb-ist whose view is that the music died in 1995? Far from it – I’m actually working on something special to address this, but all in due course.
In the meantime, on with this bombaclaart show.
Soapbar records! Surely one of the greatest record label logos ever?
From Discogs: Early 1990’s UK Hardcore/Jungle breakbeat label, set up by the Total Music record shop in Bethnal Green, East London. The label was part ran by Dj Spice who was the A&R guy.
Total Music ran its own record label which was more on the house tip, and Soapbar was its hardcore/jungle arm. The releases, to me, can be divided into three distinct eras – firstly. the Joint Project / DJ Spice era of bouncier hardcore tunes, the T Power middling period, leading lastly into the jungle period. If I had to pick favourites I’d probably go with the earlier tunes although there are merits to each.
Soapbar put out a grand total of 16 releases during its run… 14 x 12″ and 2 x 10″ as well as one release on Soapbar Reloaded, the short-lived remix label (see below). This month’s mix contains all of these tunes and then some.
If you’re looking to pick these records up yourself it should not be too difficult. Aside from SBR001 all of the releases are cheap as chips. Get thee to Discogs!
Personal highlights… My favourite release out of the entire run is T Power’s Shape of Things To Come EP. Buy this on sight. As well as that the first 3 releases on Soapbar are really strong and I find all four of the DJ A.K.A tunes to be seriously under-rated – very intricate productions. 2 Much – Give You All is a big hands-in-the-air anthem which never fails to destroy the dance. Give it a spin!
Joint Project – Total Feeling
DJ Spice – The New Stylee
Joint Project – Dark Rider
Joint Project – Good Feeling
T Power & The Sandman – Sounds Of A Concrete Jungle
>> Frontline – All Your Dreams
Joint Project – Spiritual Guidance
T Power & The Sandman – Ode To A Deadman
Frontline – Sweet and Sour
Under-D-Influence – Brand New 49T2
DJ Spice – Brand New Stressed Out Mix
>> Frontline – Cyber Rock
Under-D-Influence – Fatty Boom
Joint Project – Fantasize
T Power & The Sandman – Born 2 Dark
Joint Project – Dark In Da Jungle
T Power & The Sandman – Oedipus Complex
>> Frontline – Insane
Frontline – Someday Rush
Kool Crew 94.5FM – Junglist Massive
>> DJ Spice – Brand New In My Brain Mix
DJ A.K.A. – The Right Way
Kool Crew 94.5FM – Take Control
DJ A.K.A. – Farside
>> Frontline – Better Way
T Power – Take The Keys
>> Kool Crew 94.5FM – Take Control (Cool and Deadly Mix)
DJ Spice – The New Style Part 2
>> T Power & The Sandman – Sandman Bonus Beats
T Power – Future Wars
2 Much – Borderline
T Power & Skie – Brave New World
DJ Spice – The Groove
2 Much – Give You All
Chris B – Mind Body and Soul (Original Mix)
Chris B – Mind Body and Soul
2 Much – Champagne And Charlie
Chris B – Dark Side Of The Jungle
Chris B – Dark Side Of The Jungle (Cris B Remix)
Frontline – Intensity
Chris B – The Storm
Chris B – Mind, Body & Soul (DJ Hype Remix)
Frontline – The Trigger
DJ A.K.A. – Africa
Moby – Feeling So Real (Ray Keith Remix)
Frontline – Sweet Manifest
DJ A.K.A. – Thailand
Moby – Everytime You Touch Me (NYC Jungle Mix)
2 Much – If Ya Not Dancin
2 Much – So Strong
Social Chameleons – Total Feeling (Remix)
- Label frontman DJ Spice has several releases on Soapbar, the first being the Under D’Influence EP SBR002. At one point he took Under D’Influence as a pseudonym and put out this 12″, which the ever indispensable Blog to the Oldskool did a piece on. Both tracks are in the mix.
- Social Chameleons – Total Feeling (Remix) is not on Soapbar itself, but rather the short-lived Soapbar Reload sub-label in the late 2000s. This label only had the one release, featuring the original Total Feeling as well as a breaks-inspired remix by Social Chameleons aka DJ Skie, who has collaboration credits on Soapbar herself.
- Frontline – The Great Escape is a fairly obscure 1992 hardcore white label. It is, as far as I can see, it is the only other non-Soapbar release ever put out by Frontline. The EP contains six tracks, so the quality is low, and the tunes themselves sound like they were very early production efforts… lots of the breaks don’t line up and the samples are sketchy. Nonetheless, this is a fairly cool oddity if you can track it down (it doesn’t seem to come up for sale often) – standard ’92 up-front business. I’ve teased in all six tunes throughout the mix, although usually only sparingly. Frontline member Chris B also put out 2 very good solo EPs on Soapbar and these are obviously all included too.
- The group 2 Much had one release on Soapbar, personal fave, the Give You All EP. 2 Much also had one other random hardcore release – 1992’s So Strong / If Ya Not Dancin, which I’ve edited down and added at the end of the mix. I’m not sure this tune is actually them… For those interested, 2 Much’s DJ Trance went on to release several banging tunes (both breakbeat and happy hardcore) on IR Records and other labels. Really good stuff if you’re into that SMD-style sound.