Whatsup geez. This month we mix up all of the vinyls ever released on another one of my all time favourite old skool jungle labels, Face Records.
In semi-related news this month I happened to check out Andy C play another one of his increasingly regular 6 hour sets, this time at Brixton Academy here in London. I have to say I was incredibly impressed… not just with Andy himself – he always smashes it, but also at the sheer depth of selection that the 6 hours allows. DJ Taktix – The Way VIP and Studio 2 – Dirty Games, for example. Genuinely epic shit. Was not bored for a single second.
I can’t really do much better than the existing Discogs intro, so me copypasta:
UK hardcore and jungle label started off in 1992 by Pascal & Sponge. Was responsible for the original release of the “Marked For Death” sampling jungle track “Johnny”, along with several other notable underground anthems. Folded at the end of 1994 due to an amicable split of Pascal & Sponge. Pascal went on to run Frontline Records, while Sponge started his own IQ Records label.
Face Records is one of those labels that totally epitomises ’93-style darkside hardcore/jungle. The entire output of the label is devoted to that singular sound – mangled, crunchy breaks with deep, dark atmospheres and twisted fx. The breaks in particular, are very distinctive… layered breakbeats all with a certain amount of swing left in the loops that gives the tracks a chaotic and unnerving quality to them. As easily recognisable to me as anything by, say, Bizzy B or Remarc. The beats flow, but sometimes it’s not entirely clear if there are multiple tunes on top of eachother or just one. Sometimes difficult to mix, but stylistically I really like that. This is tough, teeth-grinding, face-gurning, gun-finger shit. Simply brilliant.
Total end of the world music, and somehow appropriately, it didn’t last very long. A single release in ’92, but by the end of ’94 Face Records was done. Perhaps the genre really had nowhere left to go.
For such a short-lived label, there are numerous classics in the Face back catalogue… Johnny is on almost every old skool comp out there, but tracks like Tell Me, Inesse, Let Me Tell You Something, Nosebleed, Underground Feelin’ Remix, Night Stalker Remix, and X Amount of Shots (among others!) all deserve attention. Interestingly, all of the above tunes come from the middle peak period of the label, after a brief ‘hardcore’ period when it was still finding its feet, and a comparatively dull straight-jungle period towards the end (almost all of the new tracks on the Face of the Future compilation are like this). Minor trivia point, Mission Impossible, the last track in the mix, is a nice co-lab between Pascal and Goldie… it certainly has that mid-90s Metalheadz sheen to it. Probably an appropriate point just to let the whole thing disappear into the nostalgia of that not-quite-as-happy but instead slightly cracked-out MDMA fog of ’93.
If you’re looking to pick these up for yourself the only release that might be difficult to track down is FACE107, Clone Inc – Fear of the Unknown as that did not make it to full release (see below). Everything else is reasonably priced, although many of the earlier releases are in the £20 range, currently.
Jack Horner – Untitled A1
> D’Prophet – Hipnotised (Remix)
D’Prophet – Hipnotised (Original Mix)
Dopeski & Jakes – Ever So Cold
> Jack Horner – Untitled B2
Jack Horner – Untitled A2
Dopeski & Jakes – Pay the Penalty
Jack Horner – Untitled B1
Dopeski & Jakes – Be Warned We’re Back
Johnny Jungle – I Like To Cry
Dopeski & Jakes – Mutant Ideology
Johnny Jungle – Johnny
> Pascal & Sponge – Nosebleed (Mix 1)
Pascal & Sponge – Nosebleed (Right Nostril)
> Pascal & Sponge – Nosebleed (Mix 2)
Pascal & Sponge – Red Face
Pascal & Sponge – I Got You (Ezee Boy)
Pascal & Sponge – Raw Basics
Pascal & Sponge – Just Rollin a Fat B
Hardware – Night Stalker
Torchman – Alight In The Dark
Mayhem – Inesse
Jim Polo & Neil Vass – Underground Feelin (Pascal & Sponge Remix Part 1)
Jim Polo & Neil Vass – Underground Feelin (Pascal & Sponge Remix Part 2)
Hardware – Night Stalker (DJ SS Remix)
> Hardware – X Amount of Shots
Mayhem – Inesse (Ray Keith Remix)
Torchman – Tell Me
The Full SP – S-Capaid
Mayehm – Let Me Tell You Something (Ray Keith Remix)
Mayehm – Let Me Tell You Something
Hardware – X Amount of Shots (Bizzy B Remix)
The Full SP – Raw Basics (Tango Remix)
> Pascal & Sponge – Nosebleed (Left Nostril)
Ginetix – All Torn Up
Hardware – Skanka
Wax Doctor – Logical Progression
Ginetix – Main Feature
Wax Doctor – Logical Progression (Logical Mix)
Hardware – T-N-T
Clone Inc – Fear of the Unknown
> Hardware – Nightstslker (VIP Mix)
The Full SP – The Process
Fallen Angels – Fallen Angels (Back 2 Basics VIP Remix)
Clone Inc – Mood Swing
Hardware – Class of 94
Complex State – Revival
Complex State – Sax Fiend
Covert Operations – Mission Impossible (Edit Mix)
- As mentioned, FACE107, Clone Inc – Fear of the Unknown, is quite scarce as it did not achieve a full release and doesn’t come for sale very often (there are hardly any on Discogs at the moment). The plate is single-sided and the track itself is… ok… but to me it sounds somewhat sparse and unfinished. I’d be interested to know why more weren’t pressed (sample clearance?), but it’s stuff like this that makes life fun for the trainspotting nerds in us all. This is included in the mix even though it’s technically against the rules.
- Pascal & Sponge’s Nosebleed (RAINT003) is a damn awesome ruffneck hardcore tune, and on the release itself we get two similar mixes of it… but completists will be interested to know that the promo version contains two different, presumably unfinished, mixes compared to the full release. This means that across the two records we have 4 slightly different versions of the same track to choose from. Bonus! Ok, they’re not THAT different, but again, this is fun trivia, if somewhat annoying to have to accomodate in a set like this, haha. I did anyway because fuck why not? For what it’s worth I think the full release versions are the better plays.
- The Face of the Future compilation LP was actually released on the Suburban Base subsidiary Breakdown Records, but there’s no way I couldn’t include all of these tunes. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money you’ve got most of the label highlights right here on this album… a good mix of previously released and exclusive Face cuts. Perfectly fine and loud enough for DJing too.
- There were a few things that I intentionally chose not to include in this mix, as it was getting long enough as it is. These include all of the numerous Johnny remixes (not on Face anyway) as well as the original version of Underground Feeling and the I Got U Ezee Boy remixes, both on Dark Horse Records. Check out my all Dark Horse post from earlier this year for those.
Have at it. All the tunes ever released on Face Records. The mix itself was not overly problematic, save for the usual story of less-polished tunes at the start. Had some difficulties matching breaks on tunes with very heavily layered and swung loops, but where’s the fun if it’s all four to the floor, hay?
Face005, Dopeski & Jakes – Approach With Caution EP did actually throw me for a loop. All 4 of the tracks on the EP sound and feel more like ’92 hardcore tunes (with the BPM to match) as opposed to the darker style stuff the label had been running with for some time already. As a result I had to move all of these tunes to the front of the mix. Makes sense when I listen back to it. I wonder if they were sitting on the tracks for a while and only got around to releasing them late?
So, as you can see, we back in business. One more post before Xmas I hope… another one of my favourite crusty jungle labels. Peace, love.