V/A – Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave and Hardcore


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Soul Jazz apply keen ears to the ingenious era of UK rave, hardcore and jungle and its unprecedented stylistic shifts of the early ‘90s with a haul of seminal, obscure and killer cuts.

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Archivists of the most crucial Black and Latin music, Soul Jazz know what they’re on about, and rack up some proper knowledge here from a unique phase of UK music when ragga and nutty rave styles collided and accelerated to produce one of the UK’s most distinctive, enduring genres.

Following the emergence of digi-dub dancehall and the house phenomenon of the late ‘80s, the 2nd generation offspring of Caribbean migrants pushed those styles to breaking point, and then some, in the early ‘90s, ramping the tempos, going ruthlessly heavy on the subs, and chopping up amen breaks in a mean advance of rugged US hip hop UK fast-rap.

These innovations were the result of a tight feedback loop of influence between dancers and DJs, who effectively egged each other to greater ecstasies (perhaps amped by some pills and powders), and producers followed suit with tracks that sounded ever more like two or three tunes being mixed by a DJ at +6 on the decks.

The 12 tracks of ‘Black Riot’ are all a result of this innovative rush of form and function, and range from the nutty jazziness of DJ SS’ 1994 ace ‘The Smoker’s Rhythm’, to the foundational hardcore pressure of ‘Durban Poison’ by Babylon Timewarp, Leviticus’ all-time burner ‘Burial (Lovers Rock Mix)’, and Trip’s darkcore ’93 glyder ‘The Snowball’, alongside absolute murder in DJ Krome & Mr. Time’s lighter tune ‘Ganja Man’, plus more experimental obscurities in the nano-tight edits of ‘Way Of Life’ by New Vision, and overlooked but deadly rude ragga bleep rave by Nu Jacks.