Sunday, May 15, 2011
LDN021 Bias & Gurley “Roll”
LDN021 Bias & Gurley “Roll” [Keysound Recordings]
Released: vinyl and digital end of may/early june
Mastered by: Transition
Keysound Recordings are deeply proud to present the first proper collaboration between two of the UK bass underground’s most seminal producers, Zed Bias and Steve Gurley. Entitled “Roll” it’s an explosive dark UK funky record that’s brimming with garage swing, vocoder funk, jungle rudeness and an edginess straight out of the “roots of” era dubstep. The 12” is backed with a rolling “debt repaid” remix from me, in recognition of what current music owes “Roll’s” co-authors.
Steve Gurley has had a defining influence on pirate music since the early years of jungle, when he was part of seminal outfit Foul Play, releasing an album “Suspected” on Moving Shadow as well as a string of classic 12”s like “Finest Illusion.” He went on to be a defining figure in UK garage, displaying a deft touch for marrying ruff b-lines and razor sharp snares with joyous feminine pressure, as best displayed on his rave-detonating “Spirit of the Sun” remix. His darker garage beats would have a profound influence on the handful of producers, Bias included, who would go on to co-author dubstep. His “Hotboys” refix appeared on the “Roots of Dubstep” retrospective.
In later years Dave Jones aka Zed Bias aka Maddslinky would also acknowledge the influence Steve Gurley had on him personally. As mates in the mid 90s, Jones – then an aspiring producer – was given valuable early breaks by Gurley. And that’s not just a break as in “a helping hand,” but also literally “breakbeats,” samples of funk drum loops or 808 drum machine hits as Octamed samples or on Amiga floppy disc. In reverence of this era of early software technology and the amazing sounds it produced, not least between the blossoming musical friendship between Bias & Gurley, the “Roll” 12” is adorned with a grimey Amiga computer and on the flip a shot of Octamed, which made music through assigning of zeros of ones on a gritty, pixelated screen.
From those technologically humble beginnings, Jones blossomed into a prolific producer, at first making his name in UK garage with anthems like “Neighbourhood” and his remixes for then label mate The Streets (long before Mike Skinner was massive). As the millennium turned, he worked in parallel with producers like El-B and his Ghost camp, as well as Horsepower, Oris Jay and Artwork to help give birth to what is now called dubstep. His two albums from that era, Maddslinky’s “Make Your Peace” and Phuturistics “Feel it Out” were a decade ahead of their time.
With their collective legacies, Keysound Recordings are honoured to welcome to them into their roster.
More by Steve Gurley...
More by Zed Bias...
[Dull, never-before-mentioned trivia, my hand was supposed to be one of the hands on the Phuturistix album cover, I was invited to the shoot but had to postpone when I needed excruciating root canal surgery. I know what I'd have preferred...]
So, what killer Bias & Gurley productions have I missed off this brief summary?