For those of you interested in UK dance music history, there is a theory called the 'Hardcore Continuum'. If you weren’t already aware of it, basically it states that you can trace all UK dance music, from dubstep, back through UK garage to jungle, all the way back to hardcore in the early 90s.
Why am I mentioning this? Well, for those of you wondering who DJ Cra$y is, allow me to fill you in. Basically DJ Cra$y was a mate of Breach (AKA UK soul boy Ben Westbeech's) dad in the 90s. Cra$y was DJing and making tunes around Hertford at the same time as British dance music pioneers like 2 Bad Mice and Omni Trio as the hardcore and jungle sound was coming to the fore. Unfortunately after over-indulging in some of the chemical excesses of the time, Cra$y's stage-name became an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy and he was taken into mental care. As a favour, Breach's dad was asked to look after some of the music that Cra$y had been working on.
Fast forward 20 years and Breach/Ben Westbeech comes across an old box of DAT tapes in his dad's garage. A moment of inspiration ensued and Breach set about remixing some of the tracks he found… and thus the circle is complete. A perfect loop from the hardcore sound of the 90s to the latest incarnation of UK flavoured dance music. Add to this a chance meeting with Claude Von Stroke in London and the tracks wind up being signed and put out as the latest Dirty Bird release.
I Need You has the stepping 4x4 drums that have become de rigueur with the current crop of UK producers pushing the tribal UK Funky sound. The track builds with percussion interspersed with sirens and vocal stabs before dropping into a bashy house workout almost reminiscent of the Dubsided/Crookers sound that exploded a few years ago. The low end packs a punch is likely to get even the most self-conscious of head nodders moving their feet. The whispery female vocal sample are a nice touch as well and contrast nicely against the general stomping bassline and subs.
On the flip Just-E comes a little less like a punch to the gut, spraying percussion amidst subtle strings however it drops into a plodding banger with a tribal melody over the top. Fans of Fatherless (Breach’s biggest track to date) will not be disappointed with this release as it’s more of the same; guaranteed dancefloor material. However this is not to say that Breach is a one trick pony at all (for further evidence check out his remix on Crazy P’s new single where he moves into deeper, more soulful territory.)
This is another solid addition to Dirty Bird’s already substantial catalogue, bringing the UK house sound to fans of the American label. Despite my best efforts to find the original tracks I cannot for the life of me get hold of anything, so I can’t contrast with how these re-rubs sound compared to Cra$y’s original DATs. All it leaves me to say is that DJ Cra$y, wherever you are now, we salute you, and these remixes are a fitting legacy.
DJ Cra$y- Breach Remixes (Dirtybird)
1.) I Need You
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