Demdike Stare Name Their Favorite Source Direct Tracks
In June, Boddika revived seminal jungle and drum ‘n’ bass project Source Direct with the first in a series of reissues featuring a remix by contemporary UK dance floor visionary Blawan. The forthcoming follow-up includes a rework of “Approach and Identify” by Demdike Stare, the duo of forward-thinking artists Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty. They’re also jungle and drum ‘n’ bass savants, and naturally they’re experts on Source Direct, so we tapped them to find out their favorite cuts from an iconic outfit.
‘Exercise the Demons’ LP (Sience/Virgin 1999)
“We’ll go straight in with Source Direct’s most wide-ranging release and the only album they produced, Exorcise the Demons. Released in 1999 on Virgin’s short-lived Science imprint, which was also home to some of Photek’s later releases, Jim and Phil dropped a unique slice of brooding, futuristic and eerie drum ‘n’ bass and extended the reach of this visceral genre of dance music to a deeper and darker place. The LP is engineered to the nth degree with absolute menace, mastery of hardware and a unique intent. The opening track, ‘Call and Response,’ throws subtlety out of the window after a minute. The track’s tension and drama is inherent, and it sets the pace for the rest of the LP. There’s no relief from the mood on the whole record; ‘Capital D’ is a throwback to the days of early darkside hardcore, with throbbing synths, relentless beats and pure claustrophobia, while ‘Wanton Conduct’ futurizes the whole decade of breakbeat with it’s killer drum engineering and filtered hoovers. It is, in short, a staple stepping stone to the whole genre, and a document that get’s better with every listen.”
“Snake Style”/”Exit 9” (Source Direct Recordings 1995)
“Constantly sought after by collectors, this record woke me up to Source Direct back in the day. Both sides exude a mastery of programming, especially for 1995. It’s right on the cusp of jungle and drum ‘n’ bass and shows the way forward with much enthusiasm. The killer Amen edits and high pitched samples of ‘Exit 9,’ backed with the utterly deep roller of ‘Snake Style,’ deliver two early clues as to how far the pair could go. This essential part of their legacy was repressed in 2002 yet it’s still not so easy to find.”
“Snake Style Version 2”
“Sean played me the second and unreleased version of ‘Snake Style’ off Youtube, and I believe it’s finally going to be issued. I never thought the original could be matched, but when I heard this I realized that I was badly mistaken! It takes the depth of the original and elevates it to a super heavy roller.”
“This Is A Bad Rmx”/”The Cult (The Initiation Remix)” (Razors Edge 1996)
“The first real remix on this list has to be Source Direct’s remix of Goldie’s song ‘This Is A Baad.’ It was released with ‘The Initiation’ version of their track ‘The Cult’ on Razors Edge in 1996. Both tracks are destroyers of the highest order and helped cement Source Direct’s skills as originators and remixers.”
“A Made Up Sound”/”The Cult”
“Released on the peerless Metalheadz label, both ‘A Made Up Sound’ and ‘The Cult’ are top shelf rollers. Intelligent, progressive and cutting, they’re among the best releases on Metalheadz, and that in itself is high praise. Source Direct’s influence on contemporary producers is self-evident: Dutch techno/breakbeat maestro Dave Huismans, for example, took the name A Made Up Sound for one of his main projects. There are many more of their productions that can be named as amazing tracks, and quite a few will be issued on Nonplus in the near future, but rest assured you can delve into their catalog and come away refreshed, awed, scared or inspired.”
Published August 22, 2015.