Perhaps one of the great unsung heros of drum and bass (in 2014 at least). Hugely prolific between 1992 and 1995, Bay B Kane was one of the leading producers on the White House stable, producing under a slew of aliases for several different labels.
Bay B Kane, real name Mel Jalal Tanur, quickly solidified with his place in the burgeoning hardcore scene in 1992. One most well known early tracks was the Simon & Garfunkel sampling “Hello Darkness“, released on his own label “Ruff Guidance“.
He perhaps hit his peak around 1994; a year when jungle was crowned king of the UK underground. He became known for his intense, dark and atmospheric tracks; often utilising the amen break alongside sharp bass stabs, and utilising samples from sources that other producers may have overlooked.
1994 was also the year when he created arguably his most well known work; the sub destroying slice of ‘intelligent’ drum and bass known as ‘Thunder‘ (under the alias “The Rood Project“). Despite being released on an established label such as White House, even today it’s popularity endures making it a tough one to track down for a fair price.
I first caught wind of this release around 10 years ago when I heard a friend spin “Let Me Go“. I was instantly hooked on the sample and amen combo – a sample I later found out was from the Gloria Estefan track “Can’t Stay Away From You“. If you know the Estefan track, but not “Let Me Go”, you might wonder how he managed to flip that sample to make a dark jungle track. Just listen, it works magnificently.
Eventually I tracked the tune down, at which point I discovered the B-side named “Unfolding Perspective”.
Unfolding Perspective is a little similar to Thunder in places. Both tracks have that atmospheric, dark and sombre vibe, and they both start with a similar sounding bleep riff on the intro. Unfolding Perspective however, probably goes to even deeper places.
Kane’s signature amen break is soon let loose among a foreground of pounding bass hits and ominous choir chords; until a masterful second breakdown occurs.
The breakdown samples a haunting vocal by Diana Ross, taken from the intro of her 1973 collaboration with Marvin Gaye entitled ‘You Are Everything‘. Once again, as he did for “Hello Darkness” and “Let Me Go”, Bay B Kane lifts a sample from an unlikely source and uses it to create a completely different atmosphere. The result is quite mesmerising.
Bay B Kane had a knack for writing deep and atmospheric drum and bass (without ever quite entering Good Looking territory), yet still maintaining the rugged, rough and ready sound that made jungle so popular in the first place.
Beyond 1995, with jungle being the past and two step D&B being the order of the day for the rest of the decade, Bay B Kane decided to call it a day. However he has had something of a comeback in recent years, making records in the style he is known and loved for. Check him at at soundcloud.com/bay-b-kane