EZ Rollers – Retro

It’s sad…  In the 20th century, in the 1990s we have to still go the same bullshit route that other artists have to go to get acceptance.
If it wasn’t for the independents, if it wasn’t for the small little cities, and the few little ghetto guys trying to make music it would have never happened.

Some of these guys will never make a dime. Some of these guys will be poor and die alone. But in the process, they’ve been the true renegades. And the true rebels always walk alone anyway….

retroThat is just about one of my favourite samples in music full stop.
Originally spoken by Techno godfather Derrick May, the original context was regarding the birth of Techno in Detroit, of which May was integral to alongside school friends Juan Atkins and and Kevin Saunderson.

What I love about the quote though is how it can refer to the underground music movement full-stop. It could apply to the birth of Hip Hop in South Bronx in the late ’70s, and as EZ Rollers may have intended, it can also apply to the creation of the UK Hardcore and Jungle scene.

But Retro isn’t just about that sample.

Released in 1997 on my favourite label of all time, Moving Shadow, it came at a time when label boss Rob Playford was balancing both the dark tech-step style with the deep, more musical side of Drum and Bass.

Retro falls nicely into the latter category and EZ Rollers were very much established in that sound. Using the ‘Cold Sweat‘ break to drive the track along, it breaks down into a downtempo rhodes section before dropping with some serious bass and saxophone combo.

Another reason I love this tune dearly is that it was featured on Toca 2 Touring Cars on the original Playstation, on the title and menu screen. A game I played to death as a youngster, before I really got into Drum & Bass.

And we may as well make this a bargain jungle track, because for some mad reason there are plenty of copies for sale on Discogs from just one lowly pound. A scandal for a tune this good.

About Law

Main author and creator of Drumtrip. I have been listening to and mixing drum and bass in its various forms since 1998. Drumtrip was designed to celebrate the glory years between 1991 and 1997.