So here goes then, my first post on Drum Trip… hopefully this will work as intended.
Urban Takeover, one of Drum and Bass’s biggest borderline commercial labels of the mid 90’s, had its biggest success with Mickey Finn and Aphrodite’s ‘Bad Ass’ which featured on not only every top earning DJ’s sets during 1995 but has sinced graced many top 40 chart compilations. The label paved a way for the now commonly known term ‘Jump Up’ and made Aphrodite’s track mark production techniques a familiar sound with DJ’s and ravers alike. His style was mimicked by others but it was clear that Aphrodite was the only real master of his own sound. Clever sampling combined with the trademark bassline of the mid 90’s was a winning formula for the label but as Drum & Bass continued to evolve the longevity of the label was potentially being compromised.
The DJ Slip remix of Man of Steal by Vinyl Syndicate was a firm favourite worldwide and features the commonly sampled Superman theme. This obtained commercial success to a degree and still features on compilations to this day. Various attempts to rekindle the success were attempted by way of remixes although the only worthwhile attempt featured on the G.L.O.B.A.L Takeover LP.
Although Urban Takeover continue to release records, the real golden era for this label was between 1995 and 1999 – after the year 2000, in my opinion, the label lost its identity. Due to the rapidly changing styles of Drum & Bass and the demise of jump up as it was once known, previously unheard of producers joined the label in order to attempt to bring new ideas and styles to the masses.
With the History of Urban Takeover series reaching local record stores and chain giants alike in 2005 this was a sign that the label was either recouping losses or simply trying to reach the new generation. Was this a little too late? Who knows, but whatever is said about Urban Takeover you cannot argue that 16 or so releases from the label played a massive part in roots of Drum and Bass as we know it.