The quality of music production and studio skills in general has always been an interesting topic for me. Many have argued that the move away from outboard synths and hardware and onto entirely digital workstations like Logic or Cubase (with VSTs) has in some part contributed to the decline of musical creativity within the drum and bass scene post-millenium. It may be a factor, I’m not sure really. What I do know though, is that immense mixdowns and amazing production skills certainly do not make a great tune.
Often I will use the absolutely rough as old boots ‘Babylon‘ by Splash as the evidence of this. The tune sounds as rough as old boots, and legend has it that it was actually mixed down on a crusty old DJ / turntable mixer (don’t hold me to that). But if you have ever been lucky enough to hear it dropped in a rave, you know the damage it does. Nearly twenty years later Andy C is still playing it in upfront sets to kids who probably weren’t born when it was released.
But the point remains. Dance, and rave in particular relies on one thing, the vibe. I can’t even really explain it, if you get it, you get it – If you don’t, you just don’t. Which brings me to this number by Satin Storm. Look what happened when Goldie opened with at at the Metalheadz boat party at Outlook festival 2012.
You just don’t get the energy and vibe like that in D&B in 2013. That’s what I love about hardcore.
Satin Storm was a duo made up of Travis Edwards and Russell Taylor. Russell went on to help LTJ Bukem launch the Good Looking stable and had a big hit with Bang The Drums as DJ Tayla. From 1990 they released several 12″ singles including a couple of other classics like ‘Satin Storm‘ and ‘Think I’m Going Out Of My Head‘.
My favourite though is undoubtedly ‘Lets Get Together’. It’s criticised for it’s horrendous distortion on the bass and almost clanging breakbeats, but to me it’s endearing. As despite all of that, the vibe is there.
When you think of hardcore and pianos you think of feel good tracks like ‘Far Out‘ and err, ‘Feel Real Good‘, but there is nothing happy about this track. The pianos start, the hoovers enter along with the vocal ‘come on, come on’ before the rolling amen break hits. From out of nowhere the track reaches it’s apex with a bizarre panpipe sounding sample and crushing distorted bass. It’s frantic and never lets up.