not nearly enough Hcore though
I mean, why not this?
and later - edging into drum & bass - why not this bass-fibrillator?
or this glistening glider?
Not sure if Vol 4 was actually Danny Breaks or some mate of his he produced or remixed... Gorgeous (yet slamming), rinsed the fuck out of this 12 " back in the day.
Or this dark glow-bass killa?
There really hould be a CD with all the Droppin Science Volumes nicely collated on
And there was more Volumes after those five, wasn't there -- see this mini-feature I did on Danny for Melody Maker back in 1995, nearly twenty years ago, jeee-Zussssss... I remember buying "Easy" (slight drop off in inventiveness) and maybe a couple others before it got a bit too jazzy-smooth and head-noddy spacey for me.
career has taken him from the scratchadelic 'ardkore of Sonz of A Loop Da Loop
Era to the disorientating drum & bass of Droppin' Science--is that this 22 year
old whizzkid from Southend is an original British B-boy.
"For me, music starts with electro and breakdancing. Right through school,
it was pure on the turntables for me. Cutting up breaks was heaven. But hip hop wasn't really running in Britain. Even if the UK crews were rapping about everyday English life, it didn't come across, 'cos so much of the flavour of rap is the American voice."
Danny reckons that UK hip hop never found the political role ("black
folks' CNN") that it did in America. He attributes this to the fact that "black
and white are more integrated in Britain, at least amongst the young. There's
outposts of racism like skinheads, but most of the youth don't care about your
colour." And so in Britain, the verbal, protest side of rap was always less
important than the sonic sorcery and breakbeat-manipulation. "With hip hop, what I
liked was the beats and samples, more than the voice and the words."
Like other original Brit B-boys--DJ Hype, Goldie, Aphrodite etc--Danny's
desire to "do instrumental stuff with breaks and weird sounds" drew him gradually
into the rave scene. "Being a B-boy I could never admit to being into aciiied.
But I did like the bleep-and-bass sound of Unique 3, and also the early Vinyl
Solution stuff like Depthcharge and Renegade Soundwave."
In 1991-2 the sharpest graduates of UK B-boyism began fusing hip hop with
techno to create a new wildstyle, 'ARDKORE. In 1990, aged 17, Danny bought a
sampler and was soon making exhiliratingly ruff'n'ready 'ardkore anthems under
the name Sonz of A Loop Da Loop Era. "Far Out", which Suburban Base re-released
in early '92, got to Number 36 in the Hit Parade and sold 30 thousand copies.
This was the golden age of hardcore rave, when the Prodigy and SL2 gatecrashed
the Top 2, and Urban Shakedown could sell 90,000 of "Some Justice". Even after
its massive media hype, jungle has never recovered that popular appeal: a big
tune, says Danny, today sells about 4000.
Next came the Top 50 cracking "Peace & Loveism", whose flower-power title,
Danny claims, was "influenced more by Daisy Age rap like De La Soul than by
rave." At the end of '92, the "Flowers In My Garden" EP featured the uproarious
"Bust That Groove" and the self-explanatory "Skratchadelikism". Then came Danny's
most hip hoppy track yet, "What The...", a slow-mo sub-bass floorquaker that
updated electro for the E generation. Danny cites "What The..." as a turning
point, "when I started to get professional".
Through the rest of '93, Danny found himself out-of-step with DJ's tastes:
he was using rare groove licks that wouldn't come into favour until '94. By then
he'd changed his name to Droppin' Science--"'cos that was the vibe,
experimentation"--and started his series of "Vol." EP's that are among the most
audaciously avant-funky in jungle. "Vol.1" combined a hyper-orgasmic vocal "sampled from a dodgy Italian record" with an oriental piano melody to become a huge hit on dubplate. "Electro was a big influence on Vol.2," says Danny, "It's a full-on studio bug-out. Not a big tune, but connoisseurs dig it. Then 'Vol 3: Firing Line' was even more B-boyish, with wildstyle sampling."
On "Firing Line" and its even more astonishing sequels "Vol 4: Long Time
Coming" and "Vol 5: Step Off", Danny uses an eerie tremolo bass effect that makes
your whole body tremble. "It's a bit like a wah-wah on a guitar, it really
vibrates. I'm well into shaking sounds. My mission is to find and create new
effects". After the fluorescent synth-riffs, flashing hi-hats and topsy-turvy
breaks of "Long Time" and "Step Off", Danny's latest offering "Vol 6: Easy" is a
relatively mellow, '70s soul-tinged affair. Also around at the moment are a pair
of remixes of "Vol 1" and a brilliant Origin Unknown revamp of "Firing Line". And
any day now, there'll be Splash's "military assault" on "Step Off".
As for the future, Danny's working on a little something for Mo' Wax: "slow,
fucked up turntable shit, lots of stopping and starting". Danny's allies' Safari
Sounds are handling "Vol. 7", then he resumes control with "Vol 8: Beats".
"That one's a manifesto, 'cos that's what I'm into--beats, all kinds of beats."
Danny talks of how positive it is that jungle and trip hop have met up to form a
single continuum of post-rap breakbeat-science, noting that "drum & bass can be
played alongside trip hop, whereas it can't really be played in a house set--the
beats don't fit."
As one of the precious few who's really pushing the state-of-the-artcore,
what does Danny reckon on the state of jungle in '95?
"I think last year's media explosion came too early, we really needed
another year to develop. There's a big buzz about jungle but it's not like we're
all selling an extra 10 thousand copies. I don't think drum & bass will ever get
really big, it's too complex to be pop. I personally could go incredibly deep in
the future, really intricate in my production. I see no limits."