Wednesday, July 1, 2020

warpdrives (the crystl vision)



"Warpdrive" had such an impact on me back in the day

Photek remix I never heard before, or heard of.



This was the other Crystl monstertune - "Let it Roll"



So beautifully produced (in fact, anticipating Photek glistening 3D "The Rain" type sound design, Rupe's main selling point I think)

And then the rmx



And then the Photek remix, from 2004  - some special connection there clearly




Crystl had lots of other good tunes, but those are the two that stick with me





Now wasn't there supposed to be a DJ Crystl album in the works?.

I  vaguely remember speaking to him for the ambient jungle piece, or intending to - either nothing came of it, or he didn't have much to say. In the event, kept it focused on Omni / Foul Play / Goldie / Gerald / Neil Trix (yes that's the inclusion that seems retrospectively a puzzler, but at the time,  he seemed of great promise).

Crystl was among that very first batch of junglists to get signed to a major with a view to being an album artist, I seem to recall. But said album never materialized.

Was there talk of him veering in a hip hop direction?

Ah, it seems I am not wrong, about the album deal. At Discogs:

"Signed for London Records/Payday on a reputed 5-album deal." 

And there was this hip hop flavored EP on Payday called Perpetual Motion:





But it was a bit underwhelming

Certainly no match for e.g. this



The deal must have fizzled

Clearly one of those big-seeming deals, potentially involving large sums of money and multiple albums, that is dependent on the impact of the first single or singles, or EP in this case. Where the major has the option to decline to take up the option.

After that, came this single



This is what it says on Discogs about what came next:

"Now retired from music and working as a personal trainer."

4 comments:

David Gunnip said...

Simon, I remember John Peel being a huge fan of Warpdrive in 94/95. It had a real feel of a chase through the dystopian future city about it! It was on that Drum & Bass Selection Vol 1 that Breakdown Records put out. That comp Was a great intro to jungle for myself when i went to live in London back then. Another early one was the 'This Is Jungle' comp.

SIMON REYNOLDS said...

that devastating reverb-shrouded crash-smash drum break was one of those ah-drums-are-the-hooks-the-melodies-in-this-music revelations for me

droid said...

Trix is generally regarded as a legendary figure, so it was a good choice. Less prolific than the others, but banged out enough huge artcore tunes to guarantee his status.

Hard to pick out a fave Crystl. Its nearly all gold. Dark Crystal has to be up there, btu even the low key rollers like sweet dreamz bang.

Pearsall said...

My favorite of his was always Crystlize, which is simply incredible space voyager 'yes-actually-these-drums-are-a-starship' music.