Thursday, April 7, 2022


The not unwarranted superiority complex of the Reinforced cru!

What was it Rob Playford said? That Reinforced were the scene's research lab 

Operating just that little ahead of everybody else.... 

The vanguard

Ever so slightly forbidding and coldblooded as a result

At times, anyway - for sure they had their manic nutty moments and sent-E-mental anthems, later on  lush 'n 'sexy souljazzual

Recently been listening to this beaut a lot...

(Listening to the original Scarface version as I did for the first time recently was weird - just sounded wrong because the 4 Hero reframing is so sensitively done, it feels like he rapped over it in the studio, as opposed to having the rhythm scaffolding built around his lines - so snugly does his flow fit the groove) 

Here's a different 4 Hero remix of "Seen A Man" -  starker and ruffer - not quite as wondrous as the above.

But there's also an overly mellow Talkin Loud-vibed version of the tune by 4 Hero, a warning sign - perhaps where the "LISTEN & LEARN" attitude can ultimately lead ("proper music")


[Some earlier thoughts on Reinforced's eminence]

Surely the greatest label of the first half of the Nineties.

Not just in jungle, but on all fronts.

The militant commitment to a vision-quest.... the sheer sustained strike rate combined with the relentless forward drive....

But what about Reinforced during the second half of the '90s?

I carried on loyally buying a lot of their stuff - not loyally, really, just genuinely excited by things heard in the store (by that point usually Breakbeat Science the NYC hub for the city's junglists)

However very little of it has stuck with me - in the sense that I literally can't remember it.

Part of it is that tracks by Arcon 2 or Sonar Circle or whoever, the tracks get so convoluted and dense with editing and processing, they actually defy memory.

Also they weren't things you'd hear played out, like, ever - so no memories got attached to them.

So the last thing from that camp that really stuck with me is actually not technically on Reinforced - it's the Jacob's Optical Stairway album, which came out on Crammed or something like that.

Reinforced proper, would probably be the Cold Mission stuff.


1 comment:

Jim said...

Always loved this late period 4 hero track Don’t think I’ve ever heard the original until I looked just now, not so impressive imho. Cheers, Jim.