Saturday, January 28, 2023

Oxford Ardkore

Amused to stumble upon this obscure hardcore release titled Oxford Ardkore.  Two releases in fact - there was a follow up. 

"Oxford Ardkore" almost seems like a concept someone came up with to take the piss out of me, what with being a product of the university.

But it's for real and it's the work of a character who recorded as Doctor G (which again makes you imagine a professor who caught the raving bug and operates a pirate station from the eyrie of his chambers in Balliol or Magdalen)

Of course, Oxford is not only the university - it's a large town with an industrial element (Cowley) and a lot of regular people leading lives unconnected to academia or the ancillary employment that the colleges support. 

Still, it's not inconceivable that some students were sufficiently clued in - and drugged up - to be actually into rave and the first stirrings of jungle. 

Now I think of it, there was a post a few years back about ardkore junglizm emanating from the Oxford area  -Wots My Code, Invisible Man, Spinback, Q Project, Gwange, Total Science etc . 

Specifically the Blackbird Leys Estate (a place rife with joyriding in '91, incidentally).  

Good building to set up a transmitter from the top of... 

Wots My Code namechecking their hometown. 

Back to Doctor G, who ran a label called, haha, G-Spot Records. (Love the little joke of "Est 92")

Now I wonder what the 'Scratchapella' sounded like... 

Most of this stuff is not really first-rank work of the era, let's be honest 

next four from SubLogic 2010 offering The Unreleased History of Doctor G 

update 1/29

YT in comments points out that Doctor G = Graham Mew = The Invisible Man, a better known name in ardkore 'scenti circles. He notes the similarity with the hand-drawn labels. Another giveaway is the reference to Bangin B-Line as the production entity. And indeed it says "all tracks written, produced, engineered, mixed and sorted by Doctor 'G'". Sorted!

Ah, look he had a lot of aliases in those day

An entire mix of Invisible Man tuneage courtesy of Law 

Eventually he graduated to Good Looking 


Now what's this then - a completely different, much later, Oxford 'Ardkore - some kind of hardcore punk thrash band!

That's a reference to the iconic debut album cover by Bad Brains but instead of the White House it's the Bodleian library getting zapped with lightning (my college Brasenose, unscathed, is in the background)



yt said...

I guess you know this, but Doctor G is of course The Invisible Man / Graham Mew.

The hand crafted labels are also very similar to his early jungle releases. :)


I did not know that! There's a bit of a jump in quality from Doctor G to Invisible Man's stuff

But yeah now you mention it, the labels are similar aren't they...

yt said...

It's crazy how fast these producers progressed technically at the time.
Some of them almost sounded like different artists to me in the space of a year or two and not just because the scene progressed. Maybe Nookie is a good example going from super rough Daddy Armshouse style hardcore to silky smooth drum and bass within 2/3 years.

Tall Guy said...

Not related to this stuff, but thought you might like this a lot if you’ve never heard it. I certainly hadn’t (though I have heard all the legends of his Limelight residency). Jeff Mills... hardcore DJ. Live at the Limelight July 1992

Imagining the dystopian atmosphere in that place at the time… makes me wanna pogo!


I don't think I ever saw him at the Limelight - although I did go a few times to see live techno acts play there, so maybe he was deejaying between sets but I didn't realise it. It was a bombastic dark-future vibe, that's for sure. The night was called Future Shock wasn't it?

BUT I actually met Mills at one of the other clubs that Peter Gatien was running at that time, the Palladium. (Now the building is a Trader Joe's!).

This was early '92 and I was doing a story for Details on techno - part of it involved the NY scene and other parts what was going on in the UK and Belgium.

It was the briefest of encounters and Mills seemed shy and awkward.

Gatien's eyeballs were something else, I'm telling you.