Friday, May 10, 2024

Det paid / MC Conrad RIP

 I had no idea this ever came out - the first MC-fronted jungle album. 1996.

MC Det' s Out of Det reviewed here by my old Melody Maker colleague Carl Loben - now the editor of DJ magazine. 

This later EP from 2002 has a title that nods towards - perhaps forms a matching book end with - an era-inaugurating album from 1991.

What Ragga Twins and Det had heralded was at that moment reaching fruition with grime

Wonder how this post-SUAD Ragga Twins effort from '95 sounds? Probably not very ragga-y.

As Carl acknowledges in his review,  jungle MCs rarely worked as "feat." artists on record - their style was built for and around the live set at a rave on a pirate 

What are the great examples of a jungle MC doing it in the studio?  

MC GQ is grrrrrrreat on this but it's really just one lick. Well one hook-lick and a bit of chat.

This is an exciting performance by UK Apachi  - it cuts back and forth between a singjay sing-song mode that's quite plaintive and   jabbered fast-chat that's raggaruff.

This from Stevie Hyper D is very early - 1991 - but it's more like a dancehall vocal rather than jungle MC-ing

Likewise this from the next year

Fun but pales next to this

Stevie Hyper D also did EP called Junglist Hooligan and the track "Junglist Soldier" in '95 and '96

A take on "Rub a Dub Soldier" 

Another very early effort - 1991 - is Killer Man Archer - on "Narra Mine"

But it is more like a dancehall deejay guesting than a junglist MC (okay it's points along a line but feels like there's a distinction )

I went looking and found that MCs featuring in jungle records seemed to happen more towards the end of the '90s (which surprised me) and that earlier quite often if I look for say a famous MC like Navigator, they'll appear in discogs as the producer of a track.  Bit like with MC Duke


Suggestions in comments

nominated Anonymously

MC Dynamite on Roni Size / Reprazent's "Brown Paper Bag"

DaveK in comments pointing out the Conrad remix of PFM  - which features his uniquely smoov and serene style of chill chat - reminds me that I have been remiss about RIP-ing MC Conrad.

Conrad's style of emceeing was perfect for the Speed vibe

Meditative indeed... adrift on reverie bliss

the most, cough, Bachelardian of jungle MCs

DaveK also mentions this early effort involving MC Fearless on the Boogie Beat label 

That's rather good and I like the melodic interpolation from "Moments in Love" too

Here's the whole Weekend Rush Part 3 EP

He also mentions Bassman's contribution to this classic 

That's more on the lines of GQ on "Roll Da Beats" 

Going back to Fearless, here's a bunch of later 'feat.s" from around '96

Aha - bit later than the period I'm looking at - but in 2003 Fearless teamed up with Shabba D, Skibadee and Det for this release under the group name The Professionals 

There's a great tune featuring Skibadee but it's UKG

uploaded by yourstrools 4 da commonwealth

Another one that doesn't really count - it's not a release, it's an advert - is this pirate ad for Telepathy, the MC whose name I'm blanking on is also the guy who ran the club, indeed he voiced all their ads 


Anonymous said...

The vocal mix of Roni Size's "Brown Paper Bag" springs to mind.

....must....not....type..."Bombfunk MCs"....

DaveK said...

Yeah like you say surprisingly few actual MC performances as artists on wax in the golden era. Maybe due to limits on technology available to a lot of producers at the time e.g. bedroom style setups where sampling a small vocal snippet was easier .

The main one I think of due to recent events is The Western track PFM with MC Conrad RIP

The others I can think of are more samples than actual artists collaborating I think. There’s Bassman on Bass II Dark. And sure MC Fearless did something called Jump Up Crew on Boogie Beat around 92-93. But he don’t say much on it.

Matt M said...

I seem to recall buying Rinsin Lyric a couple of years after it came out:

It was... fine. A bid for mainstream acceptance and chart success that didn't pay off.

Anonymous said...

Telepathy ads voiced by Kenny Sting