V/A – “Straight From The Bedroom E.P.’s #1-3
V/A – Lord of the Decks: The Fellowship of the Mic

Straight From The Bedroom was a 3rd Paty/Kemet sub-label that existed for all of three releases, namely these. They are, as far as I’ve been able to tell, all from around 1992-3, and basically capture the moment where breakbeat hardcore turned into jungle as accurately as anything could or has. What do they sound like? A fucking mess: half-speed reggamatic intros and breakdowns, roots-era sensi vocals fighting for space with shrieking divas and raggamuffin toasters, left-over Italo piano euphoria, creepy-crawly darkcore synth goo, bass bombs, and of course breaks break breeeeaaaakkkkksssszzssssssss. The made-in-two-minutes vibe is complimented (as if the itchy, unfinished sound wasn’t enough) by the fact that all the trax are subtitled “A Bedroom In Hackney”, “A Bedroom In Brockley”, etc.

It’s kind of amazing to me that, with all the sniffing around I’ve done in the last half-dozen years tracking shit like this down, I’d never heard or heard OF these records before last night. The “real” history of jungle – the lineage of Ibiza/3rd Party/Kemet/Production House/White House and related labels – is still largely obscured, since the records are out of print, the labels long since folded, uncleared samples, lack of a market, etc etc. (It’s quite easy for the back catalog of Reinforced or Moving Shadow or even Sub Base to go through rehabilitation when they still have the ability to make their back catalog available, are still churning out reliable variations of the dnb template.) If you ever see these or come across them on a P2P, beg borrow or steal on sight.

The Lord of the Decks… (and if you think the title is classically cheesey, you should see the cover) is a rush-job comp on a possibly non-existent East London label, collecting all of the recent grime garage “hits” and a bunch of freestyles. In ten years (provided these artists don’t prove us all wrong and go as big as Goldie if not as big as Jay-Z) it will be as highly sought after as the equally rush-job comps on labels like Ibiza and 3rd Party. (In the stores one week, gone the next, never to return.) If you live anywhere close to London get to a specialty shop (I don’t care if they make uncomfortable or not) and get this (and if you live in EAST London, you have no excuse…but if you’re smart you probably have a lot of this stuff anyway.)

“We bring you the future…the future…the future…”