Jan 17, 2005

mp3 - Name that Tune

Apparently it's been a whole month since I last put together a Darkside post. Time to get back at it, I guess. Today's theme: creepy name tunes.

mp3 - Johnny Jungle "Johnny"

Founder of of the creepy name sub-genre; co-produced by Frontline/True Playaz artist Pascal and the less prolific Sponge. "Johnny" is another Darkside exploration of claustrophobia and paralytic terror. The gasping vocal hook (apparently pulled from the movie Marked For Death) pleads incessantly over a break that never seems to cut itself loose. Abbreviated hoover loops and clipped atmospherics add to the sense of constraint and confusion.

We're all gonna die here

"Scottie" makes my arm hairs stand on end. This version is just a shade less impressive than the original which is a little more sparse and makes better rhythmic use of the "Scottie" sample. Still, it's a brilliant track - utterly creepy with a pummeling Amen mash-up as its foundation. Though the main vocal sample has been attributed to Star Trek (you'll swear it's Kirk) my brief investigation seems to point squarely at the film Evil Dead as the sole source for vocals, screams and menacing giggly creatures. Though comical in one sense the vibe is still heavy, particularly when you consider it in the context of Rave dissolving into paranoia and death obsession.

mp3 - Subnation "Scottie (Remix)"

Still, the song itself is only part of the story. It's a good deal more chilling when you hear it in its intended live context, so I'm also posting a clip from an AWOL night at London's Paradise club in 1993. From the sounds of it, this may have been the first time the track was played out live. The tune drops in as the night is winding down - air horns are blaring and it sound like there might be a fight starting somewhere in the room. Then MC GQ and someone from the crowd each yell "We're all gonna die here!" in time with the song which eventually calls back: "We're not gonna die. We're gonna get out of here." In this context, the song plays like a very literal survivalist anthem. Whether AWOL's roughneck mystique was more reality or legend, I'm not sure (sounds pretty friendly in this description), but the vibe contained in this clip is heavy indeed.

mp3 - "Scottie" @ AWOL (clip)

Dead man walking

Two licks of what my be the pinnacle of creepy-name junglism: Remarc's "Ricky." If you've seen John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood you'll recognize the vocal hook. It's from the moment when Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr) watches helplessly - his world suddenly silent and moving in slow motion - as his friend is shot. It's the same sense of paralysis conveyed by a tune like "Johnny." Accordingly, Remarc locks Tre's scream in Gabber-like loops (VIP mix). However, the breaks are all over the place. Whereas Johnny and Scotty were stuck, Ricky's running for his life. The real hair-on-end bits here are the comically slowed down and contorted screams (VIP @ 2:24 and Remix @ 3:25). The VIP Mix contains a cheeky cut-up of Ricky's girlfriend that leaves her saying "I got shot." And tying everything together neatly is Remarc and Lewi's intro to the remix which uses the same "Johnny" sample layered with some timestretched badman threats.

mp3 - Remarc "Ricky (VIP Mix)"
From Remarc Unreleased Dubs 94-96 Strongly recommended and currently available to buy on Planet Mu.

mp3 - Remarc and Lewi Cifer "Ricky (Ricky and Lewi Remix)"

**Some of the above sample info is borrowed from Jari's 'Drum & Bass sample list' which I highly recommend to any music nerd.


Blogger Logos said...

Wicked links there mate.

The jonny sample is definitely from Marked for Death (aka Screwface). I think one of the Jonny remixes that came after ricky and scottie had cover art with some guy standing on top of two skulls marked 'Scottie' and 'Ricky' - anyway something like that he he.

Arguably you should have included Mr Kirks Nightmare because it was the first 'panic' tune, though slightly different in vibe, and of course in a earlier breakbeat hardcore idiom.

3:37 PM

Blogger paul autonomic said...

Cheers logos. You're right. Kirk would have fit nicely, though I've been saving him for a proto-darkside post that I have in the works.

4:25 PM

Blogger ripley said...

Nice theme. I got "ricky" on tour this summer (somewhere in Germany I think) because I remembered that it seriously gave me the chills when I first heard it. And "Johnny" I remember on late-night radio, headphones, walking home from the bus.. shivery.

12:51 AM

Blogger marc said...

wicked tunes paul - johnny especially is a personal favourite of mine. especially that darkside breakdown with all the hissing synths and that reversed break. its totally malevolent and evil. i love the idea of dance music that isn't there to make you feel good, or at least not in a bland euphoric hands in the air sense.

5:31 AM

Blogger marc said...

actually, giving that johnny mp3 a listen, i've got a totally different mix on vinyl - is that one you posted a remix?

5:48 AM

Blogger paul autonomic said...

marc: "is that one you posted a remix?"
it may well be. i go this one over p2p so it may have been mislabelled. i'd be interested to hear the you've got. is it the one with "i like to cry" on the b-side?

9:27 AM

Blogger marc said...

i'm not sure - i've got it on vinyl though, so i'll encode it and post to my site this evening if you fancy giving it a listen! its pretty mental, you won't be disapointed! :)

11:45 AM

Blogger paul autonomic said...

Awesome! Thanks Marc.

11:49 AM

Blogger marc said...

I found two remixes that I've got - one is the Slipmaster J version and the other is drum n bass, see what you think:


5:49 AM

Blogger paul autonomic said...


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9:14 PM

Blogger droid said...

Theres actually 2 different Johnny tunes - Johnny Jungle's version on Subabse which came out as two 10"s featuring remixes by Dillinja and Origin Unknown in 94, and another version that came out on Deejay in 93, also by Johnny Jungle, but totally different - this is the one that has the Slipmaster J remix on one side. The Subbase versions are definitely superior IMO - we featured the Origin Unknown remix in this set if anyone wants a listen:


"This one's a prime slice of darkside taken from one of the Subbase's remix 10"s. The Dillinja mix is much more highly sought after, but I prefer this 10", as both sides are stunning in their own way (plus it didn’t cost £80!). I know - another amen (a break we try to use selectively), but for me it’s the other layered drums, the horror film samples and dark synths... and especially the rudeboy sub-bass which defines the groove in this tune. All in all, its another killer remix by the Ram supremos - who were on fire in 95."

2:09 PM

Blogger droid said...

Contradicted myself there. As I said in the weareie post, the subbase versions actually came out in 95.

2:57 PM

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