Dreams of Saturday Night: Rhodes to Freedom

Not much to see in all these drum ´n bass clips, but who needs visuals for music that is so lush and beautiful?! Ambient D´nB really was the music of the future, when it emerged out of dark jungle and hardcore. Of course, much derided by the true innovators who saw this evolution of new-agey, middle-of-the-road-fluff as a dead end street, it was also the instant soundtrack for millions of boutiques and trendy cafés around the world, which might be a reason why the 90s are so undervalued. Most tracks here hail from 1995 when this music suddenly exploded everywhere.

Everything by LTJ Bukem is great and he, along with Omni Trio, was probably the kickstarter of this new sound. Bukem´s music does really stand the test of time as he is a fantastic musician who managed to combine great musicianship with amazing sound and production techniques.

LTJ Bukem: Rhodes to Freedom

LTJ Bukem: Watercolours

PFM (Progressive Future Music) did a couple of 12" and a bunch of remixes with one very impressive sound set-up. Their epic tracks slide along the edge of ambient kitsch but who cares as long as they sound like sonic waves sweeping over you. "Hypnotising" with the often used, but always wonderful "music is hypnotising"-sample was the b-side of their second single. PFM also did a great 9 minute version of Saint Etienne´s "(Down by) The Sea".

PFM: Hypnotising

Goldie had proven that jungle/drum and bass could as well be seen as a new form of soul music when he released the phenomenal "Inner City Life" in 1994. The use of sung vocals was relatively rare in the genre but some of the attempts were outstanding and often became moderate hits.

Saxophonist Courtney Pine and vocal diva Cassandra Wilson teamed up for the beautiful "I´ve known Rivers" which got the d´nb treatment by the slightly overhyped 4 Hero. I wish they would have always been as good as this.

Courtney Pine with Cassandra Wilson: I´ve known Rivers (4 Hero remix)

Another great d´nb vcal track and almost hit came from Soundman & Don Lloydie with Elisabeth Troy. "Greater Love" is amazing in the way it merges the sweet vocals of Mrs. Troy with the abstract and de-constructed beats. Later in 95 the three released an equally good follow-up on the great SOUR-label with "Let me be".

Soundman and Don Llyodie with Elisabeth Troy: Greater Love

Things get a bit rougher with this masterpiece of sonic energy. "Amazon Amenity (Chameleon Dub) by Link is a product of the fruitful partnership of Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton.
In 1992 they released a fantastic EP of Detroit techno, which also included "Amenity". Later they reworked that track into the lush balearic anthem "Links" by Chameleon, which then evolved into "Amazon Amenity". The drum programming towards the end of this epic is simply breathtaking.
"...Life moves pretty fast. If you don´t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Link: Amazon Amenity

Recovering from the hectic d´nb with this wonderfully relaxing abstract re-construction of Japanese outfit Soft Ballet. Once more, Middleton and Pritchard (as Global Communication) show their superiority.

Soft Ballet: Ride (Global Communication Remix)

Check out LTJ Bukem´s label Good Looking for recent d´n b.

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