Review: It's been 19 years since R.I.P Productions launched Ice Cream Records, an imprint that did much to help popularize UKG during the speed garage days. Here, the veteran duo celebrates the label's enduring legacy with an unmixed collection of classics, exclusives and fresh new cuts. As you might expect, there's a clutch of more recent remixes of Ice Cream classics - see Scott Garcia's 2012 rework of "It's a London Thing" and a fresh edit of "Ripgroove" from Double 99 member DJ Omar - plus new R.I.P versions of 10 Below & Kele Le Roc's "My Love" and new school garage hero DJD's "Oh Baby". Throw in a sprinkling of forthcoming singles, and you've got a weighty trip into speed garage revivalism.
I Can Make It (Tuff Culture remix) - (6:30) 128 BPM
I Can Make It (Gasface remix) - (6:05) 134 BPM
I Can Make It (Woozee relick) - (3:48) 129 BPM
I Can Make It (2 Step mix) - (5:18) 134 BPM
Review: Young UKG star DJD is part of revived label Ice Cream's roster of fresh new talent, hoping to "push the garage sound throughout the East Midlands and beyond". Just one listen to "I Can Make It" and it's clear that with his skills, he'll be travelling a bit further than his native Loughborough. The song perfectly fuses vintage UKG vibes with a tough contemporary sheen and thumping tribal drum patterns. Remix-wise we get bouncy 2 step from Tuff Culture, deep and mournful haunt-step from Gasface, '80s soul vibes from Woozee and jittery electro 2step in the closing "2 Step mix".
Review: Despite being the classic '90s garage label that gave us such biggies as R.I.P. Groove by Double 99 and that Truesteppers tune featuring Dane Bowers and Victoria Beckham, Ice Cream have been continuing to drop new skool flavours too. Huddersfield's reigning princes of garage Andy Jay and S Tee, are representing the new blood and here they team up with reggae MC Specialist Moss for ragga bass anthem "Hey DJ". There's loads of mixes too covering handbaggy fun from Detox, some synthy tech house from Shay & Sinista and some lowslung deep garage from Ednaski.
Review: Recently resuscitated classic UK label Ice Cream have been busy reissuing a lot of their back catalogue of late. As great as that is, is also good to see some contemporary talent get exposure too. Here Ed Melconian aka DJ $ki, delivers three 21st century UKG jams that are literally bursting with imagination. "The Essence" is bouncier than a sax playing kangaroo, "North West Seven" is deep UKG straight outta Mill Hill and "Dont' Call Me" is some seriously slammin' speed garage - all shuffles, chops and strings. Undertone also step in to remix "Come On", adding a little bit of velvety handbag to the mix in the process.
Taking It Back (feat Tonia - original mix) - (4:48) 128 BPM
Taking It Back (feat Tonia - static noises remix) - (5:59) 125 BPM
Taking It Back (feat Tonia - odiggity remix) - (4:52) 128 BPM
Taking It Back (feat Tonia - Matt IQ retro edit) - (3:35) 128 BPM
Taking It Back (feat Tonia - Ednaski remix) - (4:04) 126 BPM
Taking It Back (instrumential) - (4:48) 128 BPM
Review: More timeless UKG vibes from the Ice Cream crew as Andy Jay, S-Tee, Dumplin and Tonia take us back to one of the UK's most exciting periods in electronic music. With an unashamedly large vocal, strutting beats and a bulbous bassline, it's a bright and bold production with huge crossover potential. Remix-wise Static Noises emphasises the bassline with a few sneaky amen additions, Odiggity go for the Brum-style 4/4 bassline approach, Matt IQ takes us even further back with an '80s electro funk boogie jam, while Ednaski soothes our soul with a deeper, soft focus tropical vibe. Perfect.
Review: Ice Cream Records is a pioneering 90s UKG label. Here their spotlight lands on Ed 'Undertone' Melconian, who's been releasing bangers since 1993. We suspect that these two new tunes are fresher than that though: "What" being a perky little affair with an incessant organ riff, a fabulous female drawl and more symbol splashes than swimming pool full of drums kits. "The Jump" meanwhile, is deeper, with vintage New York melodies and classic suspended strings. It's DJ $ki's remix of the former, with its sassy underground rolling bassline, that's really getting us moving though.
Review: Ice Cream have this ability to really dig out vintage cuts that make you nostalgic for a time that you may not even have been around in, with records that you may not have even heard before. Quite a feat, but they've done it again with "Obsessed". Dating back to 1996, this tune was originally released under the artist name Adant'e and is a deep New York-style houser with garage undertones and an incessant vocal snippet. The contemporary mix is much perkier and stripped back with a pumping kick and huge bouncy electro-house bassline. Slammin'!
Review: Ice Cream's heart is in the UKG underground of the 1990s, and their love is deep. Yep, they just have this ways of finding and releasing tunes that manage to smash the dancefloor despite being deep as you like. Undertones' "Cycles" is a prime example: all soulful undulating pads - pure ecstatic bliss -but perked up no end by quirky organ stabs and uplifting diva vocals. "The More" is even deeper, being all sultry smoky late night house. Things end on a livelier note, with the joyfully camp piano stabs, garagey beats and hands -in-the-air melodies of "That's Hot".
Review: Andy Jay and S-Tee are keeping up the good work with another new production that keeps them a fresh prospect despite having been around for ages. For this key tune they've left no stone unturned, supplying no less than six versions, all covering a different dance genre. Of the six our picks are the dark and bassy 2-step mix, the party-startin' dub house mix and best of all, the sultry edge of the tech mix.
Review: It's great to see classic UKG label Ice Cream Records back in action of late. Here they've resurrected mid 90s garage pioneers RiP Productions, who even back then were way ahead of the curve in terms of futuristic takes on the formula. This re-issue of "Rush Me" sees the 1998 '10 Below mix' (another alias of RiP) lead the package, with a thumping, bass-heavy new vocal mix being the flake in this particularly tasty 99 cone.
Review: Veteran duo Andy Jay and S-Tee have come a long way from their garage roots, now choosing sizzling future-tropical vibes instead. "Gotta See You Move" is a joyous hands-in-the-air party bomb with bonkers percussion, a rousing vocal from Sophia Ellahee and a cheeky Reel 2 Reel-style synth riff. Akira sticks with the 90s for a Nightcrawlers-esque remix, Ednasky delivers a killer deep and jazzy 4/4 garage workout. Elsewhere Prospectors Stateside go all tech-housey, LK1 goes bouncey-house and there's also a cool wobbly dub house mix.
Havin It Large (feat MC Shantie - DIgital Dubstar remix) - (4:16) 129 BPM
Havin It Large (feat MC Shantie - 2 Step mix) - (3:36) 134 BPM
Havin It Large (feat MC Shantie - Shay & Sinister remix) - (4:46) 130 BPM
Havin It Large (feat MC Shantie - Dumplin remix) - (7:11) 125 BPM
Havin It Large (feat MC Shantie - Notion remix) - (3:55)
Havin It Large (feat MC Shantie - Subz bass mix) - (4:25) 129 BPM
Review: Influential garage imprint Ice Cream remain on-point with their current slew of tropical flavours, this being no exception. With a simple xylophone riff and a cute bashy beat, it's instantly infectious and works perfectly for MC Shantie's playful narrative. With lyrics like "I ain't coming to fight, I'm coming to jig" and "we even skank when the coach drives in", the positive vibes are in abundance and done with a spirit and authenticity that sits on the right side of cheese. The remixes are in fine form, too, covering every shade of the party from acid house tinged 4/4 garage (Dumplin remix) to cosmic deep dub (Subz remix) via a very cheeky two-step version.
Review: Northern garage-turned-UK-funky 90s veterans Andy Jay & Stee team with reggae MC Rubi Dan to deliver this new anthem, which has been signed by alcohol giants Malibu. The title track is a body-movin', tropical beat-led, banger. DJ Q's "Back To 99" mix does what it says on the tin evoking the spirit of old skool UK garage for maximum joy. Fonti & Buskin bring out some serious bass and trumpets on their re-rub, it's all xylophone on Roll Out's mix and things get deep and jackin' on Dumplin's re-work.
Review: Topical and relevant to the national consciousness at large as we accelerate through 2012, a landmark year for the nation's capital, Scott Garcia's "It's A London Thing 2012" certainly grabs our attention from the off. The classic original re-edit is a hypnotic piece with smacking beats and an enticing swing. The 2020 mix shakes things up with a futuristic edge and slowed down, swaggering rhythms; Billy Daniel Bunter & Sanxion whack in a whole load of purple wow-esque synths alongside a good dose of trance-like euphoria and dubstep squeals. Loki Boi takes things basswise with squelchy bass belches, whilst B Gnarly does just that with his stomping re-work, and then Certified Sickness gives it the D&B treatment.
Break These Walls Down (feat Kelly Pepper & Gracious K) - (3:25) 129 BPM
Break These Walls Down (feat Kelly Pepper) - (3:25) 129 BPM
Break These Walls Down (feat Kelly Pepper & Gracious K - CellCius vocal mix) - (3:53) 134 BPM
Break These Walls Down (feat Kelly Pepper & Gracious K - CellCius dub mix) - (3:09) 134 BPM
Review: UK garage legends 10 Below (best known for their work on Kele Le Roc's "My Love") step up this week with a pair of upcoming talents at their side - young London singer Kelly Pepper and Gracious K (cousin of Dizzee Rascal no less). The results are bubbly and typically tasteful, with Rhodes, pitched-up snares and thick bass stabs ruling the roost. The mix of Pepper's silky vocals and Gracious K's spoken flow works well too, making for an essential UKG release.
Review: An iconic and heavyweight garage label from the mid to late '90s, Ice Cream dropped a fair few classics in their heyday - as proved by this first volume of re-releases out this week. Songs don't get any mightier than Double 99's seminal bass-anthem "Rip Groove", which lead off this collection, while other forgotten greats like Stephen Emmanuel's choppy 2-step beauty "Hold On" and RIP Productions' huge house/garage hybrids "Work It" and "Love Is What We Need" simply put half of garage's new-jacks to shame.