More Rockers Select Cuts from More Rockers 12" Selection

It would be hard to mention Rob Smith, Ray Mighty and Peter D. Rose without simultaneously invoking the story of the Bristol scene and the sound now attributed to the likes of Tricky, Massive Attack and Roni Size. Smith and Mighty would probably fidget uncomfortably in their seats to be called the progenitors of that sound: a soul-centred blend of heady bass, junglist breakbeat and reggae. However, the ...12" Selection is full proof of their influence and also a reminder of the twists of fate that did not allow these remarkable singles to see the light of day at the time of their late '80s to early '90s inception. The duo released Bass Is Maternal after an ill-fated signing to London Records, and that record, despite its promising and anachronistic sound (a hint of where jungle was going to go in the near future), was not released until 1995, when the Bristol natives formed their own label, More Rockers. Even then only hardcore fans took to it and a larger audience was lacking. It was only their self-compiled tracks for the DJ Kicks series released in 1998 that provided a platform for their sound to truly take off. Inspired by their early punk roots and the refusal to cave to more major signings with no guarantees, their newest release was the 2000 album Big World, Small World, on More Rockers. This twelve-inch selection reveals incredible production skills and Smith's relentless fascination with the roots of dub and its capacity to break the rules of sound engineering. With soulful vocals courtesy of Marilyn MC Farlane, as well as famed MC Navigator, the beats break apart into delightful shards of thumping bass from track to track. The reggae/dub roots are captured perfectly in the infectious tracks from Henry, Louis and Smithy's "How Can A Man Be Happy," as well as "Love and Understanding." As singles, each one stands out, and as a collection, it is an important piece of history crucial to the scene. (Select Cuts)