Special Request Soul Music

Special Request Soul Music
8
Now and again, a record comes out that is so evocative of a certain time in life's journey that it becomes impossible to separate it from that memory; a kind of pure unadulterated nostalgia. Soul Music is one of those records.

The nostalgia it conjures up is of listening to pirate radio in the early '90s to mid-'00s — specifically in London — but really anywhere illegal stations thrived. Breaks upon breaks, rude boy bass lines and space age synths were the order of the day, with jungle, hardcore and garage all gleefully being manipulated for the masses, coming in shakily from a tower block somewhere to the east or north. These sounds informed the oeuvres of too many producers to mention, but Paul Woolford was evidently one of them.

His Special Request alias has been pushing the old school agenda for a little while now. Whether this is in any part due to the general jungle/drum & bass resurgence that is gripping the UK right now is up for debate, but one thing is for sure: Soul Music is set to be one of those records that defies time and place. Woolford's retro-futuristic sound propels remixes of Lana Del Rey ("Ride VIP") and Tessela's huge "Hackney Parrot" into warehouse botherers that sound like they could easily have been put together on an Amiga in 1992. Special Request proves once and for all that jungle will never die. (Houndstooth)