Ragga Twins Ragga Twins Step Out

On the heels of Soul Jazz’s Rumble In The Jungle early ’90s jungle retrospective comes this welcome collection of the Ragga Twins’ brief but influential career. Flinty Badman and Deman Rockers were well known sound system DJs in late ’80s London, with the latter recording typical but excellent digital dancehall singles (one of which is represented here). Upon meeting the Shut Up and Dance production crew, the team set out to make high-octane hip-hop with speedy raga-style vocals. What they created were the building blocks of jungle. Though most tracks here are in the 120-BPM range or lower, the non-stop chatter of the Twins and aggressive sound of the breaks were revolutionary. They were big stars in the break beat-based hardcore house movement but their subterranean bass lines and early dancehall leanings (with Frankie Paul samples and a track with Junior Reid) set them apart from their acid-house derived contemporaries. And yet, their squelchy synths and dark string pads were the very definition of party music in the post-Acid era in the UK. Beloved by ravers and ragamuffins, this comp proves that the punk-like simplicity and excitement of their singular album from 1991 and other contemporary tracks were a milestone in dance music. This music is still terrifically exciting. (Soul Jazz)