Apparently it's been a whole month since I last put together a Darkside post. Time to get back at it, I guess. Today's theme: creepy name tunes
.mp3 - Johnny Jungle "Johnny"
Founder of of the creepy name sub-genre; co-produced by Frontline/True Playaz artist Pascal and the less prolific Sponge. "Johnny" is another Darkside exploration of claustrophobia and paralytic terror. The gasping vocal hook (apparently pulled from the movie Marked For Death
) pleads incessantly over a break that never seems to cut itself loose. Abbreviated hoover loops and clipped atmospherics add to the sense of constraint and confusion.We're all gonna die here
"Scottie" makes my arm hairs stand on end. This version is just a shade less impressive than the original which is a little more sparse and makes better rhythmic use of the "Scottie" sample. Still, it's a brilliant track - utterly creepy with a pummeling Amen mash-up as its foundation. Though the main vocal sample has been attributed to Star Trek
(you'll swear it's Kirk) my brief investigation seems to point squarely at the film Evil Dead
as the sole source for vocals, screams and menacing giggly creatures. Though comical in one sense the vibe is still heavy, particularly when you consider it in the context of Rave dissolving into paranoia and death obsession. mp3 - Subnation "Scottie (Remix)"
Still, the song itself is only part of the story. It's a good deal more chilling when you hear it in its intended live context, so I'm also posting a clip from an AWOL night at London's Paradise club in 1993. From the sounds of it, this may have been the first time the track was played out live. The tune drops in as the night is winding down - air horns are blaring and it sound like there might be a fight starting somewhere in the room. Then MC GQ and someone from the crowd each yell "We're all gonna die here!" in time with the song which eventually calls back: "We're not gonna die. We're gonna get out of here." In this context, the song plays like a very literal survivalist anthem. Whether AWOL's roughneck mystique was more reality or legend, I'm not sure (sounds pretty friendly in this description
), but the vibe contained in this clip is heavy
indeed.mp3 - "Scottie" @ AWOL (clip)
Dead man walking
Two licks of what my be the pinnacle of creepy-name junglism: Remarc's "Ricky." If you've seen John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood
you'll recognize the vocal hook. It's from the moment when Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr) watches helplessly - his world suddenly silent and moving in slow motion - as his friend is shot. It's the same sense of paralysis conveyed by a tune like "Johnny." Accordingly, Remarc locks Tre's scream in Gabber-like loops (VIP mix). However, the breaks are all over the place. Whereas Johnny and Scotty were stuck, Ricky's running for his life. The real hair-on-end bits here are the comically slowed down and contorted screams (VIP @ 2:24 and Remix @ 3:25). The VIP Mix contains a cheeky cut-up of Ricky's girlfriend that leaves her saying "I got shot." And tying everything together neatly is Remarc and Lewi's intro to the remix which uses the same "Johnny" sample layered with some timestretched badman threats.mp3 - Remarc "Ricky (VIP Mix)"
From Remarc Unreleased Dubs 94-96
Strongly recommended and currently available to buy on Planet Mu
.mp3 - Remarc and Lewi Cifer "Ricky (Ricky and Lewi Remix)"**Some of the above sample info is borrowed from Jari's 'Drum & Bass sample list' which I highly recommend to any music nerd.