05 April 2005


I've been meaning to write this post since that Dissensus thread last month. "Bleep 'n' Bass" is indeed an anachronistic term for the style of music that was popular around 1989-91. Back then, we just called it 'Bleep music'. It appears that the "...'n' Bass" bit was retrofitted by Mr. Reynolds in the late nineties. Such is the power of Simon's reputation that we all just assumed he was right and started using the term ever since, even though it was a misnomer!

A couple of contemporaneous examples of the use of the term 'Bleep'....

Bio Rhythm

This is Network's first "Bio rhythm" compilation from 1990, subtitled "Dance Music With Bleeps". Actually, I wouldn't class most of the stuff on here as Bleepy, really. For me, true Bleep music comes from the North of England...artists like Sweet Exorcist, Unique 3 and Rob Gordon's Forgemasters. Nearly all the tracks here are licenced from American labels like KMS and Transmat (Detroit), Future Sound (Chicago) and Nu Groove (New York). The only tune that really meets the criteria is Mark Gamble's Rhythmatic project, which revels in sub-bass extremity and some pretty decent bleep riffs. Actually, I still really like those Rhythmatic productions, so let's have a listen...

MP3: Rhythmatic - Take Me Back (Bass Head Mix)

Bleeps International

Hrrrm...this deeply suspect-looking example of 'Bleepsploitation' was released by the Essex-based Fast Forward Records. From the dodgy sleeve art down, this album reeks of cash-in. All the artists featured are obscure (in fact, I suspect that most of them might be the same person(s)!), except for LFO. No, not that LFO. This duo were Les Cutmore and Lewis Paul III who, despite probably being the first to use the name, will always be known as the 'Fake LFO'. Perhaps the real LFO had them in mind when they recorded the line "There are many imitators but we are the true creators" on "We Are Back" (which was itself a thematic rip-off of Phuture's "The Creator").

I gave the record a spin on the weekend, and actually found most of it still pretty listenable, even though there's nothing that comes close to the sheer emotional depth and utterly alien textures of the true Northern sound. Still, thought I'd rip a couple of tunes for any curious punters out there...

MP3: Bleeps International - Bleeps International

MP3: LFO - Brainstorm