Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Oliver: Altern 8 - Give It To Baby [Peel Session] (9 February 1992)

It's only come back to me over recent posts, just how many bands/collectives of the early 90s had numbers in their name.  Already on here we've seen Krispy 3 and Subsonic 2.  Then there were those who chose to incorporate a pun with their number or an unorthodox spelling, such as Katch 22, but they looked like rank time wasters next to Liverpool duo Altern 8 who had the number, the pun, the standout image (chemical warfare survivors) and the tunes.  Worth remembering that Altern 8 were a side project from a collective unpromisingly called Nexus 21.

From the recording of 9/2/92 that I heard, only Give It To Baby was present, but I've gone against previous practice and chosen to include the whole Peel session which contained it rather than leading with the studio version.  This is mainly because the two versions are poles apart from each other.  Listening to Give It To Baby in isolation from the other tracks in the session, it sounds mellow, almost dinner party rave despite the laid back drum & bass sound on the beats.  Amid the squelches and beeps, there is a rinky-dink effect that puts me in mind of a post Peel track which Rob Da Bank played in 2006 by Coleen et des Boîtes de Musique called What Is a Componium?.  I would probably have passed on it had it not somehow stimulated the ear heart or the sampled shout of "Here We Go Again" not jolted me from my reverie.  In its recorded format, the track is amazingly different - sounding like an all terrain driving computer game with A-Levels and a title line sample  that was as sultry as the Session version was impassioned.
To hear the session version, you will need to go to 5:53 on the video.  Around it you can hear some scorchingly hardcore rave, but which fuses in what would become more widely known as drum and bass throughout.  The full layout of tracks is:
1 Frequency (Sample 8 mix)
2 Give It To Baby
3 Say it Y'all - which would be re-worked to give them a Top 3 hit single called E*Vapor*8
4 Active 8 (La Song Mix)

If nothing else, it's a nice snapshot of a duo who would enjoy a great year in 1992 with 3 Top 20 singles and a Top 11 album - all after this Peel Session, which was originally broadcast on 24 November 1991.

Videos courtesy of bassbytes (Peel Session) and DaBlazingAsian (record version)

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