Friday, 11 November 2016

Oliver: The Ragga Twins - Bring Up the Mic Some More/Ragga Trip [Peel Session] (23 February 1992)

Greetings fellow citizens of the new world order... You're going to have to wait a couple of posts or two before I come to my cast iron "Now this is soooo apposite in this post-Trump election victory world" selection, but hearing The Ragga Twins launch into the first half of the session they recorded for "John Orange Peel" and them dedicating it to "The England posse, the Great Britain posse and all over the world..." before concluding with "We love all people" made me nostalgic.  There hasn't been enough of that in 2016, has there?

So enough with the politics and philosophy - on with the music.  I missed the second half of The Ragga Twins session on this date, which included tracks called The Truth and Tansoback, but the first half, represented here by the studio versions, was a doozy.  Bring Up The Mic Some More had, in its session version, some more vocalisations with Flinty Badman and Deman Rocker bantering with the sampled sound system MC, warbling diva and providing exhortations to those listening at home at 11:30pm on a Sunday evening to get up and dance.  But even with the embellishments, the core strengths remained in place: the jungle drum 'n' bass rhythms, the Missy Elliottesque synth lines, the  ominous compression of the "farting wasp warp".   A standout track from their Reggae Owes Me Money album, which showed these veterans of the London Sound System scene very audibly switching horses to the electronic rave scene and playing a huge part in starting off Jungle music as a result - something which squares like myself, and most of Radio 1, wouldn't cotton on to until the mid 90s; 1 in the Jungle and all that. Even then, I wasn't listening anywhere as closely as I should have been, simply associating the whole thing with Goldie's teeth.  Ah well, the benefit of age over youth is that it allows you to repent at leisure.
The second track, Ragga Trip, one of their earliest releases on Shut Up and Dance is less sonically interesting than Bring Up The Mic Some More, but offers a cracking narrative with Flinty and Deman trading lines about the tribulations of Ecstasy parties in Finchley and how their music could widen eyes and minds more effectively and more healthily than any little pill.

Videos courtesy of indiedancepop and bassbytes.

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