Whatever happened to … Precious Material?

“… At Basement Records we also wanted the artists to sample as little as possible, to create pioneering and original material, hence the label title ‘Precious Material’. Some of the releases are produced in the studio and some are recorded live performances…”- Phil Wells reflects on the label’s ethos and purpose

Precious Material

Precious Material

After a long hiatus, the blog’s “Whatever happened to …?” series return with the 9th installment. This time into the limelight is Precious Material; one of the most exhilarating and pioneering drum & bass labels of the mid-90s. Though short-lived, Precious Material has been one of the finest outlets of experimental drum and bass, integrating elements from various musical genres into the drum & bass template, defying stereotypes, constraints and agendas.

Established by Phil Wells in 1994 as a Basement Records’ subsidiary, during a time when drum & bass was still in its infancy, the main driver had been to foster a creative environment for established, as well as up-and-coming artists, free from dance-floor reactions and limitations. Following the huge success of the parent label Basement Records during the early rave years and the jungle/drum & bass evolution, Phil’s aspiration and incentive had always been to spearhead a new musical direction and introduce drum & bass to wider audiences.

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Whatever happened to … Hidden Agenda?

This is the first installment (an updated version in terms of content and structure) of the blog’s Whatever happened to …? article series, inspired by the eponymous Hidden Agenda album, released on the Swiss label Straight Ahead in 2000.

Hidden Agenda

Hidden Agenda

Intro:

“They’re talented boys! Fusing old-skool jazz, with a touch of the Miles stylez. They deal with a genre which was previously missing from Metalheadz. Our Urban Break-beat representatives up north”. – Goldie on Hidden Agenda

“Metalheadz gives us the freedom to try out new things and to develop our music without the usual constraints alongside like-minded artists”. – Hidden Agenda

(Notes taken from the inner sleeve of the first Platinum Breakz volume, released in 1996)

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Whatever happened to … Mouly & Lucida?

Mouly & Lucida

Mouly & Lucida

Intro:

The eighth installment of the “Whatever happened to …?” series is dedicated to one of the most exciting, though short-lived, mid-nineties drum and bass outfits Mouly & Lucida. Both hailing from the town of Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, the duo emerged in 1995, championing the quality over quantity ethos, creating serious waves in the drum and bass landscape of the time.

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Whatever happened to … Foul Play?

Foul Play

Foul Play

Intro:

The seventh installment of the “Whatever happened to …?” series is dedicated to Foul Play; a pioneering, genre-defining and innovative electronic music act, heralding the transition from hardcore breakbeat to jungle/drum and bass. Being active almost throughout the 90s (the band’s synthesis changed twice during its activity, due to unforeseen circumstances) constantly re-inventing themselves, with dexterous, second-to-none programming and sample manipulation, their illustrious productions have marked indelibly the UK underground music map.

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Whatever happened to … Essence Of Aura?

Essence Of Aura

Essence Of Aura

Intro:

The sixth installment of the “Whatever happened to…?” series is dedicated to a highly influential music trio; one of the pioneering electronic music bands that came from hardcore beginnings,  progressed through jungle techno to drum and bass and has been active throughout the first half of the 90s. Despite their short-lived career, the trio released timeless classics along the way, before they finally disbanded in 1996.

Essence Of Aura, referred to also as EOA onwards, were formed in late 1990, originally based in Kenilworth, UK before moving to Coventry in 1992. The founding members have been Tim Grantham (DJing, Management and Production responsibilities) Ian Scott (Sampling and Production) and James Mitton-Wade (Production, Programming and Engineering duties for all EOA tracks).

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Whatever happened to … Voyager?

Pete Parsons

Voyager

 

Intro

The fifth installment of the series is dedicated to one of the most influential figures of the jungle/drum and bass scene Pete Parsons aka Voyager. A prolific producer and dexterous engineer, active since the early 90s and throughout the golden era of jungle/drum and bass, Parsons has made an indelible print on the underground dance music map, involved in various projects not pertaining only to drum and bass. The purpose of this article is to shed light on Parsons’ invaluable contribution to the evolution and transition of breakbeat/hardcore to ambient jungle and drum and bass.

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Whatever happened to … Endemic Void?

“Ennio Morricone meeting Isaac Hayes in a full-on jungle vibe, Endemic Void  pushes the limits of time-stretchology with this deep, cinematic, frontline  fanfare. Rich, vibrant and all-encompassing” –   (Melody Maker, 1995) 

Endemic Void

Endemic Void

The fourth installment of the series is dedicated to one of the unsung heroes of the golden era of drum and bass Danny Coffey (aka Basic One, Blades, Tertius, Endemic Void, Slipstream and Strictly Rockers).

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