I bought it in a sale at WHSmiths. I think I was inspired to buy it by ABC’s song “When Smokey Sings”, who I vivvidly remember on Top of the Pops that year, so I’ll play that here.
The last two 12”s I bought I got at the same time, presumably (from the release dates) in 1995, from a very cool independent record shop in my hometown. I was completely obsessed with drum and bass at this time.
Roni Size “Timescretch”/”Phyzical”. The originals of these came out earlier in the 1990s and these were remixes released in 1995, “Phyzikal” engineered by Photek and remixed by Ray Keith, a 45rpm double A side released on V Recordings (V011). Roni Size was from Bristol and at the “intelligent” and jazzy end of the drum and bass spectrum, the Thelonius Monk of the scene – in fact, these tracks are a little bebop in their sensibility, breaking up a melody and reconstructing it, speeding up and slowing down its temporality.
This is the YouTube of the soulful and uplifting 1993 version. The 1995 version is clunkier, darker and more minimal.
D*Note “Criminal Justice”. I had the 33⅓ rpm promo version, for some reason (the proper 12″ had a Guy Called Gerald remix), released on Dorado (DOR031). The A side was the song, with East London original junglist MC Navigator on vocals, the B side an instrumental.
Political songs like this were fairly unusual in the jungle scene at that time. While the lyrics also nod to the 1992 LA riots, they mainly commemorate what seemed to me one of the most important causes of the mid-1990s, the campaign against the John Major government’s Criminal Justice Bill (CJB), which sought to criminalise various forms of protest and social behaviour, including raving (famously targeting music with “repetitive beats”) and squatting. Consequently, opposition to it mobilised an interesting coalition of ravers and crusties, and various innovative forms of protest developed. Paralleling the anti-road-building movement of the time (most notably the campaign against the M11 extension in Wanstead, East London), the movement was part of the blossoming anti-capitalist politics that for a while in the late 1990s evaded and exceeded the boring and reactionary strategies of the traditional left.