X Nation is part of the label team at Foundation X, owner of Oldskool Officials and a recording artist in his own right. His recent remixes for Digital (Ras 78) and Skitty (Hornsman) hit the perfect spot between modern and traditional jungle. These have been greeted with a rapturous response both online and on the dancefloor. We asked him for a current top ten of oldskool sounds.
Stream them all in this YouTube Playlist
Tom And Jerry – We Can Be Free (Shell)
No top ten oldskool list would be complete without a bit of Tom And Jerry. This one in particular really tickles me, it has a manic arrangement and lots of samples but fits together all so beautifully.
Naz A.K.A Naz – It’s Started Again (786 Approved)
Such a rough tune, proper hardcore proto jungle goodness, sample has been used many times in drum and bass tracks since. Clearly an influential piece of music.
Phantasy & Gemini – Ruff Beats Producing The Bass (Liquid Wax)
More goodness from 1992. Phantasy made heaps of amazing hardcore and jungle in the 90’s. I nearly chose “Never Try The Hippodrome”, which is also great, but this one sneaks ahead probably because it’s got an amen!
DJ Crystl – Warpdrive (Dee Jay Recordings)
First time I heard this I think I was on acid, it felt like an alien invasion coming through the speakers. Super sick sci-fi vibes, so futuristic at the time, unique and almost scary but so pleasing to the ears.
DJ Dove – Bird Of Prey (Self Released)
First heard this getting played by Bukem in 1993/94 and spent years trying to find out what it was. Eerie bird call intro followed by hammer horror strings leading into one thumping amen drop. Was ecstatic when it finally got released in 2008.
Dillinja – You Don’t Know [The Remix] (Logic)
I could probably make a whole top ten out of Dillinja tunes, but that would be unfair to everyone else! You Don’t Know [The Remix] is Dilly during his Logic Production days and is him at his best, the control over the amen break is ridiculous. Jaw dropping.
A Guy Called Gerald – Anything (Columbia)
Another tune which at the time stood out, like miles out. Nothing sounded like this. Dark, spooky, cinematic, rolling. Gerald does not get anywhere near enough props for his part in the evolution of jungle!
The Invisible Man – The End (Timeless)
You can see a bit of a trend in my top ten. Epic dark alien soundscape vibes are my favoured sound and this one from Invisible Man ticks all the boxes. The title is fitting as the intro sounds like impending doom.. the female vox and phased amens just take me away to another planet.
Babylon Timewarp – Durban Poison [Nut-E-1 Remix] (Subliminal)
The original “Durban Poison” was a huge anthem but the Nut-E-1 Remix hurts me it’s so good. Fun to mix the intro too with drum rolls, yet more phased amens and that mystic far east breakdown with dub stabs, urgh too much!
Gwange And Spinback – The Execution (Legend Records)
Last tune in the top ten and yet another scary sci-fi amen riddim. I’ve never been abducted by aliens but I’d imagine that if you did get zapped into a UFO for probing, they’d probably have this playing on their stereo.