THE CLASSICS REVISITED – Splash – Babylon – Dee Jay Recordings.
January 13, 2017
I was in a very lucky place (see what I did there) in the 90s. I was part of the NASA night and got to meet Trace when he first came to the states in 93. He had a bag of bare dubs and blew the minds of what would be the first generation of Junglists in NYC. After a few months he linked me with the mailing list for Dee Jay Recordings and Lucky Spin Records. I would come home to find a brown envelop with “royal mail” stamped across the front and records inside! It was a magical time!
Sometime around the spring of 95 I got a package. Inside was a test pressing/promo that said Splash “Babylon”. At this point I had a few Splash, and Daz releases, and had heard this tune, without knowing its proper name, on rave tapes that I found along the way. Particularly the so called “AWOL LIVE” mix. I pulled the disk out of the sleeve and placed it on the decks expecting to hear a typical amen workout. What I received was a slice of history.
One side held “Heaven” Ambient sounds, leading to a female vocal and Pleader drums. Fast reverse snares and a FAT 808 drop into a heads down roll out. Around the second break Sci Fi sounds add to the already dark mood. A solid release for sure.
The other side however contains madness in the form of pure Jungle vibes.
Jungle sounds, animal noises and a sweet pad melody, layer with Pleader drum chops, some drum machine rim shots and reverse edits lead up to a time stretched Snare intro. Amen Brother fills the drumline and machine gun snare drum rolls build the tension. The snare breaks for to a vocal that has become one of the most quoted in the history of our music…
“I n I know, that alla da yout, will witness the day that Babylon shall FAAAAALLLLLLL”
The 808 drops and the Amen starts it relentless push upon your soul. 16th note rolls close each section with a reminder that the vibe is too think to ignore. A dog barks over the system and you can’t stop nodding your head to this! At the first breakdown the vocal returns and Pleader takes the lead. A new 808 line rides the low end and the amen’s come back to keep you bouncing. Vocal stabs layered with the tune round it all out to create an infectious groove. From London to Lisbon, From L.A. to Toronto and all over the planet. This tune defined the Splash sound. Setting a trend that was soon to be labeled “Hard Step” by some.
Producer Daz Ellis changed the game with this one. He went onto to release as Undercover Agent, Daz, Splash, Kid Jayand many other aliases. You can keep up with him at https://www.facebook.com/daz.ellis1