I have a guest blog this month from one of my biggest fans, so it seems. Simon Royal had been popping up on my Twitter feed for almost six months, nearly every single day. For a long while it was all about World Of Rave. They ran out after a while so he delved deep in to my live mix archives. Here are a few words from the man I call the “Rave Soldier”!
165 Days Of Rave… Nothing But Slipmatt!
I’m a huge dance fan. My younger days were filled with tape packs from Dreamscape, Fantazia and United Dance. I loved the jungle and happy hardcore sets from the likes of Sy, Seduction, Dougal, Hixxy, Vibes, Brisk, Clarkee, LTJ Bukem, Kenny Ken and SS. The rawness of them and the introduction of MCs and rewinds made them fantastic experiences. It was these cassette packs that first introduced me to Slipmatt.
His mixing and music choice stood out from the rest and sparked a love for everything he did. His United Dance Anthems albums became two of my favourite CDs ever, crossing music genres from 88 to 97. Fast forward almost 20 years I am still loving Slipmatt’s work. I still have my passion for old skool rave, jungle and happy hardcore as well as a new found love of acid house.
In September 2016 I stumbled across Slipmatt’s World Of Rave Show online. It is a weekly live mix showcasing some of the best in old skool dance music. It had started in 2013 so decided to start from the beginning and it sparked what would turn out to be an epic adventure into dance music.
Over the next 165 days I listened to nothing but Slipmatt. I cranked out every World Of Rave Show from the beginning to the current (which is 199) as well as every mix on Slipmatt.net and then every mix of his I could find on YouTube, plus my United Dance and Raindance CD albums and finally the CD from my United Dance ‘End Of An Era’ Bagleys pack – which I thought was rather apt to finish off my raving road trip.
I notched up a staggering 429 hours of music from Slipmatt in 165 days. That’s an average of 2.6 hours every day although some days I was listening to up to 10 hours a day. I even got a mention in World Of Rave show number 189 – after tweeting daily about what I was listening to. It has been an absolutely amazing journey, racking up over 4,000 choons covering early hip house, acid house, rave, jungle, drum n bass, 4 beat, happy hardcore, techno and even added in a little speed garage, trance and hip hop and all mixed together perfectly by the godfather of rave himself.
An extra bonus to rattling out so much quality dance music, is my four children aged from 6 to 14 have been treated to some of the best music ever produced, filling their ears and heads even without them knowing it. I have found them humming to choons and even giving the occasional ‘I love this track’ to something produced over a decade before they were born.
It really is hard to pick just a few tracks that stand out and have defined my musical taste. Below are tracks I have loved over the past few decades, most of which I have heard somewhere in one of the 400+ hours of Slipmatt mixes. Most I already knew and a few new gems to treasure.
‘Acid Thunder’ by Fast Eddie
‘Activ8’ by Altern8
‘Airhead (SMD Remix)’ by Brisk
‘Bombscare’ by 2 Bad Mice
‘Charly’ by Prodigy
‘Chime’ by Orbital
‘Energy Flash’ by Joey Beltram
‘Everybody In The Place (155 And Rising)’ by Prodigy
‘Far Out’ by Sons Of Da Loop Da Loop Era
‘Fire (Urban Shakedown Remix)’ by Prizna
‘Helicopter Tune’ by Deep Blue
‘Humanoid’ by Stakker
‘I Need Your Loving’ by Baby D
‘In Complete Darkness’ by The Fat Controller
‘Incredible featuring General Levy’ by M Beat
‘LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)’ by LFO
‘Love Of My Life’ by DJ Dougal
‘Man Of Steal’ by Vinyl Syndicate
‘Oh Boy’ by Johnny L
‘On A Ragga Tip’ by SL2
‘Pulp Fiction’ by Alex Reece
‘Renegade Snares’ by Omni Trio
‘Roobarb And Custard’ by Shaft
‘Ruffneck Biznizz’ by Ellis Dee
‘Six Days On The Run’ by Jimmy J & Cru-LT
‘Sounds For The Underground’ by Krome & Time
‘Steamtrain’ by Hopscotch
‘Techno Wonderland’ by Ravers Choice
‘Trip To The Moon Part 2’ by Acen
‘Trip To Trumpton’ by Urban Hype
‘Valley Of The Shadows’ by Original Unknown
‘Whos The Bad Man’ by Dee Patten
’Ruff In The Jungle Bizzness’ by Prodigy
’The Chopper (Shy FX Remix)’ by Ray Keith
The last six months have been an experience I won’t forget. It has extended and cemented my love of old skool dance – an era that shouldn’t be forgotten, a golden age for the underground scene.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank not only Slipmatt for his sublime mixing and production skills, but the hundreds of other artists – Altern 8, 2 Bad Mice, Prodigy, Fast Eddie, SL2 and Acen to name a few – and MCs who have shaped my life and gotten me through some rough times.
What will I do next I am not sure? I may continue my love of the rave scene or take a break to listen to my other passion which is 1940s/50s golden oldies.
By Simon Royal
Big Up Simon Royal – The Rave Soldier!
This is the first time I’ve posted a guest blog, and it’s fully deserved in my opinion.
Please remember my World Of Rave Show every week – Your journey through some of the best years in rave………. :)