3rd Rail – Look No Further EP

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3rd Rail ‘Look No Further’ EP – Originally released on Delirious Recordings in 1992 – Vinyl Fanatiks 008.

Two very old friends of mine and an EP I totally forgot they had made together. It was only whilst looking up KZ1’s release on Stu J’s label Adrenaline (a label I am reissuing in 2020) that I stumbled across this EP. A few calls to the guys and Andy Wright at Delirious and everything was put into place for this reissue.

Ian (KZ1) use to write record reviews for Wax, Hit The Decks and Blaze Magazine back in the day. He was also the photographer for Fantazia in the early 90’s as well as a very confident DJ. Ian was the first person I knew to have Technics 1200’s and its round his place that I first learnt to mix (it was also the first place that DJ Format and Ben 3rd Rail learnt to mix, so a very famous set of decks indeed!) Ian had every new tune going as he was on all the mailing lists due to the reviews he did for the magazines, whether it was hardcore or UK hip hop. It was paradise!

A photo of an 18 year old me, mixing for the first time on Ian KZ1’s decks… 1992!

At the same time I was trainwrecking mixes on Ian’s decks, Ben (3rd Rail) was busy writing tunes with him in Ian’s bedroom studio. Ian laughs when I refer to his ‘studio’ as in his eyes it was just a collection of equipment that was a means to an ends, but to me, it was a studio and it made music and I was jealous! Within it were the following items for all you tech-headz out there: Akai S950, Atari ST with Cubase, a Kawai K1R synth and an Alesis Midiverb 2. As Ian says “Pretty basic setup, but it did the job”

KZ1’s ‘basic’ bedroom studio set up at the house he shared with his brother in Fair Oak, Eastleigh. 1992!

It was over a World Class Wrecking Cru 12″ that Ben and Ian first became friends! Back in 1989, Ian was walking through the college grounds and stopped to chat to a friend, whilst carrying a bundle of records under his arm. The record on top was a Word Class Wrecking Cru 12″. Ben, who at this time was 2 floors up in a classroom, somehow spotted this record under Ian’s arm and realised he had to meet this stranger and bolted down two flights of stairs. As Ian says “Thankfully, Ben has long legs and made short work of it!’ They instantly became friends.

Oddly enough Ben already sort of knew Ian, because back then there wasn’t much hip hop on the radio and Ben had managed to stumble across a show on BBC Radio Bristol by a DJ called Tristan B. Ian use to do mini-mixes for the show on his Tascam 4-track and Tristan always credited someone called ‘Ian from Eastleigh’ for them. So Ben was doubly freaked out when the guy he just exhausted himself to meet was not only into hip hop but also the guy who was creating the mixes for Tristan B (I too use to listen to Tristan B as well. Growing up in a small village in the New Forest didn’t present many hip hop opportunities back in 88/89, so in the evenings I use to slowly trawl though the FM and AM dial on a radio patiently looking for hip hop, which is how I stumbled across Tristan B, the same way that Ian and Ben had!) 

L-R: 3rd Rail, (Moley), KZ1 showcasing a fanciful collection of curtains (1995).

3rd Rail was never big into what he called ‘the rave scene’, but he always watched the TV program hosted by Normski called ‘Dance Energy’ on BBC2 and as well as seeing groups like Hijack and Run DMC perform, he was also drawn in by performances by The Scientist and SUAD. He started to get into Depthcharge, SL2 and releases on Kickin Records and loved how these records were sampling hip hop records and being that he had a big collection of hip hop himself, he wanted to give it a try! So he brought over some records to be sampled and Ian played the synths and basslines and together, in early 1992, the ‘Look No Further’ EP was created. As Ian was already reviewing music for magazines, he had good contacts, one of those being Delirious Recordings, being that he had done some glowing reviews of their releases. So the obvious home for the 3rd Rail EP was with that label. He also did a minimix for the label back in 1992 which has never been online before, until now:

KZ1 Minimix for Delirious Recordings. recorded back in 1992 (and never before been online):

http://slapmypitchup.com/mixes/Delirious-Records-Megamix.mp3?fbclid=IwAR170GnCNl575JQ5uIMFPo7QW9NThE2u0fkP_w8LDobdNB0Mi2Zl2eZk8x0

And now, 27 years later, the EP is fetching £200 a copy on Discogs, which neither of them had any knowledge of, until I made contact with them in regards to reissuing the EP! As is the way with many of these projects from back then, the masters no longer exist. Ben, Ian and Andy at Delirious all scoured their cupboards and lofts for the past 6 months to no avail. Ben provided an unplayed copy from his collection which was then sent to Dapz at Compound Music who recorded the EP, restored it and then remastered if, creating an absolutely amazing set of masters which were then passed onto Simon at The Exchange who cut it using the original Neuman lathe that he had when he was cutting all the jungle classics from back in the early 1990’s. The end result is as good as the original pressing and we are super proud to be able to offer this record to you all as part of our ongoing reissue project.

3rd Rail and KZ1 back together again – Southampton, June 2019 (Photo by me!).

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