DJ Junk ‘Do It – Do it’ – Originally released on DJ Junk Recordings, December 1992.
John Isaacs AKA DJ Junk is an old friend of mine. I have known him since 1988 as I was a graffiti writer, as was he. The first time I ever saw him was I was coming into Bournemouth Station on a train and on the side of the track, in broad daylight, was John, painting a piece on the back of the old Post Office building. He reminded me of Cap from Style Wars due to his long blonde hair and old skool dress sense! John was doing big burners at this time, I was still a young kid from the New Forest learning my trade. We have had many adventures together, one being a trip to New York in 1992 to the Zulu Nation 18th Birthday Anniversary, as he was invited to the event by Crazy Legs from Rock Steady Crew alongside his fellow crew members from Second To None Breakers, Daryl ‘Ice Kid Dee’ Harding and Nick ‘Freeze Fine’ Palmer. The whole trip was madness from beginning to end and a story in itself. But lets get back to this record…
The all time B-Boy Champions of Europe, Second To None. L-R: Adam, Daryl ‘Ice Kid Dee’, Acer, Nick ‘Freeze Fine’, Tony ‘The Pencil’ and John ‘Junk’ – 1995
‘Do It – Do It’ was written in October 1992. John had just released Junk 2 which had done really well, so he wanted to capitalise upon its success. The tune was written at the Tone Def Studios (Moving Shadow/Vinyl Fanatiks) and engineered by Roger. Roger worked the Akai 950 – “As I wasnt quite proficient enough on it yet. I was basically learning it still, but I was learning it fast!” John tells me. John operated Cubase and provided the samples for the session which he can still recall clearly, all these years later – Mental Cube ‘Q’ for the strings, Meatbeat Manifesto ‘Radio Babylon’ for the drumbreak – “A lot of people had already sampled this anyway” John tells me, Symphony Sounds ‘Really Living’ was the other drumbreak, Imperial Brothers ‘We Come To Rock’ for the intro and Disco Four ‘Do It – Do – It’ for the vocal.
John put it straight onto TP and decided to let it build for a few months before releasing it (The first set of commercially available whites were available December 1992 and the official release was January 1993). Carl Cox was straight on it and was the releases biggest supporter, playing it in every set for months at the end of 1992 after John gave him a copy when Carl was playing Club Remix in Bournemouth. When the release came out in January 1993, Junk 4 was also ready, so Junk 3 & 4 were both released at the same time.
DJ Junk on the decks in his bedroom in Bournemouth, 1988.
Only 500 of the original one sided record were pressed up and distributed through Mo’s Music. John would get the records pressed at Damont Audio in Hayes, Middlesex and drive up from Bournemouth in his van (an old BT works van if my own memory serves me correct! – Brent) and collect them. He would then drive across London to Mo’s which was situated at Walthamstow where him and Nick would handstamp them all in the car park before taking them in.“It didnt take too long as there were only 500, but it was fiddly doing them in the car park which is why some of them were smudged or misaligned” John recalls.“But thats what adds to the charm of doing white labels at the time. It was all DIY”.
It only took a few months to get paid back then from Mo’s but due to the speed the music of the time was changing and styles were quickly going out of fashion only 300 of the 500 records were sold. Around mid 1993 John got a letter from Mo’s saying that they had 200 left in stock and that he needed to return to collect them within two months otherwise they would destroy them. “I let them get destroyed as I didnt think I would sell them as they were about 6 months old by then which is a long time in the rave scene. It would also cost to drive all the way up to get them and would take a day to do. I was also being lazy, something I regretted later on. However, not long before, Great Asset Distribution paid me twice for Junk 1 by accident, so its all swings and roundabouts” Junk muses. The scarcity of the original has helped it build up somewhat of a cult status within the vinyl collecting community, as well as it being a quality tune of course!
The Akai 950 and the Atari 1040 running Cubase.
We start talking about the whole DIY aspect of the independent record label industry back then and how different things are now, with the rise of digital platforms and the demise over recent years of the vinyl industry (though this is being recitifed by the hard work of the few and the keen support of the community – Brent). John reminisces “You use to sell records to the distro for £1.80 for single and £2.00 for an EP but they would cost roughly £1.00 to make. There was so much work involved that it was the worst business model ever. But it wasnt about making the money, it was just a fun thing to do”.
I wholeheartedly agree with you John!
Myself and DJ Junk with the original handstamp from 1992. I will be stamping all the ‘black labels’ with this stamp! Proper authentic biz!
Mad Dog ‘Hypnotise’ – Unreleased track written in 1993 but recently rediscovered in the Aquasky DAT case!
By late 1993, heading into 1994, Dave ‘Mad Dog’ Wallace was working a balancing act in the studio. The House Of Rave, 116 Avon Road, Bournemouth, was the location of a studio, a record label and occasional pirate radio and Olly Underdog, Shaun and Dave often went for long weekends in London, partying at the Dalston nightclub Labyrinth. But Olly had discovered the early formations of Happy Hardcore and was supplying Dave with music to inspire him to create something similar. There was already a heavy 4/4 bass drum in the Mad Dog releases and the samples were kind of similar, so it was an easy transition for Dave, the studio maestro, to perform. Some days he would be cranking out the jungle, on others it would be the pounding beat of Happy Hardcore.
So during this period, Dave was forging his own sound and on his days off would create some tracks by himself and the tune that is contained on the B-Side of this 7” is one of these, a tune that combines an element of both of the styles he was making at this time. The heavy jungle riddims of his sessions with Shaun coupled with a more upbeat vibe.
L-R: Shaun and Dave in Dave’s old bedroom in the house we all use to share. 1993
For all you tech headz out there, Dave has supplied a rundown of some of the kits that he linked up to make ‘Hypnotise’. The arpeggiated sound was created from a Roland SH101, a classic synth that still exists now in the Aquasky studio. The bassline was made from a Yamaha CS5. Now this was an awesome keyboard and one that appeared frequently through Aquasky’s music during the 1990’s. It had this awesome filter on it that you could patch a sample into and manually sweep and alter the depth and frequencies of the filters. The track ‘Concrete Boom’ that Aquasky wrote for Reinforced in 1996 showcases that filter. The pads, and they are classic Mad Dog sounding pads, came from a Kawai K4. The stabs in the tune were half-inched from Dave’s hardcore sessions. Most of this kit also appeared in the Mad Dog and Fugitive tunes of this time.
And there was one other key element to creating this track and most of the tracks that came out of 116 Avon Road at the time… it was compulsory! Our local corner Off License, Bennett Wines, did a strain of cider called Special Red (yes, all you spotters out there will be familiar with the Special Red release on red vinyl!!!) and to get maximum jungle flex from this bottle, it had to go into the freezer and drunk as a slush puppy. Many a time the oven chips and bags of peas had to be thrown out because one of us got too pissed and forgot to take a bottle out and it exploded, sending shards of glass through all the food!
Aquasky at Sly Stone’s old studio, The Record Plant, in Sausalito, San Francisco – 1998.
But that was our lives back then. The hub of the Bournemouth Jungle scene of that time came from that house and those who lived there or frequented it. There are many VHS cassettes full of footage of us fooling around with our long hair and baggy clothes! They were great times… which translated into the music made and ‘Hypnotise’ is one of those tracks that brings the positivity of early 1994 into 2019… Matured for 25 years in a DAT box, dusted off, restored and now brought to the world for the very first time as a 7” edit for the collectors and on a 12″ backed with the DJ Junk ‘Do It-Do It’ track for the DJ’s.