Ellis Dee, DJ Krome & Mr. Time ‘Free The Feeling/Drum Thunder’ 12″ – Originally released on New Dimension Records, 1993
“This project was more obscure than each others solo projects.We just worked with the samples that we had on they day. It wasnt planned” Ellis Dee tells me when I ask him about this record. At this time, early 1993, Ellis Dee had just completed his Ellis Dee Project series and had been performing as part of Rhythm Section for a number of years, as well as being one of the most booked DJ’s on the rave scene. Krome & Time were blowing up big in the clubs and on the pirate radio with their huge releases on Suburban Bass; ‘This Sound Is For The Underground/The Slammer’. Both acts had hugely unique sounds in their own rights, so the coming together of these two super powers was bound to create something extra special, though at the time it was more underground than their own solo projects.
Chatting to Krome & Time I inquire how the project came about.“It was Roys idea to write a tune together” Time tells me. “We had both been booked for a gig in Toronto, Canada in 1993. Mensa who ran Sterns Nightclub (in Worthing, West Sussex) had been approached by a guy in Canada who wanted to put on a rave”.
“This guy had won the actual lottery out there in Canada” Ellis Dee excitedly tells me, “But he had no knowledge on how to put on a rave, so he got a guy he knew to sort it out for him. He booked me, Krome & Time, Top Buzz and Jumping Jack Frost. It was madness!”.
Ordering room service in Toronto, Canada on the infamous tour. L-R: DJ Krome, Ellis Dee, Mr. Time & Jason K from Top Buzz.
“We were brought out on the Monday and the gig wasnt until the Saturday, I think they did that as the flights were cheaper or something” Krome explains.
“They didnt have a clue what they were doing. They put us in this hotel and left us there with room service all week. Between us we rinsed the room service and they had to come back 3 times that week to give the hotel more money as it kept running out. We took advantage of the situation!”. Ellis Dee recalls, “But by the time the Saturday comes around the promoter who was asked to put on the party had totally lost it! He didnt know what he was doing and the whole thing was falling apart, so Mensa stepped in and saved the event. He knew what he was doing and it wouldn’t have happened without Mensa and his knowledge of putting on parties!”.
Roy ‘Ellis Dee’ and Terry ‘Krome’ already new each other as teenagers being they were local to one another in Hackney. But Roy had moved away when his DJ career started taking off and wasn’t aware that Terry was now making music and DJing himself until a few years later, around 1992. But it was that trip to Canada that brought them back together and Roy met Bernie ‘Time’. So whilst on that trip they decided that upon getting back to London, they would go into the studio together and see what they could come up with. At this point Roy was between studios, so the tunes were done in Bernie’s front room. Bernie explains; “I was living in Bermondsey in 1993 in a flat above the entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel (a road tunnel under the River Thames that connects Tower Hamlets on the north of the river to Southwark on the south)and I remember how easy it was writing those tunes. It only took a couple of sessions to finish them”.
“I remember that the mixing desk was balanced on a couple of chairs or something, or maybe it was the speakers?” Roy elaborates. “Austin from Sub Base brought his desk and speakers down to Bernie’s and mixed down the tune for us,balancing his stuff around his front room”.
I wanted to know how the name for the label came about. Roy jokes “Probably the name of Bernie’s television of something!”.
DJ Krome, Ellis Dee & Mr. Time in Toronto, Canada on that madness tour! 3rd July 1993.
Future commitments prevented them from working together again on more music but the friendship between Bernie and Roy created more than just music as Bernie explains “I went to a gig with Roy in 93 down in Aldershot somewhere and I endup meeting this girl. Well,we got on really well so we got together and we ended up having three wonderful kids. So I have to thank Roy for that!”