Boomkat Product Review:
More nostalgic joy from the Death is Not the End crew - 'Pure Wicked Tune' is a set of deejay led concréte chop-ups nabbed from London soundsystems between the mid '80s and early '90s. Soul, funk, boogie, and rare groove bitten into by reggae sirens and omnipresent toasting - we're sold.
Before electronic dance music blossomed and bloomed in the late 1980s and came to dominate the British club scene in the 1990s and beyond, house parties and dances were dominated by radically different sounds - from reggae and soul to funk and boogie. Like Death is Not the End's rave adverts series, this collection plays like a time capsule of an era that's not really been documented and shines a light on a period of time in London that's often referenced but rarely interfaced with. "Pure Wicked Tune: Rare Groove Blues Dances & House Parties 1985-1992" is the first in a new series from the label that explores the sounds of UK soundsystem culture, assembling cuts from tapes distributed back in the day, recording music and vibes from South and East London's dances that dwindled once rave and jungle became dominant.
Listen carefully to the sounds that emerged in the early 1990s though and you'll hear traces of all of this music: 4hero and Giles Peterson's Talkin' Loud imprint for example constantly referenced this era, sweeping up the ashes of London's soul and funk soundsystems and reforming into something fresh and urgent. The music we're presented with here gives context for those sounds; reggae toasters and DJs blending burned-out rare grooves and embellished with studio effects, sirens and chatter that was as important as the music itself.