From its origins in the back of the Boogie Times shop in Romford, Suburban Base quickly went on to establish itself as one of the electronic music world’s best labels.
From piano fuelled rave anthems to moody rollers through to huge jungle anthems, they quickly took up a place in the heart of those with a love for breakbeats and weekends spent in dark warehouses.
Over the years they’d even grace the national charts but it was their focus on quality tunes that would keep them at the top of their game. Sub Base is now back for 2014 with a hefty three disc compilation (“Suburban Base: The History of Hardcore, Jungle and Drum & Bass”) taking a look back over their output and a fully remastered back catalogue available digitally.
Now seems the perfect time for another dig through the archives and we though we’d pick out 10 of our own particular favourites, feel free to leave your own in the comments below and point out any we’ve missed out.
Also – for those in Glasgow with a flavour for this kind of old skool, make sure to check out the 48K Collective’s events.
10 Essential Suburban Base Classics
Sonz of a Loop Da Loop Era – Style Warz
The genius of Danny Breaks at work. This whole top 10 could have been made up of his Sub Base material but to keep it varied we’ll just pick one. This is one of my favourite Mr Breaks moments and was featured on the Sub Plates Vol 1 EP.
Tough drums, quality scratch shenanigans, hip hop samples galore and some nice uplifting pad action – what else do you need?
I put together a Danny Breaks tribute mix a couple of years ago so have a gander at that for more Breaks greatness.
Phuture Assasins – Phuture Sound (2 Bad Mice remix)
DRRRRRRRRRRRUMS. The drums are just ridiculous. Press play and bask in the breaks.
Rachel Wallace – Tell Me Why
That piano breakdown, ooft. Absolutely timeless breakbeat shenanigans with a vocal and frantic rave stabs that never leave your memory once there.
DJ Hype – Roll The Beats
An absolute monster – I can still remember hearing that intro for the first time like it was yesterday.
DJ Krome & Mr Time – The Slammer
Rollin’ rave goodness from Krome & Time. It’s a close one between this and “This Sound Is For The Underground” but “The Slammer” just edges it with that infectious high pitched synth hook, chunky amens and another monstrous piano breakdown ensuring the track’s anthem status.
Boogie Times Tribe – The Dark Stranger
While the Origin Unknown remix is now generally the version of this that everyone reaches for, it’s the original that stands out for us.
It has that classic old skool style feeling of being about 3 tracks crammed into one and is all the better for it. A classic dark roller.
Remarc – R.I.P
Without a doubt one of the biggest jungle tunes of all time and the amen master Remarc was on top form here.
Q Bass – Hardcore Will Never Die
Some more breakbeat driven rave goodness with label boss Dan Donnelly at the controls for this relentless roller.
Boogie Times Tribe – My Soul
This one saw proceedings take a bit of a deeper turn and showcase another side to the imprint’s output with Donnelly and D’Cruze teaming up for a Bukem-esque number with floaty pads and spacey atmospherics doing their thing over some tremendous breaks and an altogether laid back sub bass line.
D’Cruze – Are We In
Another slab of quality atmospheric drum n bass to bring this to a close with D’Cruze on top form here packing in phenomenal drum work as always and maintaining the dreamy atmosphere throughout.
Solid Sounds FM in Ireland also ran an interview a while back with Sub Base boss Dan Donnelly and went through some of the label’s finest tunes – have a listen below: