Label: not on label – none Format: Cassette, Mixtape Country: UK Released: 2022 Genre: Electronic Style: Drum n Bass, Downtempo, Ambient
Another mixtape from Peace Pipe, this time it's a long summer evening of lovers-inflected ambient jungle.
In 1995 I was sixteen, and while Jungle/Drum and Bass wasn’t the only music in my head it might well have been the most exciting. On Sunday nights, as often as we could, we would make the trek from South London to dance at Metalheadz in Hoxton Square, which felt like the end of the earth then. It was a long stepped basement dance-floor with a ceiling that dripped condensation and a smell of skunk and drain cleaner. Actually I remember little of the music. What was played was so far ahead of anything released, that anything recognisable had already been ripped up and re-contextualised, always a remix of a remix or an exclusive VIP version that you’d never get your hands on.
The records you could buy were a different story. One of my best friends religiously bought anything he could find. He had swapped a Hendrix/Maiden obsession for 1210s and a knackered Golf. The holy atmospheres of Unity, Blackmarket and Section Five did not intimidate him. And Reckless and MVE provided just slightly older records that helped explain why the new ones sounded how they did. In parks, cars and houses foolishly left unattended by our friends parents we listened to his mixes all that summer and the next. Compared to the air-brushed tears-in-rain sound of Metalheadz they had a rougher edge, more suburban, more soulful. Like this tape they eschewed darker more paranoid textures for a warmer more DIY take. They made explicit the music’s roots in lovers rock and wine-bar soul. Tearing amens were dialled back, synths were in a less forbidding more airy register and disembodied RnB vocals replaced horror samples. As they do here, big names under secret aliases, compilation only tracks, oddball B2s and mysterious white labels from a host of here and gone labels made up the always-secret track lists.
It’s too long since I last saw him, but this tape brings that time back.