Since 1986, Alex Romane has worked with Electro Hip Hop, Folk, Thrash Metal, House, Techno, Acid, Hardcore, Punk Rock fusions [when engineering, co-writing and producing for Punk Rock and Thrash Metal bands on the live scene in London], Jungle/Drum and Bass, Reggae and Dub Reggae. During 1990, he also worked intermittently at Chrysalis in London as a trainee music producer under Stuart Slater's publishing department where the focus was on Acid and Acid Jazz with producer Evil Evan [20 Seconds to Comply - Silver Bullet].
The inter-play between layering processed drums with acoustic rhythms, synthesis, and sound engineering were Alex's passions and not wanting to be famous, he turned-down a publishing and recording contract with Chrysalis [who wanted him to front and promote his own music] and instead set out to establish himself within the industry as a freelance dance music producer and drum and synth programmer, writing and producing for others.
During 1990/91, Alex was sampling various drum sounds and loops [including James Brown and Schooly-D drum rhythms] into a friend's borrowed Boss DSD-2 Delay Sampler guitar pedal so as to provide a Breakbeat feel to back-up his Alesis drum machine in his Acid, House and Hardcore music.
The Breakbeat genre itself was created by early 1970's New York Funk and Soul DJs who started to mix the drum break parts of records back-to-back and, the Breakbeat genre may also be the world's first musical genre created without using instruments. Today's Jungle/Drum and Bass history writers and intelligentsia believe that UK producers sampling the Winstons' Amen, brother break beat into complex samplers [like the Akai S3000] led to the creation of Jungle/Drum and Bass but, this is incorrect and the truth of Jungle/Drum and Bass history can only come from those who can prove their direct involvement with Progressive Hardcore and the creation of Jungle/Drum and Bass music as a genre.
As far as we believe, Lennie De Ice and Alex Romane were the only producers who re-triggered, dissected, edited and rearranged Breakbeat drum samples [the essence of Jungle/Drum and Bass music] prior to 1991 and in Lennie's WE ARE i.e. [released in 1991], the Breakbeat drum sample [from The Winston's Amen, Brother] is re-triggered [twice in each bar] externally and isn't sliced or dissected by using the sampler's 'complex' editing tools. Other than Lennie, no one else released any tracks containing re-triggered and dissected break beats before mid-1991 and although Alex's first Jungle/Drum and Bass releases weren't available until after he was signed-up in 1992, he has been regularly dissecting and editing drum samples in his productions since 1987.
In 1991, Alex started adding his dissected Breakbeat samples to his Progressive Hardcore [as part of a conscious experiment to create a new genre] and shared demos with various A&R departments, record company executives, managers and producers. At around the same time, WE ARE i.e. was hitting the clubs and going national. Akai S3000 samplers weren't even available until 1993 and so obviously, they had no impact upon the creation of Jungle/Drum and Bass but, Jungle/Drum and Bass did though have an impact upon Akai samplers - with many producers who already had an S1000 or an S1100 suddenly now using them to sample break beats [mid-1991] but, replaying them re-triggered, dissected, edited, rearranged and, faster.
We do not believe that WE ARE i.e. being released around the same time that Alex was distributing his Jungle/Drum and Bass demos was a coincidence [WE ARE i.e. was produced in 1987 so could have been released any time before 1991] but, we do believe that Lennie's decision to release WE ARE i.e. at that time was made regardless of anything to do with Alex's music and, we believe that Jungle/Drum and Bass established itself so fast due to Lennie releasing WE ARE i.e. while Alex was pushing Jungle/Drum and Bass in the background.
In 1987 and in WE ARE i.e. Lennie re-triggered a Breakbeat sample and, we can only assume that Lennie had not heard the potential for a new genre when he did this and so didn't rush to release any follow-up tracks. On the other hand, Alex actually set-out to try and create a new genre in 1990 and, he describes the moment in 1991 when his two existing elements of a faster speed and irregular bass drum rhythms finally started to meld with a third element of re-triggered and dissected Breakbeat samples [new to everyone except for Lennie]. He also describes seeing multiple different arrangements and configurations for re-triggering itself [for examples of highly original reconfigurations, Alex suggests checking-out Rob Playford's work with Goldie from around the mid-1990's, any Jungle/Drum and Bass from Ronnie Size and Reprazent from around 1997 and, any Jungle/Drum and Bass from Kosheen from around the early 2000's].
We also don't believe that the speed of Jungle/Drum and Bass and its new bass drum rhythms [moving away from flat-beat to irregular] are coincidental either because while WE ARE i.e. has a regular flat beat bass drum rhythm and is only 136 BPM, Alex consciously chose in 1990 to increase the speed and to diversify the bass drum rhythm away from flat-beat [which was standard in most House and Hardcore tracks] as building blocks for a potential new genre.
Jungle/Drum and Bass history write-ups compiled by others who use retrospective revision can only be inaccurate and, omitting the world's first Jungle/Drum and Bass album is an obvious giveaway. To the intelligentsia and non-musicians, musical genres will always appear to evolve because they are generally not aware that there is [by default] a progressive front within every genre [whether it be Folk, Rock, Reggae or Hardcore etc] and, the intentional and very obvious jump in BPM was one of the three defining elements of Jungle/Drum and Bass music [only nature evolves - anything else is a creation]. With Alex choosing not to disclose his Jungle/Drum and Bass history and not to republish Delirious until 2013, the belief that Jungle/Drum and Bass music evolved from other genres went unchallenged.
To summarise; The Winstons' Amen, Brother break beat and many other break beats were being sampled into Akai samplers in various releases by multiple producers [including Alex] and even in the relevant Hardcore and Progressive Hardcore genres for at least 5 years prior to 1991 but, Jungle/Drum and Bass didn't occur during this period. Jungle/Drum and Bass only occurred after the dissection, rearrangement and speeding-up of sampled break beats that were featured in releases since 1991 and as now evident, only Lennie De Ice and Alex Romane were doing this prior to mid-1991. Jungle/Drum and Bass is not a sub-genre or a hybrid and so did not evolve from any pre-existing genre.
A key aspect and commonly-noted constant within much of Alex's music [of any genre] is that of tribalism and we believe that the BBC and Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia never hearing and commenting about this element within Jungle/Drum and Bass when its presence is so obvious is further testament to their lack of knowledge regarding Jungle/Drum and Bass music. However, with the BBC [and therefore many others] regurgitating that Jungle/Drum and Bass was an evolution [and therefore that one day somewhere in a magic studio, some break beats decided all by themselves to sample and dissect themselves against off-beat bass drum rhythms and bass lines and to jump to around 10 BMP faster than anything else], the truth of Jungle/Drum and Bass history becomes oppressed before it is even disclosed.
The Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia also apportion to evolution the creation of Breakbeat [DJ Kool Herc], Hip Hop [Africa Bambata], Jack [Steve Silk Hurley], LRRRT/Trance [Li'l Louise] and Raggamuffin Hip Hop [Daddy Freddy] as well as Jungle/Drum and Bass [Lennie De Ice and Alex Romane].
The main reasons as for why no one has been able to establish the truth of Jungle/Drum and Bass history and for why this has been a contentious issue is because Alex Romane didn't publish his demos from 1990/91 and Delirious until late 2013 and, because Jungle/Drum and Bass did not evolve naturally from any current genre. It was instead, the result of a conscious effort during 1990/91 to create a new urban dance genre and although Alex was on his own during the moment when he first dissected the James Brown drum loop, artists who he worked with on the new music [particularly Alex Newman] during 1990/91 have been ignored.
During the same time that Alex was developing Jungle/Drum and Bass, he was also developing a trance-oriented genre but he says that this had nothing to do with the Trance genre of the mid-1990's because unlike his Jungle/Drum and Bass music, he worked on it alone and never sent a single track to anyone. In addition, he says that although his Trance was put to a flat-beat drum rhythm, it was very literal and quite dark and wasn't a dreamy euphoric interpretation.
The reason for why Alex only chose to disclose his full involvement with the creation of Jungle/Drum and Bass music in 2013 is because at this time, Alex had his first chance to produce an album since Delirious [while signed] and as with other artists, Alex's Jungle/Drum and Bass history is now relevant and, the new album is intended to be used to raise awareness of the UK's potential for direct democracy [which Alex feels is an urgent issue]. This was the single initial reason for his disclosure regarding his Jungle/Drum and Bass history and for producing and releasing a new album in his real name.
The first four tracks of Demokratia are of another new genre [a Trance/Techno/Hip Hop hybrid] that as with Jungle/Drum and Bass, alex hasn't named.
Regarding Jungle/Drum and Bass history, every sound engineer knows that samplers are simply digital memory banks and are not responsible for the character of rhythms or their complexities [these aspects are managed by sequencers] and during 1990/91, Jungle/Drum and Bass [known at the time as Progressive Hardcore] was happening in London without Akai samplers. Akai samplers have been around since 1985 and were not affordable for the average underground producer so, it is obvious that it took far more than just a sampler [of any kind] and the Amen, Brother break beat to create Jungle/Drum and Bass music.
The Delirious album was produced during 1991/92 using only an EMU sampler, an Alesis HR16 drum machine and an Alesis MMT8 sequencer. No Akai samplers were used and, the reason for why there wasn't a follow-up album or for why no further units were distributed was because while the first run of the album was selling [92/93], the associated record company and studio collapsed. By this time, Alex had also sold or lost most of his own studio and so without a record company and after moving away from the Bristol area in 1994, Alex had to start from scratch and so was hiring recording studios in Birmingham up until 1998.
Alex says; "During this time and up until sometime after 94, it was guys like Darren from Kosheen who kept me going by giving me access to their private studios. I met Darren via my family years before he established Kosheen and we were sharing advanced ideas on engineering, psycho acoustics and track structure within minutes but after 96 and while living in Birmingham, I lost touch with most people who I had worked with and with no studio or record company, I had to start from scratch and so was working outside of music again - mostly in IT sales, IT marketing and project development, and community work.
It wasn't until 1999 that I had a studio again but about 6 months into production of a new Drum and Bass album - some of it featuring MC Robbie D, something happened in my personal life and outside of music that absolutely devastated me - I became deeply affected and extremely ill and it is this event that led me into political activism. I made a choice to fight those behind what had happened so anything to do with music production was suddenly not part of my life and I was instead launching three concurrent court cases - one of which involved successfully over-turning a police conspiracy. In response to what happened and also to an unrelated incident in early 2000 where a child protection strategy I created was blocked by the state for "political reasons" until it was ran by the FBI, I established a political movement and authored a book which is published by the British Library. The government has a non-disclosure order in-place preventing me from disclosing the full details of what happened in 1999 and so without direct democracy - democracy meaning rule of the people, the police enforce the laws of the UK parliament - not the laws of the UK people, and UK armed forces fight for Queen & Government - not Queen & Country."
WE ARE i.e. by Lennie De Ice [mentioned for years by the BBC and others as being the first ever Jungle/Drum and Bass track] does consist of a dissected sample of The Winston's Amen, Brother break beat but as mentioned previously, it has a flat-beat bass drum rhythm and runs at 136 bmp and, it is only by using retrospective revision that people wrongly assume that this track is even a Jungle/Drum and Bass track in the first place. Lennie himself confirms that he produced the track in 1987 but didn't release it until 1991 and even now, he denies that it is a Jungle/Drum and Bass track or even a proto-Jungle track, stating instead that it is a hybrid Acid track.
The first ever Jungle/Drum and Bass tracks were never signed-up or published and Alex still has possession of some of the first Jungle/Drum and Bass ideas and demos from 1990/91 and although Alex did send material to various major labels, nothing [even including the Delirious album] was signed-up or published by any record company until 1992. During 2014, Alex released some of the Jungle/Drum and Bass ideas that he produced during 1990/91 and, he believes that the reason for why nothing he did during 1990/91 was signed was because his first Jungle/Drum and Bass tracks were literally just drum parts and bass lines only [due to limited sequencing/multi-tracking ability].
Originally released in May 2014, the dissected break beat used in Always With You is an exact duplicate [speeded-up] of a cassette recording made in 1991 using the sampler pedal.
He says; "I thought that if they could get what I was doing and give me studio time to produce full tracks then something could happen but the mainstream didn't take to Jungle/Drum and Bass until after the underground scene had established itself nationally. The major labels, radio networks and the BBC were the last to get involved in Jungle/Drum and Bass yet what they say now regarding Jungle/Drum and Bass history is taken as fact. I sent stuff out, worked with others in both London and Bristol and according to some of my friends who partied abroad, DJs playing across Europe were sampling bits of my stuff into their records. I used to have regular meetings across London with various major A&R departments who would share my music with colleagues but according to the mainstream, my music had no influence and it's all just coincidence.
In 1986, I was encouraged by my bassist Stepfather to work with genres outside of Hip Hop and Electro so as to broaden my creativity and being that most musicians, DJ's and promoters work within only one genre, it's not surprising that the Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia and middlemen think that genres 'evolve' all on their own. Many people who were working on Hip Hop, Hip House and Hardcore before mid-1991 and who have been promoted by the BBC and the Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia as the pioneers of Jungle/Drum and Bass can't present a single Jungle/Drum and Bass track that they themselves produced before this time. I'm sick of all the bullshit, lies and hypocrisy in both music and politics and after facing-off direct threats from Obama and his State Department in 2011 and from other jokers since, I don't give a shit who attacks or derides me anymore.
The last thing I needed at this time was to have myself publicised as an individual in any regards - hence the formation of Urban Sunrise in 2008 and the PA in 2010. I'm still dealing with issues on various levels that relate to what happened in 1999 and I'm far from being in the best place for any public activity but, I truly believe that if the UK people choose to let those psychopathic, paedophile-protecting,child abusing, self-serving Rothschild subordinates who occupy Parliament continue with their past voting patterns for just another 5 years, that humans will be extinct by 2035-2040 because, the decisions that Parliament will make in 2015 alone will have irreversible consequences for the entire world - especially regarding the environment and war.
If I didn't believe this, I wouldn't be rushing to promote direct democracy by fronting a new album and still wouldn't be disclosing my links with Jungle/Drum and Bass history and everyone could carry on living happily ever after in Cameron and the BBC's world of bullshit. It amazes me that after working with him and, with my history of political activism which includes working directly with the Palestinians - a risk to any Westerner's media career, that some people don't see why Cameron, the BBC and the rest of the MSM need to deny my influence and therefore my existence."
"This doesn't affect just me either but currently, most musicians aren't politically motivated so they don't see or don't care that the entire independent music scene is under threat in the UK. The nation's independent local radio stations have now all sold themselves to global corporate media organisations that use centralised play lists so, the only way that local artists can get any exposure is through on-line mechanisms, radio pluggers, or the BBC's Introducing service. Generally, unknown artists can't afford web marketing agencies and radio PR so they end-up submitting to the BBC but, the BBC is wholly subservient to Cameron and the combined effects of all of this amounts to a gatekeeper system that see's only politically-conformist artists becoming mainstream."
"If I'm wrong about 2015 then no harm done but it's not something I'm prepared to gamble on or to leave to politicians and unlike other cultures, not being politically and socially considerate means that most people in the UK don't realise how the UK parliament has influence in over 90% of the world's countries either politically, militarily or culturally and therefore, that they alone can change the world. They don't know that the US war machine is fuelled by BP and therefore that the US and UK can go to war together even without a UK parliamentary vote to support it and, with no understanding of NATO politics, they believe that Russia invaded Ukraine just because the BBC said so and, despite it never publishing a single image of a single Russian troop in Ukraine. This is extremely dangerous because it confirms that the UK people are now so brainwashed that they are prepared to take what the BBC and others say in words alone as fact, without seeing or even demanding to see any evidence - it's Cameron's dream scenario."
Although produced in 1992, Empathy [from the Delirious album] is typical of the Progressive Hardcore drum styles that Alex Romane was producing during 1991 and Delirious actually does contain Punk Rock and Hip Hop-influenced drum parts that were produced in 1990 using the Alesis.
"I started playing around with instruments and composing poems and verses when I was eight and I'd been experimenting with engineering and bass since I was around twelve and it started while attending a church meeting with my mother. I noticed the PA system that was being used for the bands who performed on the stage and it consisted of an H&H six channel mixer with a built-in coil reverb unit and power amplifier and two fuck-off big H&H speakers that had to be transported by their own trailer.
The first time I approached it I could see all the cables leading from the instruments and into the mixer and then out to the speakers and I just sat there with the sound engineer watching everything he was doing. As soon as the meeting finished, I told my mother that I wanted to do the sound engineering for the meetings and after a few weeks of learning and of assisting, the mixer arrived at my home so that I could have a play with it and use it in between meetings. By this time, my mother - who played piano and guitar, was in a relationship with the bass player from the church band and he would let me use his Fender Precision bass.
By around thirteen years old, I had a bedroom studio that consisted of the bass guitar running through various pedal effects units and then into the mixer which was then slaving my hi-fi where I could record on its built-in cassette deck while monitoring everything through the hi-fi speakers - a very tasty pair of B&Os. The soon-after addition of a Tascam four track real-to-real recorder enabled me to multi-track bass recordings and for the next couple of years I just explored, experimented and learned but, it wasn't until I was fifteen that I could afford my first keyboard, synth and sampler - all separate devices, and I got the Alesis about a year after.
The hi-fi's built-in cassette deck had an instant and silent pause button and I developed a technique where I could create extended versions of my records by slamming the pause button down in beat. They became known by my friends as 'Alex's pause-button remixes' and until I left home, they were regularly asking me to create ten minute versions of their favourite records!"
It is also wrongly assumed by some non-black people that the aggression expressed by the drum rhythm styles in Jungle/Drum and Bass relates to oppressed aggression within the black community in the UK and therefore, that Jungle/Drum and Bass must have been created by black producers but, this is nothing more than pure racism and generalisation of the black cultures by non-blacks who again, were not involved with Jungle/Drum and Bass during 1990/91. Whilst the orientation of Electro Hip Hop, House, Hardcore and many other related genres does stem from the black cultures, the aggression in Jungle/Drum and Bass comes from the influence of Punk Rock music and, Alex Romane is of mixed-Mediterranean race.
This means that despite the music of black origins being half of the influence in the creation of Jungle/Drum and Bass music [via Breakbeat, Hip Hop and Hardcore], Jungle/Drum and Bass is itself not of either a black or white origin. It is a music of British origin influenced by music of both black [Breakbeat, Hip Hop and Hardcore] and white [Punk Rock] origins but, it is not a sub-genre or fusion form [initially, there were no literal Hip Hop or Punk Rock elements within Jungle/Drum and Bass music] and, it is also an art form and an expression and so is a creation - not an invention [which Pete Waterman never realised]. All of this is just one more reason for why the true origins of Jungle/Drum and Bass history has been repressed by the mainstream media and Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia.
As mentioned previously, Jungle/Drum and Bass did not evolve naturally from any current genre and neither is it a fusion form or sub-genre.
As well as providing the influence for the aggression regarding drum rhythms, the influence from Punk Rock music is also why it is no coincidence that when musicians add distorted guitars, wind instruments, organs and other non-electronic instruments to Jungle/Drum and Bass drum rhythms, the music will then sound like a Pop/Big Band/Cabaret sub-genre of Punk Rock and, acts such as Rudimental and Chase and Status come very close to this and, it is also no coincidence that Pete Waterman is behind much of this highly commercial form of pseudo-Drum and Bass. At the same time, eliminating the Cabaret aspects simply leaves electronic Punk Rock.
In alignment with this, Kerrang! Radio [a strictly Rock network] plays music from Pendulum [a Drum and Bass band] and various Thrash Metal bands [such as Korn] have claimed to have 'invented' Jungle/Drum and Bass and even Debstep "before there was Dubstep" - ignoring that Alex's experimental track Venice was first recorded and published in 1989.
During 1990/91, no other artist anywhere produced tracks consisting of dissected break beats running faster than 140 BPM with irregular [not flat-beat] bass drum rhythms and, it is the presence of these three specific components that initially defined Jungle/Drum and Bass music. In not recognising this, the Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia's mistake regarding Jungle/Drum and Bass being an evolution and not a creation becomes more obvious and, it is no coincidence that Alex co-wrote and co-produced the first ever Jungle/Drum and Bass album. If others were also working on Jungle/Drum and Bass during or before 1990/91, they've had over 20 years to prove it and you would already know of the truth of Jungle/Drum and Bass history. At this time, Alex was actually saying to friends and other producers that in his opinion, the opportunity to create a new genre had never been so blatant.
During this period, friends of Alex's who had Akai samplers and who also sampled break beats [including the Winston's Amen, Brother break beat] into their productions pre-1991, all maintained a policy of replaying whole breakbeat samples without any dissection, editing or rearranging [evident in any release in any genre before mid-1991] and while Alex used to accuse them of ripping-off and being lazy, they would tease him for being "too stiff" [about copyright infringement and for maintaining his policy of dissecting, editing and rearranging his samples]. Generally, there was a resistance to dissecting and editing samples [of any nature] but by the end of 1991, it was all that anyone with a decent sampler was doing. Due to Lennie's influence in 1991 and to the general popularity of the Winston's Amen, Brother break beat in the years prior, many others then also dissected this particular breakbeat. From the end of 1991 and for personal reasons, Alex never publicly disclosed his links with the roots of Jungle/Drum and Bass music or his Jungle/Drum and Bass history and even when working on the Delirious album in 1992 with Nathan, all Alex said to him was that if they produced a Progressive Hardcore/Jungle cross-over album right then, that it would be the first of its kind.
Alex says; "I did consider throughout all of these years that others could have been working along similar lines and that I just never knew about them. I never had any guarantees that this wasn't the case and it's only possible now and by using the web, to see that no one other than Lennie and me were dissecting break beats before mid-1991. I knew even before experimenting with Progressive Hardcore what it feels like to see others claim your music as their own and I didn't want to risk doing this to someone else and, I also had no specific reason or desire to be disclosing my full involvement regarding Jungle/Drum and Bass history until now. Despite what I did being intentional, I've never myself claimed to have created Jungle/Drum and Bass music because I never thought about it in this context or as something I needed to claim. Jungle/Drum and Bass has always been a part of me - how do you claim something that's already yours and, why would I even be thinking like this if I didn't want to be famous?
To those who believe that Jungle/Drum and Bass was an evolution based around the Amen, Brother break beat and/or Akai samplers, myself and many producers were sampling the Amen, Brother break beat into Akai samplers for years prior to 1991 but, it wasn't until I started dissecting, rearranging and speeding-up this and other break beats in Progressive Hardcore in 1991, that Jungle was born. Obviously, the sampling and unedited playback of break beats - including the Amen, Brother break beat, was never enough to give birth to a new genre.
Alex Romane demo project - Decoder's [Kosheen] studio - 1990:
I understand that people resent me contradicting their Jungle/Drum and Bass history write-ups years later but if they could hear that Jungle/Drum and Bass music was based around dissected break beat samples, they would have heard how and why Jungle/Drum and Bass was not an evolution. If they couldn't hear this, then it's probably due to them being non-musicians.
I've never written music for the Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia, Jungle/Drum and Bass promoters, Jungle/Drum and Bass DJs or any other middlemen. I've always written for myself first, my girlfriends, and the people and no amount of public derision from the Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia and other establishment worshippers will ever change this."
While still at school, one of Alex's younger sisters asked if she could use a piece of his unpublished music in her music class. After performing the piece, the music teacher told his sister that she knew that it wasn't her music and when Alex's sister protested, the teacher told her that she knew it wasn't her's - because she herself had written it! Alex didn't even attend this school and had never met this so-called 'teacher' and, the argument only ended when Alex's sister confessed and threatened to tell him about her attempt to steal his already-copyrighted music.
At his own school and only after completing his GCSE Music course, was Alex then told that his exam result would be marked-down by a whole grade simply because he was using electronic equipment. The implications of this meant that Alex would not be able to study music anywhere at any level and so he protested on the grounds of discrimination and, after hearing just a few seconds of just one of his pieces of his music during an appeal hearing at his new college [incidentally, the same piece of music that his sister's music teacher tried to steal and, Alex's first ever completed composition], the college confirmed that he could choose any course on the curriculum and instead of studying A-Level Music, he chose Psycho Acoustic Music Production.
Alex is used to others trying to hold him back, trying to claim his music as their own and, to being publicly derided so he perceives the attitude form the BBC and the personal attacks from the Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia and other Jungle/Drum and Bass middlemen since 2013 to be just more of the same. It has been explained how Jungle/Drum and Bass did not 'evolve' from any other genre, how Jungle/Drum and Bass did not occur as a consequence of sampling the Winston's Amen, Brother break beat [or any particular break beat] alone and, how Alex Romane is the creator of the Jungle/Drum and Bass genre. Up until changing his stance regarding personal publicity [for political reasons] in 2013, this information and Alex's Jungle/Drum and Bass history hadn't been publicly disclosed. It is no coincidence that no other Jungle/Drum and Bass pioneer has ever claimed to have created the Jungle/Drum and Bass genre and, Lennie never released another hybrid Acid track and no one from either within or outside of the Jungle/Drum and Bass intelligentsia can present a Jungle/Drum and Bass track produced before 1991.
The three fundamental components that initially defined Jungle/Drum and Bass music:
In a UK industry now largely ran by the pro-government BBC working along-side pro-government corporates, banks and major labels and, with their de-politicalisation of Hip Hop music [via Hip Pop acts such as Jay-Z and Kanye West] and their watering-down of Jungle/Drum and Bass music [via the BBC, Pete Waterman and other mainstream producers], the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media can't afford to disclose the truth about Jungle/Drum and Bass history - especially when it would now also mean inadvertently promoting the UK's only direct democracy party while it remains under a media blackout and, the BBC has form when it comes to politically-motivated blackouts.
It is is no coincidence that the families who own the retail banks, gold bullion banks, Hollywood, Bollywood, the oil cartels and all of the remaining major record companies [the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers] also own Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and others. Jay-Z even named his record company after the Rockefellers and Beyoncé openly confirms that her hand gestures on stage are symbols of respect to the Rockefeller family so, if you ever questioned why America's richest and most influential black Hip Pop stars stay silent while their fans live in poverty and, while an ethnic male is murdered on US streets every 28 hours by the police who work for their white neo-conservative Rothschild and Rockefeller bosses, now you know.
To those who see a bit deeper, the agenda of these families is becoming so obvious that they now require some of their puppets [such as Kanye West] to falsely portray that they are actually against them and their political aims [New Slaves], which in itself confirms all of the above and, thanks to Cameron and Obama [who was given to black America by these families so as to subdue them in preparation for harsh social policy implementation], America and Europe's poorest people are now subsidising Rothschild and Rockefeller banks for their 'losses' in the form of austerity measures [another form of wealth redistribution that sees money moving from the poorest to the richest] and, all of this corruption continues while the masses buy into Hip Pop acts such as Jay-Z and Kanye West and, while using their existing freedom to empower a corrupt minority to run our so-called 'democracies'.
In 1973, DJ Kool Herc was the first DJ to loop a break beat by running it from two records back-to-back therefore, Kool Herc created Breakbeat as a genre and, he was also the world's first Hip Hop DJ. Late 1970's Funk/Soul-Electro fusions [roots in early 1970's Electro and Techno initially created by Kraftwerk and Yellow in Europe] then led to the creation of the world's first definitive Hip Hop track Planet Rock [Africa Bambata - New York 1982].
In 1986, Coldcut had released Say Kids, what Time is It? which featured a James Brown break beat which later appeared again in Fresh 4's Wishing On A Star in 1989 and so in 1990, Alex also started to experiment with this particular James Brown drum rhythm along with rhythms from Schooly-D's Somewhere In The Land of No Rap album.
The James Brown break beat was originally recorded by Clyde Stubblefield in Funky Drummer  and was released as a single in 1970 but, it was not widely known until the release of James Brown's In The Jungle Groove album .
The pedal sampler had a memory of around one second so, only part of the James Brown break beat was able to be captured and replayed. To perform a full bar [four beats] of drum music, the sample would be repeatedly re-triggered and to eliminate the resulting rigid flat-beat feel of the re-triggered one bar sequence, Alex re-triggered it at irregular/off-beat intervals throughout the bar and, mostly before the partial sample had ended. Doing this over the length of one or more bars provided a dissected and chopped feel to the Breakbeat rhythm and also intermittently threw the snare drum away from its original position on the regular 'up' beat and, this off-beat re-triggering was the key defining aspect of Jungle/Drum and Bass.
If Alex had access to bigger sampling devices, the need to re-trigger the sample would never have arisen and Alex feels that this, combined with consciously speeding-up Hardcore and replacing the flat-beat bass drum rhythm with irregular off-beat rhythms, is why no one else was doing it before 1991 and, it was also not common for underground dance music producers to be working with aggressive Punk Rock or Thrash Metal bands.
The typical underground home studio consisted of midi or combined midi-analogue equipment. Atari computers with 64 track sequencing software [Notator and Creator] were the norm and so for Acid heads working underground and from home, there was no need and more importantly, no will for re-triggering and dissecting samples and, there was no exposure to analogue guitar effects units or, exposure to the aggression of Punk Rock and Thrash Metal either for these programmers and producers and, owning a sampler of any type was still rare.
As there were no time-stretch facilities on the sampler pedal, the pitch control was increased so as to speed up the BPM of the sampled drum loop and this also naturally changed the tone of the drums making them sound a bit more 'techy'.
The Line-out signal taken from the sampler was then routed directly into additional Boss guitar Phaser PH1R and Chorus CE-2 pedal effects units to act as intermittent fill-ins at the end of 4 and 8 bar sequences so as to regularly refresh the feel without using additional sounds. Again, using these effects on whole drum parts was unheard of at the time but eventually, it became such an influence that whole track parts [not just the drums] across other genres soon started conforming to the use of these effects in this particular way also.
After routing the sample through the Phaser and Chorus units, a Boss guitar Overdrive OD3 pedal effect unit would then be used to industrialise the dry James Brown drum sounds into something bigger and more industrial. The Overdrive effect also provided an edge that was common in Punk Rock and Thrash Metal and so the aggressive drum styles that Alex loved working with at the time carried through.
Finally, the signal was then fed directly into a Boss RPS-10 Digital Pitch Shifter Delay [Echo] Modular effects unit. With the Feedback setting on medium and the Rate setting on maximum with a medium volume ratio output for the Delay effect, the sample was able to ricochet off into the distance when applied to the final quarter-beat [1/4th] or the final snare strike in any 1,2,4,8 or 16 bar sequences.
At the end of the effects daisy chain, the Pitch Shift effect from the RPS-10 enabled snares [particularly] to spring up or down a pitched scale adding even more character if activated after the Delay.
The Alesis drum machine that Alex was using was at the time, the only drum machine in the world that used acoustic drum samples instead of processed/synthetic sounds. As the Alesis was specifically a Human Rhythm Machine, drum parts could be altered in ways that other drum machines couldn't do. For example; timings could be manipulated to mimic the looseness of a real human drummer and, the pitch of every instrument within the unit could be altered independently of other incidences of the same drum within the same sequence.
As the Alesis was designed specifically with psycho acoustics in mind and, as Alex had previously completed a diploma course in the study of the science of psycho acoustics whilst at college, it was natural that some heavy experimentation in drum music would ensue - even before introducing samples.
During 1989 and in his Electro Hip Hop, Acid and Hardcore music, Alex started to use these facilities and he would commonly re-pitch dry acoustic snare strikes within tracks. He continued to use this effect in his Progressive Hardcore more and more and snares soon started flying up and down the scale to act as intermittent fill-ins whilst a dissected break beat ran on top.
All of the effects units were set up to be used independently and on the fly, meaning that more personality could be expressed throughout the entire track length as opposed to just within sub sequences, giving more personality to the entire track itself.
Alex was also studying the patterns within Hardcore and noticing that in London, the tempo of Hardcore was gradually increasing from around 130 BPM - particularly at events held by Orange Club [1990-91]. In a conscious attempt to create a new form of underground dance music, he used his new dissected aggressive drum rhythm style at 140 - 150 BPM with Hardcore, Techno and even Trance [known at the time as LRTTT music - Li'l Louis French Kiss being the originator in 1989] and continued to develop this music [as a form of Progressive Hardcore] with others.
He sent demo's of various Progressive Hardcore projects to a handful of the major labels and publishers in London throughout 1990/91 and worked on new projects with friends in London and the South West but, the new music was not received positively by the majors who at the time had a policy of not working with underground producers - despite John Peel playing related tracks by Alex on BBC Radio 1 at the time. The last A&R manager who Alex spoke with regarding his Progressive Hardcore actually asked him when explaining why he wasn't interested; "What is it?" and while Alex tried to explain how him questioning this demonstrated that it was at least something new, he instead chose to play it safe.
Alex never believed in holding a monopoly on ideas within the studio and generally shared his latest experiments, ideas and resources with others around him at any time. Whether sharing newly-created engineering techniques, advising upon psycho acoustics, or simply trying to secure recording and publishing deals for friends, he has always encouraged new developments in music directly and through others.
The hope was that by the time any tracks were released, they would naturally be in sync with a faster Hardcore movement but, with the addition of a new aggressive and dissected Breakbeat drum rhythm style and therefore, potentially have more success in establishing itself as a new music form.
Conventional string and piano pads and samples from the House scene and general synth and guitar parts were largely eliminated as they often made Progressive Hardcore sound tacky at higher speeds and it wasn't until mid-1991 that the major labels started to realise that they would have to shift their outlook but, only because Pop tracks released by rival independents were now starting to feature aspects from the underground Acid, House and Hardcore scene.
Alex believes that this wouldn't have happened without The Prodigy's Charlie hitting the UK number 1 spot in August. Now, managers working with the major labels and the independents were starting to hire producers from the underground to make their pop productions more trendy and so the major's eventually sold-out to the underground - it was never the other way around.
Alex explains; "This is why those who accused acts such as The Prodigy and The Shaman of 'selling-out' got it completely wrong. If the masses outside of the underground scene also appreciated their music, then isn't that a massive achievement? How pretentious and elitist would it have been if The Prodigy had intentionally pulled units from shop shelves to stop them charting simply to satisfy the intelligentsia and more importantly, what is so wrong with artists from any scene making as much money as they can if people are happy to pay for their music?
The intelligentsia will always to some extent, consist of non-musicians and failed DJs who sit around the edges judging the artists and conditioning the audiences and they are also regular inhabitants of A&R departments within both major and independent labels. They have nothing to do with music creation or with music as a language and everything to do with revenue generation and, the internet was their enemy until monetary decisions forced them to get friendly with it - especially the majors."
Since 1994, Alex was experimenting and learning about on-line PR mechanisms and by 1997 he was already working on viral marketing concepts and so it shocked him when he was threatened with legal action upon merely suggesting to one particular record company that they upload some tracks to the web for free so as to use piracy as a form of viral marketing and promotion.
In Alex's opinion, the whole argument about 'selling-out' is false because once an artist has made the decision to sell their music for monetary gain at any level - they have already sold out. He believes that we have all sold out from the day we are born because this is when we accept a life that revolves primarily around money-making [especially in the West]. Alex believes that an underground movement will always exist in any scene whilst there are musicians and producers who do not seek fame and, whilst musicians and producers are not recognised by promoters and labels [recognition from the wider public is not required in order for underground producers to maintain a viable career].
Up until the change in attitude of the major labels, the underground scene was dominated by regular Acid, House and Hardcore and Progressive Hardcore releases into a purely 12 inch, DJ-based market from forward-thinking independents [such as Profile Records in London - who were also largely responsible for doing the same in New York with Electro Hip Hop during the 1980's] and, it was after this shift that Alex soon started hearing his fast-paced, dissected Progressive Hardcore drum rhythm styles being re-branded and duplicated by others as Jungle. The addition of Reggae-oriented rhythm parts and Ragga vocals after 1991 fuelled various further developments followed by claims from within the Ragga scene that Jamaican toasters and rappers created this new music [some claims made even as late as 1994] so Alex decided to look for a fresh start away from London but, to continue to work with Progressive Hardcore/Jungle fusions, Electro Dub forms and Electro Hip Hop, but separately. Incidentally, it was during 1994 that prominent UK Jungle DJs [such as Fabio and Groove Rider] decided to rename Jungle in an attempt to filter-out the negative aspects of the Ragga scene - hence the term Drum and Bass.
Alex still has possession of some of the very first recordings he made during 1990/91 using the process described above to create the origins  of what would soon become known in London as Jungle music  and then later known as Drum and Bass music .
No instruments were used, no drum machines were used, no Akai samplers were used and no computers were used - just a cassette deck, a James Brown tape and an array of guitar pedal effects processors being played live as instruments.
Drum sample performed by Clyde Stubblefield [James Brown Funky Drummer]
Progressive Hardcore backing track - home studio 1991:
Individual drum sounds from Schooly-D's Somewhere In The Land of No Rap album were sampled routinely by Alex since 1987, with Schooly-D's rhythms then being dissected in 1990.
Drum sample performed by Schooly-D [Gucci Time]
Delirious World's first non-compilation Jungle/Drum and Bass album
During 1991/92, Alex worked and lived in both London and the South West traveling between them every two weeks before settling on the outskirts of Bristol where in collaboration with Nathan Robinson [a true Rasta and conscious artist], he released his first Progressive Hardcore/Jungle/Drum and Bass album [Delirious] under the name Apache through Big Music Records.
Up until 1992, Bristol dance music culture was still mostly influenced by House and Hardcore with break beats [un-dissected Knuckles and Bones] backing-up drum machines and so Delirious with its dissected James Brown, Schooly-D break beats [among others] and even human beat box and scratch dissections, was new and even months after its release, tracks were played during the opening night at Mallorca's 10,000-capacity BCM club [at the time, Europe's 2nd largest night club].
Apache were diverse and experimental and so Delirious is wide-ranging in its scope and because of this, it contains ideas that later re-emerge as two of the various Drum and Bass sub-genres; Ambient/Intelligent and Darkcore. At the time though, all of this music was perceived by Alex and Nathan as Progressive Hardcore and Jungle only.
By mid 1992, Delirious was stocked by both Virgin and Our Price [cassette format] as well as by many independent record shops throughout Bristol and the South West and Jungle music had established itself throughout the UK.
Since 2007 and the re-release of War with Daddy Freddy [original mix produced in 2002], Alex has been focusing on promoting his own productions through Urban Sunrise, a collaborative of artists and activists from various backgrounds and countries.
Experimental music: Tech Beat
Urban-oriented Electro/Acid fusion with an Industrial feel and a tempo range around 150 BPM.
Labelled by DJs as progressive and new, Alex developed it, eventually creating the term Tech Beat as most of the sounds and styles used are electronic and oriented in Electro Hip Hop and Acid and, because of the hard-edged drums and dark sounds in the bass and atmosphere with various sound effects adding an Industrial feel which finalise its identity. Essential to Tech Beat is the BPM range - in sync with that of the average human heart rate, while Tech Beat structures are influenced by Psy Trance and Classical music structures.
Tech Beat is strictly:
• Around 150 BPM
• 1980's and new Acid and Electro sounds
• Dark heavy bass sounds
• Industrial ambience and sound effects
• Classical/evolving structures
Urban Sunrise's first Tech Beat experiments were produced in 2008 and played by Urban Sunrise in Bora Bora [North Africa's largest nightclub] in 2008. From there, CD's were copied and played in many other venues across Tunisia by Urban Sunrise and other DJs with some bringing copies back into Europe.
In 2009, Urban Sunrise headlined the Birmingham Artsfest after party [Europe's largest free arts festival with an attendance of over 1/4 million] with a live mixed performance of Tech Beat and Electro Dub. Tracks were also performed on the Victoria Square main stage in the centre of Birmingham during the event itself and Alex has since been working to establish Urban Sunrise as a live urban dance collaborative via EMP.
Alex Romane would like to give special thanks and full respect to:
- Everyone at EMP
- Si, Mark Jackson and Visesa [love, guidance, encouragement and life support]
- The Jellyfish, Ian and Mel [mass exposure to Punk Rock music, support]
- The girls at BCC Artsfest 2009
- Paul Mercier [equipment sourcing and supply - studio and live performances]
- Jan Barrett [equipment sourcing and supply - studio]
- Craig Evans [Believe Digital]
- Everyone at PPL
- Howard Boulevard [advice, guidance, support, training and technical tuition]
- Evil Evan and the guys at Chrysalis [advice, support, training and technical tuition]
- My guardian angel [for your sacrifice in choosing to be with me without conditions since before this incarnation, for your comfort, support and friendship and for showing me the shared lie of the religions. I love you x]
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