Datacide 12 record reviews by John Eden

V/A – Nice Up The Dance: UK Bubblers 1984-87
(Greensleeves
2xCD)
This is a crucial compilation covering the UK MC explosion of the 1980s and more besides. When Saxon soundsystem unleashed a wave of unstoppable Mic Chatters it inspired a whole new generation to compete for room at the control tower. Lyrics became hyper competitive and related to life on the mean streets of the UK rather than harking back to Kingston. Vinyl releases inevitably followed, though Greensleeves were slightly beaten to the jump by South London rivals Fashion Records. This reissue showcases the 12” releases on Greensleeves’ mighty UK Bubblers sub-label and is very much a game of two halves.
Disc One is a nigh on perfect selection of deejay madness, backed by The Regulars band performing hard do-overs of Studio One riddims, often with soundsystem-style bass crossfading. It kicks off with Saxon’s Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel at the top of their game on “Just A Speak”. The duo swap lines over the Answer riddim, fast chatting about everything from London bus routes to arguments with shopkeepers. There’s a bit of mickey taking out of each other, but all in the name of rocking the dance. Daddy Rusty follows on the same riddim with “No No Way” – a rhyming stream of consciousness featuring football, girls, grief with bus conductors and, well – you name it. The third tune on a ramped up Answer is Daddy Sandy’s massive “Riddle Bubble”: “I don’t teef, me not a criminal, I don’t take injections I don’t pop pill, I don’t smoke things that I can’t handle, electricity run through a cable, that’s how we get the power for the turntable, in other words you see this sound is operational, you throw rubbish in a bin you make a bundle, if a boy come jog me, he feel me knuckle, me take of me belt lick him with the buckle, if him don’t feel that me kick him in the temple. You fi bubble, seh you fi bubble bubble…” [Read more →]