Smith & Mighty / Ashley Road Sessions 88-94 / Punch Drunk & Tectonic

Sub-bass rumble. Kick drum boom. Tubby`s Hi-Fi`s dread vacuum, pumping, with flying cymbals replaced by fragmented breakbeats. Big piano chords, similarly smashed and fractured. Controlled explosions replayed in slow motion. If there were a precedent for Smith & Mighty`s Dub dynamic, then it might be the Science Fiction steppers of Creation Rebel`s Starship Africa. Grounation Nyabinghi set to an 808. Accompanied by plaintive “Gymnopedies” keys. Satie at the soundclash. If there were a Smith & Mighty trademark then it would be tough beats married to introspective melodies. Lovers Rock, meets Rare Groove, meets the New York streets of Vintertainment Records. Rinsing the melancholy from Dionne Warwick, and Rose Royce. The teardrops from Bacharach & David. Reinterpreting classic songs of heartbreak for orbital ravers. An inner city sadness that still resonates in the productions of fellow Bristolians, Massive Attack. Ain`t it blue and funky now. 

Contemporaries of The Wild Bunch and Soul II Soul, they draw on the heritage of Soundsystem culture. Mixing Reggae with Hip Hop and Soul. Making music that “inspired”** Paul Oakenfold`s post-Second-Summer-Of-Love Movement 98. The sound of E, once the initial rush had passed. Selectors stretching to incorporate Acid House. Then Bleep. Then Hardcore. Producing the map for Drum & Bass, Dubstep, and Grime – any modern bass-driven music you can think of – in the process. 

A distinctly UK, JA-influenced, Techno, of sampled divas, and diced and looped B-boy breaks. Sped-up, stripped-back, warrior charges blasting brass fanfares. Psychedelic chuggers, arpeggiated, and gated. Racing “Amen” snares tap, tap, tapping at Ambient washes.

Ashley Road Sessions 88-94, is Pinch and Peverelist let loose in Smith & Mighty`s archives. Collecting eleven previously unreleased tracks for a joint release on Tectonic / Punch Drunk. 

Reference Links

Starship Africa




Movement 98 (**this is a remake of an old Smith & Mighty / Mark Stewart tune)

Warrior Charge

Amen Snares

One thought on “Smith & Mighty / Ashley Road Sessions 88-94 / Punch Drunk & Tectonic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s