British underground dance music

A green-tinted picture of a glowing heart, with a river flowing underneath it and tropical forests surrounding it. I love dance music - I have done ever since I went to my first rave. It was "Shouldn't be Allowed" at the Cooltan - what a wickde place - a squatted ex-DSS office in Brixton, where they used to run a community centre during the day, a cheap café and facilities for homeless people, that kind of stuff. Then at night they held all-night raves. Acid house, techno, breakbeat - I remember hearing tunes at that rave that have stayed with me ever since - cuts like "House is a feeling", "Higher State of Consciousness" and "Go". I couldn't believe this music - how large it was - how psychedelic.

A rave flyer featuring cartoon outlines of two people dancing in front of a red and white spiral pattern, with the words "kinky techno" in graffiti-style lettering down the side. I spent some time in the chill-out room talking to a bloke who suddenly seemed like a two-dimensional projection of my own future-self image - sort of thing. I looked at him slightly sidewise, and he seemed to be 2D; like, flat; like a picture or a cardboard cut-out. Dunno really. Don't quite know what happened. He was probably really there. But after he'd gone I was looking around, trying to understand how this room could have come out of someone's pocket. Then I went downstairs and danced; and questions didn't seem important after that.

That night changed me in many ways. Musically, it inspired me to get into new sounds, new ways of writing - up until then I'd been writing very traditional music, classical quartets, piano-rock ballads, stuff like that. A flyer for a rave called "disorganisation". The legible part of the flyer says: "disorganisation featuring Aardvark Sound System, Tyssen Street Theatre Factory, E8". But now my head was alive with new psychedelic possibilities. Never mind the notes and pitches ... it's that sound ... that energy. I particularly loved the way a tune can be fast and energetic, yet peaceful and laid back at the same time. Like when you're on a train - you're moving forward at breakneck speed, but you're sitting on that speed, so it feels tranquil, like you're not moving at all. That's what I'm trying to capture; that peace and serenity in the middle of hectic activity. A kind of Zen. To describe it, I've coined the term Hard Ambient.

At one stage, I hawked all this round the record companies, and most of them said the same thing .... your music's too experimental or you have to understand that you're writing for a niche market - very small (actual quotes). I even tried writing to a specific style or established sub-category, but it wasn't enough; it didn't really sound like I meant it.

And that's the rub - the music business wants your soul, but you have to fit the game as well. It's not enough to play the game; not enough to pretend - you have to want to do it.

So pants to all that - I'm just gonna give it away :) This music is free for your own personal, non-commercial use only. All the music is in MP3 format, which you can download or stream as you prefer (streaming MP3 generally requires a broadband connection).

Collaboration notes

  • Bliss, Cave and Glade mixed by Dark Mark, co-produced by Adrian Smith.
  • Cave and Schmee co-written with Ian Wolfe.
  • Organic co-written with Marlon Edwards.
  • Sexy features samples of the music and performance of Dave Drum and Al Bass.
  • Satisfy features samples of the music and performance of the band formerly known as Acid Monkey - Matt Cobb, Dave Drum, Matt Lovett, Marlon Edwards and myself.


The tunes are organised by style.

This music is free for your own personal, non-commercial use only.

Trance & techno

House & garage

Breakbeat & jungle

Hip-hop & soul

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