Regular readers of Club Cortez have been able to suss out that I was big on drum ‘n bass between 1995 and 2000 – pretty much my whole record budget was spent trawling various stores for the latest white labels and promos, and the weekends saw me play out in Holland, Belgium, London, Ireland and Egypt alongside people like Matrix, Aphrodite and Dutch DJ’s like Roscoe and Pan (now known as Martyn).
My interest faded when the music took a turn for the uber-masculine: the continuous onslaught of frantic drums, hoover basslines and jittery synths made for an increasingly cold atmosphere, and ladies on the dancefloor became few and far between. Over the last few months I’ve been revisiting tracks and artists I used to love. It’s been a (re)discovery of sorts: some old favorites sound angular and repetitive, while stuff I remembered as lightweight sounded surprisingly fresh. Time + evolving tastes will do that…
While trawling my archives and listening to artists like Boymerang, Adam F, Calibre, Photek and Bill Riley one duo stood out: Hidden Agenda. The five 12″ singles they released on the Metalheadz label between 1995 and 2003 combine crystal clear production values with a jazzy approach, are melodic and manage to surprise at every turn. I’ve recorded them and zipped them up in a single folder – are you ready to take the plunge?