The past few months have been busy for electronic music and club culture publishing house Velocity Press. They are now gearing up for the release of their next book ‘Who Say Reload’ which is due to hit stores on 5th March.
Music fan/blogger Paul Terzulli and legendary photographer Eddie Otchere have written their first book ‘Who Say Reload’ which captures the stories and artists behind the classic drum and bass records that were the soundtrack to urban England in the 1990s.
Artists like the Rebel MC, A Guy Called Gerald, Roni Size, Goldie and Andy C took elements of reggae, jazz, funk, soul, house, techno, hip hop, 80’s electronic and created something totally new with a rumbling bassline and crashing breakbeats. The only rule was – “it had to sound like nothing else, you had to create something totally new.”
Birthed out of the aftermath of Thatcher’s 80s, it was on the dancefloor to drum and bass that this largely black, close knit collective of artists “let the world know we had the right to be here” and created a sound that swept along millions of ravers in the process.
Legacy Of D&B
Drum and bass was the first genre of dance music that was 100% British and 25 years later we’re now at a point where you can see the impact it had on everything that followed, which is now comfortably part of mainstream music and culture in the UK. In the mid-90s D&B wasn’t really given much coverage by the media. However, it was hugely popular with the kids that grew up to go on to and spearhead UK garage, grime and dubstep, and even EDM to a degree.
Sigma, DJ Fresh have had #1 pop singles and they had their start in the underground. You don’t get Stormzy without Wiley & Dizzee, and you don’t get Wiley without Stevie Hyper D and Brockie, you don’t have Rinse FM without Kool FM etc. Shy FX recently remixed Original Nuttah for its 25th anniversary, which was one of the first crossover successes in 1994. Chase & Status, having established themselves collaborating with Tinie Tempah and Rihanna, called their last album Return II Jungle and went back to the sounds and era that inspired them.
The book is a huge nostalgia trip but also a great chance to tell the full oral stories of these artists in one place and give proper credit where its long overdue.
What The Author Says
Eddie Octchere, one of the co-authors of ‘Who Say Reload’ says “30 years ago, the dead and decaying post industrial urban spaces of this country began being populated by young people who wanted to dance to their own beats. This culture was the antidote to the culmination of years of cultural regression that was fostered by a Conservative government who had no regard for culture, least of all a youth culture that celebrated diversity, drugs and dance.”
“30 years on, we’re reminded how important that cultural phenomenon was, because we have suffered from the absence of social gathering, dance energy and the freedom to be who want to be and not what you have to be.“
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