For over 30 years the lingua franca of UK rave music has been the break beat. From disused warehouses in Blackburn circa 1989 to the legendary Metalheadz Sunday Sessions at Blue Note, the Amen and the Funky Drummer have come to define what it means to be underground in Britain, embodying the rough and ready character of generations of upstart producers and DJs.
The on-going renaissance in UK bass music has upheld this tradition in style; with a raft of newly minted producers making the kind of tracks that would instigate misty-eyed recollections of white doves and unlicensed warehouses from ravers of a certain vintage.
Manchester based producer Lewy is riding the crest of this movement, with his new three-track EP dropping via Chequered Wax on the 11th of June. Lewy has been making his name in Manchester with an on-going affiliation with grassroots party starters Boxed:Music, a recent appearance on RinseFM and a steady stream of releases establishing his nostalgia-tinged take on breaks, techno and house.
Kicking off with the ragga tinged ‘Vybz Inside’, Lewy wastes no time in establishing the raw, dance-ready sound of the release, throwing together choppy rave stabs, machine-gun snare drums and a ferocious Reese bass to create a 5am workout that’s sure to ignite late night dance floors.
‘Let U Down’ ups the tempo, building on the airy, atmospheric pads with some classic jungle samples and a perfectly judged amen break, making for a nostalgia-bathed tribute to the early 90s that could have been dug out of your Uncle’s loft, sparking tales of when he used to ride the M25 hunting out the next big rave with nothing but a flyer and a beer stained A-Z.
Building on the heady nostalgia of the previous tracks, ‘M3 7LW’ rounds off the release with a knowing nod to one of Manchetser’s more notorious nightlife spots. While still replete with samples from the golden age of Jungle, Lewy uses this opportunity to introduce some contemporary influences, incorporating a muscular broken-beat percussion section that proves the young producer isn’t just looking backwards.
Overall a confident and well-conceived release, Lewy has produced three tracks that pay loving homage to one of the greatest and well-storied periods of UK dance music. If there’s something to the premonitions of a post-corona third summer of love you can be sure tracks like these will be the soundtrack.
CQ007 is available via the Chequered Wax Bandcamp from June 11th