Two-step enjoyed its brief stay on the overground at the turn of the century and unfortunately gave itself a bad name where singles were concerned. Step forward Shanks & Bigfoot, Truesteppers and the Pied Piper.
The Stanton Warriors came in on the back of this craze, where as the interest waned the music seemed to get better, and from their roots in the Tuff Jam studios they grew as producers in their own right, taking more of a breaks direction. Their adaptability as remixers inevitably led to demands for work from the likes of Missy Elliott, Artful Dodger and Basement Jaxx.
It’s the latter with whom they seem to share most on the musical front, but while Basement Jaxx have cast the net far and wide in their search for influences, the Stanton Warriors have retained an urban edge and raw power to their beat making.
It shows up well in this collection of their re-castings. Concrete strong beats, basslines cast in iron, electronic effects all over the shop. Such elements make a mockery of the originals, and even constitute a success when applied to familiar dancefloor anthems, be they Gorillaz Feel Good Inc, Layo & Bushwacka‘s Love Story, or the mighty take on Azzido Da Bass‘ Dooms Night.
Also successful are the funked up takes on Chicken Lips‘ He Not In, where the original riff gets spaced out through the overall sound picture before kicking in fully with impressive force, Jump And Shout, where the tension of the original Basement Jaxx gets put through an old school, late 1980s warehouse rave. There’s room, too, for an underground classic from the two step golden era, Reach And Spin‘s Hyperfunk.
And lest you think the Warriors are exploiting past glories and have little of new note to offer, their fulsome remixes of Coburn‘s Break Me With You and Goose‘s Bring It On tell a different story. So too does their recent remake of Claude Von Stroke‘s Who’s Afraid Of Detroit, sadly missing from here – along with their retake on Freeform Five‘s Eeeeaaoow.
Moving to Skint seems to have brought the Stanton Warriors to their spiritual home, and with breaks music in fine health of late this collection pushes them back towards the front row. Their next wholly original material ought to establish them firmly as primary exponents of the genre.