Live and direct
Wall of Sound All Stars Special Mary Ann Hobbs' Show, Radio 1
Wednesday 24 September 1997
The Wall of Sound record label represents a group of musicians who produce a quite rare blend of DJ samples and live instruments. This sound is akin to The Chemical Brothers, mixed with some Beastie Boy arrogance and deft scratching.
In three years, they have made their mark in a scene that is the flavour of the moment, having gained a huge popularity vote at the festivals this year. The label has become the All Stars of big beat - a recent genre in dance music and a mixed bag of soundtrack samples, bass loops, funky drumming, playful effects and weird percussive fills. All put together in a speed-fuelled frenzy.
"I see it as loads of different things, taken from 20 years ago, hip hop, rap, industrial avant-garde," says Mark Jones, head of the record label. "It can be a little bit more hedonistic. It is really a reality check. You are not doing something that you have been told to do or reacting to a record in a huge house club with the obligatory hands in the air."
The label's Give 'Em Enough Dope Vol 1 & 2 won them notoriety not least for the ingenious cover designs (is it chocolate, or could it be something to do with the title?) and merchandise that has made their name familiar among the trendies, with T-shirts and the obligatory ravey floppy hat. Wall of Sound's reputation is unique, says Jones. "You have to recognise that this has been going or three years and it's still underground."
Propellerheads' Dive EP was featured on a worldwide Adidas advertising campaign last year. Today, The Second XI is released featuring tracks from Propellerheads, Agent Provocateur, The Wiseguys, Les Rhythmes Digitales and Dirty Beatniks.
The Mary Ann Hobbs show featured Mark Jones, assisted on the decks by his signings, Dereck Dhlarge and Theo from The Wiseguys. Tuned in and experienced, here was the full gamut of musical techniques in an hour- long live special.
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