The much loved Nice 'N' Ripe sound is being re-visited by Boston funksters Soul Clap, who have loving curated, compiled and mixed this whopping new 2 disc selection. This release will be a mixed physical CD, a digital release that includes all 30 individual tracks plus the full length mix, and finally a four track vinyl sampler, all of which are available on Nov 25th.
The reasons Soul Clap have been picked for this honour are many: When Charlie and Eli first DJed together in 2001 they were playing 2step and garage house, alongside deep house & disco. Their first mix together was called Disco-Step for that reason, so already had the pair been digging for Nice 'N' Ripe records way back then. Eli especially had been into garage from when he first started DJing in '96 and over the years has spent hours and 100s of dollars on eBay trying to complete his Nice N Ripe and sublabel catalogues. On top of that, in 2002 Charlie studied in London and was an intern at MN2S and so it's Charlie's connection to MN2S that meant the label hit up the pair as soon as this project was mooted.
It's impossible to think of garage in the nineties without thinking of the seminal UK garage label Nice 'N' Ripe, which started way back in 1993. From its beginnings in flat in Finsbury Park releasing the occasional 12" record to releasing a record per week under an array of different guises such as Nice 'N' Ripe, Nice 'N' Fruity, G.O.D. and Zest 4 Life, Nice 'N' Ripe peaked in the years 1997 - 2001 when classics such as 'Together' by 24 Hour People, and 'Industry Standard' by Industry Standard featured on every dance floor from Pacha Ibiza to Save The Robots in NYC. Now, in 2013, when garage is as popular as ever, vinyl loving crate diggers and DJs extraordinaire Soul Clap have carefully unearthed the best the label has to offer across 2 jam packed discs. In addition, they have also subtly tweaked and edited some of the tracks in their own studio to ensure maximum coherency throughout the ride. There are so many highlights, classics and genre defining tunes here its impossible to pick highlights. Things kick off with the deep and off-kilter beats of To Go 'R-U-Reddy (Underground Instrumental Mix)' before slowly upping the gears though the jazzy stylings of Sylvester's 'Turn Table Mixer', the low slung slouch of N-ergy's 'Changes (Bongo Dub Mix)' and the trumpet laced joy of Soul Clap's edit of Grant Nelson's 'In My Soul. As things progress it's remarkable to note how relevant and essential many of these cuts still are. Planet Detroit's 'Find The Way (Soul Clap Smooth Jam Yumme Day Break Flute Edit)' for example, or key label artists like 24Hour Experience and their many inclusions, such as the bright neon stabs of 'Mantra'. All in all this is an essential compendium of the garage music that came to be known as UK garage. As a mix, too, it makes for lovable listening, moving through the different moods and grooves the genre has to offer with the usual style and wit you would expect from selectors like Soul Clap.