Jim Baker is a pioneering drum & bass and jungle artist who's been recording solo as Source Direct since 1999 (before then the project was a duo with Phil Aslett). On June 8th Nonplus will issue a 12-inch that has a Blawan remix of "Black Rose" alongside the 1996 original. That'll be followed by a record featuring '95 cut "Approach & Identify" backed by a remix from Demdike Stare. These release will be available on vinyl and digital formats—it'll be the first time the original tunes have been available digitally.
"I first met Jim around '97/'98 at The End nightclub in Central London," Boddika told RA. "I wasn't sure who he was when I first met him. I thought he was one of the guys from Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels at first, but soon realised he wasn't. By that time I was an avid listener of anything Source Direct were doing and their tracks were 'buy on sight' for me. The Source Direct discography was in many ways a blueprint for lots of jungle/d&b that would come throughout the following years and has stood the test of time unbelievably well."
He adds: "There are a few reasons why we decided to re-release and remaster the SD Recordings catalogue, the first one being that it's never been available digitally before. The second is that we both think it's something that needs to be heard by a new generation who have never had the privilege and who may not own a turntable. Some of the records are hard to come by these days and if you do find them on Discogs, they'll set you back a few quid.
Thirdly, it's something we've spoken about a few times over the last couple of years and I personally thought now is a better time than ever to unleash this project, especially as there's been a growing interest in old jungle recently—it wouldn’t be right to leave this music out of the loop! We also wanted to breathe new life into the project by getting remixes done to accompany the original tracks. We decided to ask artists from different scenes and genres to make use of the samples and get their interpretations on the original music."
More remix 12-inches will follow, culminating with most of the Source Direct back catalogue, much of which has never been made available digitally, being remastered and re-released. We spoke with Baker via email to discuss the project.
What are your thoughts on having your music remastered and reissued for a new generation of listeners?
I'm extremely excited about working with Boddika. This gives a new generation the chance to own tracks that haven't been available until now and also introduces the Source Direct sound into the techno/deep house scenes—music I've always been a fan of and an avid buyer of since an early age. I always felt my music was ahead of its time, even within the early years of D&B. The Source Direct sound has always stood out from the crowd and I've consistently pushed myself creatively to produce original, cutting-edge club music that also sounds great within many other listening environments. So to release the original Source Direct tracks for this new generation who missed the golden years of infamous clubs and raves gives them the opportunity to re-live the excitement and energy I got from going out in my younger days and the chance enjoy that buzz of getting your hands on a new vinyl release.
What do you think of the Demdike Stare and Blawan remixes?
Blawan's remix of "Black Rose" perfectly captures the dark tensions of the original track and uses the samples in new creative ways, which make a stomping techno track that retains the menacing visual concept of the original. Being the first artist to remix a Source Direct track is something I was looking forward to, and Blawan has certainly produced a great remix. Both the remix and the re-mastered original sound totally fresh and unique among current techno and D&B.
Demdike Stare have completely ripped up the script with their remix of "Approach & Identify," taking it into realms I never thought possible. It transports you a million light years away, upon which you enter new worlds of imagination. You can only hope for a wormhole 'out there' to return to normality. I'm very proud of both these releases and am looking forward to letting the future projects free within human kind.
Published: 30th April 2015