DJ Bailey
DJ Bailey

A blast from Bailey’s past

Sixteen years ago today, DJ Bailey alongside SP:MC took over the BBC Radio 1 airwaves for this impressive addition to the storied Peel Session archives. Even with what fans like myself have learned about John Peel in the years since his passing in October of 2004, those 4,000(!) Peel sessions still stand as an intriguing statement on the recording industry, radio, and allowing artists to truly express themselves.

And out of those 4,000 sessions, only a handful have featured drum & bass DJs specifically. Peel’s had an affinity for jungle and drum & bass, dating back to radio programs from 1995 where he’s dropping tunes from Dread Bass and Da Intalex one month, then letting you know there was more where those tunes came from the next month. Peel started inviting DJs to record their own dnb-laden Peel Sessions. A Guy Called Gerald had three Peel Sessions from 1988 through 1995, Technical Itch demolished his Peel Session mix back in 2002 (think peak-“The Rukus” era Tech Itch), and DJ Fresh did one in 2004 (after John’s passing). Metalheadz representers Kemistry and Storm sorted one fine mix out back in 1999.

Big up, Bailey

DJ Bailey was able to get his Peel Session mix in before John’s passing. SP:MC, who’s gone on to be an accomplished producer in his own right, has a knack for vocaling impactful mixes; back in 2007, he was a part of Fierce and Break’s epic ATM Worldwide cover mix. Back in 2004, though? Bailey was on that proper choppage/drumfunk tip. Technicality was huge, guys like Equinox, Breakage, and 0=0 were finding fascinating new ways to present breakbeat science to the forefront, and Bailey was right there, providing a rough and rugged selection of tunes for his thunderous half-hour of power for John Peel.

What’s special on the tracklist?

Bailey’s got some heat for this mix, which you can download for free (alongside a number of Bailey’s past radio mixes), including Breakage’s “Final Chapter” mix of Equinox’s “Acid Rain”, Photek’s massive “Baltimore” (which is the most un-Photek mix to drop in a set full of breakneck breakbeat insanity, but “Baltimore” was a BANGER and Bailey knew what time it was), as well as both sides of Equinox’s 12″ for Bailey’s Intasound imprint.

And for those of you who aren’t up on Bailey as a producer, there’s an unreleased gem called “Robots” on here with some masterful use of [REDACTED]’s words and a heavyweight dose of amen business. Hold tight.

Tracklist:

01. Digital – Rock [Function]
02. Equinox – Ital Lion Tuff Head [Intasound]
03. Hive – Krush [Metalheadz]
04. Equinox – Acid Rain VIP (Breakage Final Chapter Mix) [Planet Mu]
05. 0=0 – Soul Hunter Testifies
06. Senses – Darker Self [Inperspective]
07. Bailey – Robots (Anthem Bashers)
08. Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch – Hide The Tears (Remix) [Metalheadz]
09. John Rolodex – Sick & Twisted [Machinist]
10. Photek – Baltimore [Photek]
11. Equinox – Stagger [Intasound]

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