In October of 2001, Rockstar flipped the action game world on its ear with the release of Grand Theft Auto III, a revolutionary sandbox game that let players wreck havoc on Liberty City, jacking whips and hitting licks along the way. One of the biggest improvements this time around was the in-game music; instead of the wacky material used in previous iterations of the game, Grand Theft Auto III featured a series of radio stations, each tricked out with their own DJ and sound. MSX FM, the lone drum & bass station, featured a dynamic batch of progressive drum & bass, mixed by DJ Timecode and hosted by MC Codebreaker. It’s the only set I’d mob Liberty City to.
There’s already something about chopped breakbeats running at a rapid pace that feels like the city, you feel me? Being able to be in a game that mimic a cityscape that allows you to turn up the bass, put the pedal to the metal and fly into everything? I don’t think I ever finished the game, but I know that mix front to back.
What’s up with DJ Timecode?
DJ Timecode, aka Rob Playford—Moving Shadow founder and Timeless producer/engineer—threw down a ferocious 25-minute set featuring selections from his classic 01.1 mix, which was a part of the wildly successful Moving Shadow Sampler Series. (The station is technically is technically MSX FM 101.1, an homage to the 01.1 release.) For a while, whenever you went to a CD store with an “electronic” selection and looked for drum & bass, you’d either find one of these Moving Shadow samplers, a compilation from LTJ Bukem, or New Forms, so yeah, this was a huge deal.
What’s on the mix?
Featuring upfront tunes from Calyx, Aquasky, Rascal & Klone, Ryme Tyme, Omni Trio, and others, this was a heavy look at where Moving Shadow was as an imprint. Things were very techstep-y, balanced perfectly between the dancefloor and your mental. The mix kicking off with “Quagmire,” a tune that was running my life that year, was huge to me then, and still is now. Also love how a) Codebreaker keeps it so pirate with his delivery and shouting out phone numbers and emails that b) apparently still work! (Ed note: We do not condone calling any numbers or emailing any addresses shouted out in this mix.) And the best part? When it came time for GTA Liberty City Stories, they brought back MSX for a special MSX 98 station, taking this back to the essence with everything from “Dred Bass” to “Renegade Snares”.
Check out the full MSX FM tracklist below, and relive some 20-year-old drum & bass that we used to blast while stealing cars to. Shouts out to whoever is maintaining this account.
Calyx – “Quagmire”
Rascal & Klone – “Get Wild”
Ryme Tyme – “Judgement Day”
Hex – “Force”
Omni Trio – “First Contact”
Aquasky – “Spectre”
Rascal & Klone – “Winner Takes All”
Ryme Tyme – “T Minus”
nCode – “Spasm”
D. Kay – “Monolith”
Dom & Ryme Tyme – “Iceberg”