Who Say Reload - Paul Terzulli & Eddie Otchere (Book Review)

Published 5th March 2021

Velocity Press continue their winning streak of must-have rave-related publications with 'Who Say Reload: The Stories Behind the Classic Drum & Bass Records of the 90s'.

This hard-backed, full-colour exploration of the tunes that defined the genre is packed with fascinating insight covering not only the story and production process of each tune but also the politics within the rave scene at the time, reflections on 90s raving and numerous other tangents and anecdotes from the key players of the time.

The likes of Goldie, DJ Hype, Roni Size, Andy C, 4 Hero and many more talk about the influences, environment, equipment, samples, beats and surprises that went into making each classic record.

Over 40 classic and influential tunes get the full treatment here including 'Mr Kirk's Nightmare', 'Valley of the Shadows', 'Champion Sound', Renegade Snares', 'Dred Bass', 'Pulp Fiction', 'Some Justice' and 'Warhead'. Name your top 10 jungle and drum & bass tunes of the 90s and there's every chance you'll be listing chapters from this book.

Interspersed with the chapters devoted to each tune are also stand-alone interviews with the likes of MC GQ, Friction, Fabio and Phil Wells of Basement Records.

One of the striking features of the book is the excellent imagery courtesy of Eddie Otchere. Eddie has an extensive archive of images, having been the photographer at Goldie’s seminal Metalheadz nights. His previously unseen visuals capture the essence of the music in a way that only someone who was fully immersed in the culture at the time could, and are the perfect accompaniment to the story being told.

Author Paul Terzulli says: “Despite the impact jungle had when it first hit, there was always an element of mystery about the music and its creators. You could experience it through vinyl, tapes of raves and pirate radio and, assuming you were old enough, going out to the raves themselves. However, finding out more about the creators of these futuristic soundscapes was a different task altogether. I felt that the stories of those responsible should be collated and presented in one place, rather than scattered across podcasts, YouTube videos and obsolete websites, or as anecdotes flickering past on a social media timeline.”

So much of the early rave/jungle/drum & bass scene was steeped in mystery and anonymity that learning the background to tunes such as 'Terrorist', 'The Dark Stranger' and 'Pulp Fiction' is always captivating.

Whereas fans of rock and pop have had numerous books over the years exploring classic tracks and influential artists the electronic and rave scene is still largely playing catch up. However, Velocity Press are doing amazing things right now to redress the balance and this latest release is up there with the best of them.

At 25cm squared and over 170 pages, this premium quality book should be on the wants list for not only original fans of the 90s rave/jungle/drum & bass scene but also anyone with an interest in dance music history - an essential purchase.

"Who Say Reload" is out now and available here.

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