Download Side A – 31:29, 72.0 MB
Download Side B – 30:54, 70.7 MB
320kbps, 44.1kHz mono, normalized
Ratpack is the DJ Everson (or Evenson?) Allen ‘longside MC Lipmaster Mark – mainstays of the English rave scene since pretty well the beginning. The duo had been performing for years (not sure how many) even at the time of this 1993 recording. They’ve served as frontmen for the UK rave scene and especially for what would be known as oldskool breakbeat hardcore, staying true to this style throughout their careers, and helping bring awareness and popularity to this and other electronic music genres.
These guys are really special to me. I’ve got a lot of their tapes (all bootlegs as the real McCoy is tough to come by all the way overseas) and am surprised and delighted to be able to say that I actually look forward to this DJ/MC combo. It’s so rare to find this sort of duo that plays off eachother so well. I understand these Fantazia events accommodated well over 10,000 screaming ravers so it’s to be expected the mixing is a little on the sloppy side, but the horns and whistles and cheers, and especially the lyrical work of Lipmaster Mark, prove sufficient even on this poorish-quality recording to bring the listener in to this world of noise and excess. Mark is a joyous, enthusiastic MC who addresses his DJ and his crowd alike, and his gravelly pipes shine through as he sings along or improvises in tandem with what would become oldskool anthems.
This tape is a collector’s piece, plain and simple. I’ve done my best to restore the audio quality, but check out the preview sample above to see whether it passes muster.
I was handed this tape, as well as several others, by DJ Virus from Toronto, Canada. He and I traded a lot of music back in the day and I’m pretty sure we left off not having returned everything to its rightful owner, but them’s the breaks if you’ll forgive a pun.
Adam and I hung out many times and I accompanied him to several parties over the years, meeting him by chance at others, and providing him a fortuitous ride home when he had no contingency plan from time to time. He started out an above-average happy hardcore DJ who has evolved into an outstanding one, playing gigs for perhaps 13 years now or more. He was a quiet and reserved guy who would sport the fattest pants you’ve ever seen, but seem a little self-conscious about wearing them. The man’s track selections have always been tight, bringing a flavour of oldskool into the latest hardcore trends (I really dig the resurgence of breakbeats), and he’s worked very hard for all the gigs and respect and clout he’s so rightfully earned.
So this tape rip goes out to you, Virus. This is probably one of the tapes you loaned me and I never gave back, so better late than never, right?