legendary UK reggae label that launched the careers of artists such as Top Cat, Tenor Fly, General Levy and the late great Smiley Culture, as well as cuts from Jamaican legends such as Cutty Ranks, Daddy Freddy & Frankie Paul amongst many many others, NICE UP! have dug deep into the vaults to find some more lost classics to give them a new lease of life. As a long time fan of the label, NICE UP!s Shepdog hooked up with the owners and managed to secure access to the back catalogue - much of which is being made digitally available for the first time! First up, Serial Killaz pay respect to a scene that helped spawn them by giving Andrew Paul's classic 'Who's Gonna Make The Dance Ram' an updated junglist relick. Retaining the sleng teng vibe of the original, but giving it a 2012 bounce should see plenty of reloads for this track once again. Over on the flip, festival favourites the Dub Pistols rework Pato Banton's 'Nice Up The Session' from the 'Great British MCs' album, giving it a lively drum & bass feel with extra horns and a little help from Rodney P.
After the huge success of their 'Rasta Be Good' and 'I Say Yeah' singles a couple of years back, which saw support from Annie Mac, Rob Da Bank, Norman Jay, as well as a stack of excellent remixes and mashups, Belgium's Turntable Dubbers come correct with a brand new single featuring legendary dancehall MC Top Cat on vocals. As always, it's a killer vocal hook singing the praises of the fine female form, which is complemented by a bumping 4/4 reggae flavoured track produced by Timaxx & Drezz alongside Polish producer Sebski. Remixes come from UK Funky don Warrior One, who is now pushing a new 'future jungle' sound which he showcases perfectly with this old school rave re-rub, complete with uplifting pianos, horns, sirens and just wait for that bass drop! Poland's Dreadsquad has taken the track back in time and supplied a classic ska remix with a very modern edge, replaying the whole riddim track with a full live band for that authentic sound and shuffle. Both are guaranteed to NICE UP! the party on any occasion!
The Nextmen need hardly any introduction these days. Mixtape legends, badboy producers, guaranteed party rockers and some would go as far as to say a national institution, there is not a dancefloor that these boys have not smashed in their time. Even your grandma loves them, probably. From hip hop, dubstep, drum and bass to house, electro and disco, theres not a genre the guys wont dabble in, so its great to see them delve into their reggae influences for this debut release on NICE UP! Featuring french MC Pupajim (probably best known for "I Am A Robot" and "International Farmer"), the boys loop up a bumpin reggae beat with more than enough bounce to get the laziest of arses off their sofa and onto the dancefloor for a skank. With a version on the flip and a handful of digital remixes to choose from, this should be booming out of a speaker near you soon.
After a summer of smashing festivals, boat parties and the occasional pint glass, the NICE UP! crew return with 2 brand new blends for your box. Once again label boss Shepdog works his magic on the mixing desk with a red hot version of a very current tighrope-walking US soul star in waiting. Working it around the Joyride riddim (best known for Lady Saw's "Sycamore Tree" or Wayne Wonder's "Bashment Girl"), this is another essential addition to any version excursion and the first mash-up we know of on this riddim. Over on the flip, another US songstress gets a loved up rework on the classic Truth & Rights riddim, breaking hearts and melting dancefloors in the process.
Possibly one of the biggest tunes to step out of the NICE UP! camp - from new signing and dubstep star in waiting Adam Prescott. Having received serious rotation from Mistajam and Ras Kwame on the radio, as well as heavy support from the likes of Skream, Hatcha, N-type and Jakes, the label wasted no time in snapping up "On A Dubstep Tip", an inspired reworking of SL2s rave anthem. Featuring Dynamite MC reliving his rave-hood on the mic alongside Jah Screechy who penned the original sample source "Walk & Skank", this is sure to blow the roof at any dance. On the Bside, Adam shows off his knowledge and love of reggae with updated reworks of classics from some of the most timeless voices in the genre.
Making his debut release on NICE UP! is east london dub master, remixer of choice for Roots Manuva and erstwhile tour DJ for Hard Fi, Wrongtom. Having given some of the UKs biggest stars the dubwise treatment, here he turns his hands to a couple of under-the-counter remixes. "Riddim Killin" finds the one and only Rodney P riding three of the most classic and recognisable dancehall/reggae riddims of all time - a winning combination in anyone's book and sure to NICE UP! any dance. This track bumps so hard, legendary DJ, musician and film-maker Don Letts pronounced "it will never leave his record box". Flip it over for "Pass Out (Wrongtom's Resuscitation)" a sleng-teng inspired take on a recent chart topper. This riddim track was completely recreated from scratch with his authentic 80s drum machine, with extra bass and fx thrown in to create a throwback digital dancehall classic, reminiscent of UK legends such as Smiley Culture, Tippa Irie and Daddy Rusty.
The very first 12" release on NICE UP! to mark the 10th release of the label (NICEUP006 was a pair of trainers, how very Tony Wilson!) and the very first drum and bass release on the label. Fresh from rocking crowds around Belgium, as well as festivals and clubs across the whole of Europe, Turntable Dubbers (aka Timaxx & Drezz) step it up a gear with these 2 blistering DnB workouts. First up, a classic reggae cut gets amped up to breakneck speed with a little help from a Hospital Records superstar who wishes to remain unknown. Over on the flip, Lindy Layton and Prezident Brown get together on top of a beefed up Bubbler Riddim, with enough drops to get all rudeboys and rudegirls hands in the air. Already getting props from Digital Soundboys Benny Page amongst others, these are sure to be heard on dancefloors and in fields this.
Kicking off the new year with a bang, the NICE UP! crew prove once again why they're the baddest on the block with another hip hop/reggae banger for your box. This time, label boss DJ Shepdog teams up with Bristol's Tony Midget for huger than huge "Limber Up" throwing the classic "Limb by Limb" over possibly one of the most riotous hip hop tunes of all time! Over on the flip the duo serve up the head-nodding "MC's Act Like They Don't Smoke" with Mr Vegas, Alozade and Hollow Point trading verses over another classic hip hop instrumental. With plenty more releases up their sleeve, as well as a 2nd volume of their "Cut Ups, Brucks Ups & Muck Ups" CD on the way, 2010 is already looking like a busy year for NICE UP!
Another banger from NICE UP!, with label boss DJ Shepdog unleashing 2 more sure fire party starters. Having messed with some of the best, this time he takes some 90s New York hipsters down to the shanty town for a skank, with a suprise verse from a UK legend thrown into the mix too. Over on the flip, one of the summers most criminally slept on tunes gets a re-rub atop another classic Studio 1 riddim, making a welcome addition to any version excursion.
Another banger from the NICE UP! camp, following the massive "Blud & MIA" and "Skanking In The Way of Control" with DJ Shepdog delivering an uptempo take on everybody's favourite cartoon band, Gorillaz. Heavy on the horns, drums and sirens, this ska infused monster should NICE UP! any dance. Never has Shaun Ryder sounded more righteous! Over on the flip, Brighton's very own Black Grass serves up an 80's/digital inspired take on the hardy perennial "Show Me Love" by Robin S, dropping some simple keys and dutty bass into the mix. Did someone say summer is here?