Thursday, June 01, 2006

Across the Barricades

Zero B - Lock Up (Edit)

Dance music is becoming so compartmentalised these days. Everyone is sticking to their genres – you’re either psytrance or sublow; dnb or nu skool breaks. With stricter genre boundaries in place, it’s rare you find tracks that can appeal to people across all the scenes. The blurred edges that have always made dance music so appealing seem to be disappearing a little bit.

‘Lock’ Up’ by Zero B is a marvel. Initially released in 1991 as a track on the ‘Module EP’ on Great Asset, it was a seminal tune of the bleep movement. As it grew in popularity, it was picked up by Ffrreedom in 1992 and became a rave anthem, one of a handful of tracks that totally defines that era. Such was its popularity, ‘Lock Up’ also featured on Zero B’s next release for Internal Records in 1993. Skip forward a couple of years and it was getting heavy rotation from the drum ‘n’ bass heads in the mid-90s, and often found it’s way into sets by techno and breaks DJs if they wanted a surefire crowd-pleaser. It later received another lease of life when Tripoli Trax gave it a hard house makeover in 2003. All it needs now is for the current crop of grime DJs to get their hands on it. It's definitely ripe for another rerub.

However, it’s the original I care about and it still sounds awesome 15 years on. The opening new age Enya-esque synths are a misnomer, rudely interrupted by a spinback, before the funky break (also used on ‘Freedom’ by Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five) and bleeped out bassline kick in. Then it’s time for the euphoric hands in the air moment and you’re reaching for the lasers like it’s 1992 all over again. A bonafide A1 TUNE. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

Search for 'Lock Up' on ebay
Zero B discography here


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