Crate Diggin’
A.M.C selects five influential drum & bass dubs

It’s pretty rare for a drum & bass artist to gain recognition purely through DJ credentials these days, but tearing it up in front of small crowds was just how Alex Mark Calvert first broke through. Since 2007 the UK artist has built a dedicated following via his high-energy sets, fusing modern dancefloor-driven fare with lesser-known dub plates. As a producer, he’s released on certified drum & bass behemoths like RAM, Eatbrain and Low Down Deep, while his own Titan imprint has been a home for some of the genre’s most promising young stars. When he next joins us on Friday 12th April, he plays an extended three hour set as part of his Room Two Energy showcase, and ahead of the date, we asked him to pick out five records that made an impact on him for our latest Crate Diggin’ feature. For his list, he dug out some of his favourite under-the-radar dub plates, explaining to us:

“People tend to pick the same tracks when thinking of key influences, so instead of the obvious, I’ve picked out a few dubs that never came out.”

Dillinja – Together

Kicking off with the first one, Dillinja's Together. It originally appeared on his album Cybotron, although there was an unreleased version I heard a few people play – one person in particular was Jumpin' Jack Frost. It kicks ass. It's so much angrier than the version that came out, although I can see why he changed it as there were loads of slammers on the album already, and it had a good vocal on it. It's available to find online, although the above is the version which was released.

Ed Rush & Optical – Bleep Bleep

Two good friends of mine – Ed Rush and Optical. They've been on fire since day dot, and they had a tune years ago called Bleep Bleep (or that's what I had it down as). I heard someone drop it at The End, and the place erupted. It's a wicked record, a proper old school roller. I messaged both Ed Rush and Optical to see if they still had this, and neither of them do.

Bad Company UK & Fierce – Brok

Keeping it dark – a tune from Bad Company UK and Fierce called Brok. I think I heard this at SE1 when I was younger; this tune was around in the days when The Nine was played constantly (it had been about for a couple of years when I first heard this) and I think Bad Company’s Inside The Machine LP had just come out. Brok had a few sounds from a bunch of different tracks. It had the energetic drums of Fierce's music – it was really intense. I love this tune. I messaged Vegas trying to get hold of another copy of it, he said he was going to have a look but the chances of it were slim as it's quite ancient now.

Dillinja – Watching You

Switching it up to a more dancefloor vibe, maybe jump-up too, there was a tune called Watching You by Dillinja. I don't know why it didn't come out. It was sent to me years ago – so long ago that I had it cut into a dubplate. I heard it played at Renegade Hardware, Breakin' Science and Accelerated Culture; this tune just went across the board.

Undercover Agent – Dub Plate Circles [Juice]

And finally, going really old – years ago there was a label called Juice Records, and Dub Plate Circles was a huge one that was due to be released. It was a big test press, and is now very difficult to get hold of. When the main drop kicks in, with old school breaks, it’s just pure bass. I love this tune. I’ve recorded this plus a load of other dub plates for Energy at FABRICLIVE – the only place you’re going to hear them all together!

Friday 12th April

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