Reality 2020 (Re-Edit) is the new release from Unique 3, a collective regularly overlooked by music scene commentators in the UK but whose influence can be felt throughout dance music. A compilation of tracks from the late 80s through to the present day, it’s a remarkable collection of sounds which can be heard throughout techno, ragga, rave and beyond.
All of British bass music can be traced back to Bleep Techno. The first ‘Bleep’ record was made in 1988 by Unique 3 and the Mad Musician, ‘The Theme’.
The story of Unique 3 is the story of British bass music.
The songs on 33/45 chart a course from Bleep to 21st century UK bass from hardcore and ragga-jungle to drum & bass, UKG and breaks.
‘The Theme’ combined a distinctive drum track and gargantuan bassline with a top-end melody full of spacey bleeps. Suddenly, a mixed-race group of bass-loving working-class lads from Bradford became the hottest property in UK dance music.
Unique 3’s debut album Jus Unique offered a sprint through hip-hop, sub-heavy club cuts, dancehall and electro-rave fusion, fusing the key elements of Bleep – the alien melodies, rumbling sub-bass and skittish percussion programming – with the specific styles of music that inspired the sound’s creation.
In 2007, the Unique 3 name returned to record stores via ‘Rock The Bass’, the first single from the first Unique 3 album for 17 years, Invasive Signals. This was a thoroughly contemporary sequel to Jus Unique that updated Unique 3’s British bass blueprint for a new century. While some of the influences and inspirations were the same – think electro, hip-hop, Soundsystem culture, house and techno – Edzy also included nods to breaks, hardcore and drum & bass – all styles that have sprung up in the years following the release of ‘The Theme’ in 1988.
Since then, Edzy has continued to offer up a string of memorable Unique 3 singles, most of which can be found on this collection. Perhaps now, 33 years after the first Unique 3 DJ gigs in Bradford, the act’s immense contribution to the story of UK bass music will finally be recognised.
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