Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Sunday 29 October 2023

Forty Five Minutes Of Renegade Soundwave

As promised last Sunday here's my forty five minute long Renegade Soundwave mix. Listening to them this week to pull this together was very enjoyable- they made many very good records, singles, remixes and albums, operating a little below the radar, but their sound would be picked up by acts that become much bigger and more successful (I'd be very surprised if both The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy didn't own some RSW records). Formed in London in 1986 RSW were a three piece outfit, Gary Asquith, Carl Bonnie and Danny Briottet. Their early records were a collision of hip hop, industrial and sampling with a large side order of dub. Over time the rhythms and sounds of acid house worked their way to the fore along with the breakbeats of early 90s jungle. In 1990 they signed to Mute and released four albums before splitting up in 1995. Renegade Soundwave seem very much a London act, the pubs, clubs, people, sounds and substances of the city transmitted onto black plastic. 

This mix only scratches the surface and I left out the Leftfield remix of Renegade Soundwave, possibly (as discussed earlier this week) the greatest remix/ club track of all time. Given that it's been on this blog twice already in the last seven days, putting it into this selection felt gratuitous. 

Forty Five Minutes Of Renegade Soundwave

  • Renegade Soundwave
  • Women Respond To Bass (12" Vocal Mix)
  • Biting My Nails (Bassnumb Chapter)
  • Positive ID
  • Brixton (Sabres Of Paradise remix)
  • Thunder
  • Brixton (Dub Mix)
  • Probably A Robbery

Their title track, a 1994 single, is led by acoustic guitar and a vocal about coming back from a house party with crunchy drums and cavernous bass. The song also features the deadpan Teutonic sounding woman intoning their name- a two word snippet of song that often pops into my head and has me  repeating the words 'renegade soundwave' apropos of nothing.

Women Respond To Bass was a 1992 single with a pilfered BMW logo on the disc and eye catching sleeve. Scientific veracity of the statement in song's title may be required- happily the bassline of this song is so good that everyone and anyone should respond to it. The woman saying 'renegade soundwave' appears in this song too. 

Biting My Nails came out in 1988, heavy and industrial, the sound of RSW before acid house hit them. 

Positive ID is one of my favourite RSW songs, a catchy and funky and released in an array of versions and mixes. The version here is the Radio Mix and it's a song which really should have got them some radio play. 

Sabres Of Paradise remixed Brixton, a 1995 12" single, Weatherall, Kooner and Burns going for the megathump with a high pitched top note and a single line of vocal, 'I'm checking out her rhythms'. The Dub Mix is by RSW. 

Thunder came out in 1990, sampling Perry Como and an early 90s classic with its sternum hitting bassline, crackles of guitar, enormous drums and wobbling synth sounds. In fact looking back now, its as good as anything else that came out in that year- and 1990 was by no means a fallow year for dance music. 

Probably A Robbery was the only RSW single that cracked the charts, a number 38 hit in January 1990. Rico Conning and Mute's Daniel Miller mixed it- the B-side Ozone Breakdown should have featured in this mix too. The vocal is very funny, a tongue in cheek celebration of a life of crime- 'Because its probably a robbery/ A bit of skullduggery/ The funniest thing I wanted to sing/ But the notes wouldn't come my way'. They made a video for Probably A Robbery too... 


trail of bread said...

thanks, but the link is actually to the video.

Anonymous said...

Ah shit. Will fix shortly.

Swiss Adam said...


Anonymous said...

Great mix. The Drum Mix of Inspiral Carpets' This Is How It Feels would be up there with my all time favorite remixes. Utterly hypnotic. Michael

blureu said...

nice! Thanks.

thewalker said...

Lovely, that 'Renegade Soundwave'pops into my brain too on occasion.