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Thursday 23 March 2023


Monday's posting of Saturday's Angels by If? and the mention of the Lionrock remix of that song clearly worked some kind of magic on my in- car mp3 player (or it was merely coincidence, you decide). Driving home last night Lionrock's 1992 self- titled debut single Lion Rock came up and soundtracked a very enjoyable six and a half minute section of my drive home. 

Lion Rock 

Lionrock was the name of Justin Robertson's 90s outfit, a group which started out very much in the progressive house area and then as the decade went on moved into ska and Big Beat. Joining Justin in Lionrock were MC Buzz B (Mancunian rapper Sean Braithwaite) and Mark Stagg (who was then replaced in 1995 by Roger Lyons). The track Lion Rock set out their signature sound, Justin Robertson's trusty horns, a thumping kick drum and occasional interruptions by tumbling timbales. 

They followed Lion Rock with Packet Of Peace, a similarly rushing progressive house thumper but with MC Buzz B vocal, his cool, conscious rap/ poem riding on top of the music- 'I'll leave my mind beneath the mat so you can let yourself in'.

Packet Of Peace (Edit) 

Packet of Peace came with a bunch of remixes. The group's own Lionrock remix, titled No More Fucking Trumpets, opens with a distorted voice intoning 'Lionrock sound system' and then some very '93 synth sounds. The drums kick in, the warm, fat bass starts pumping and we're off on a long old remix adventure, eight minutes of lovely, trancey '93 house. 

Packet Of Peace (No More Fucking Trumpets)

Lionrock were masters of the remix, providing excellent clubby versions of songs by Bjork (Big Time Sensuality), The Shamen (Boss Drum), Transglobal Underground (International Times) and The Grid (Rollercoaster) among others (plus the If? mentioned above). They also took a song from the much derided final Happy Mondays album (Yes Please!) and turned it into Lionrock gold with their remix of Sunshine And Love. But maybe these are all best left for another day.


Jake Sniper said...

I've recently been listening to An Instinct For Detection, a really enjoyable album. Which I bought 27 yrs ago!

Tom W said...

Yes Please! is one of those much-derided albums I uncritically love, even when it gets dodgy towards the end. Never heard the Lionrock remix.

The Swede said...

If, The Cure and now Lionrock - you're making me feel very old this week Adam! What chance some solo MC Buzz B at some point if you have any? I was well into his Polydor stuff at the start of the 1990s.

Swiss Adam said...

I'll see what I can do Swede- sure I've got some solo Buzz B somewhere.

Tom- I'll post the Mondays/ Lionrock remix at some point.

Rickyotter said...

Lionrock were excellent, both on record and as a live band. The words 'A Justin Robertson production/remix' are as close to a guarantee of quality as you can get

Khayem said...

I bought the Lion Rock single on CD for 50p in a record shop bargain bin in 1993. I'd never heard, just liked the cover design and mix titles and saw Justin Robertson's name - like Rickyotter, a reason in itself to trust that this was a quality product. I bought every other Lionrock release I could find and still return to the two albums regularly.

That Happy Mondays remix is excellent. I must dig out JR's remixes of The Inspiral Carpets' Caravan, which were another pair of early 1990s gems.

Justin's continuing to release superb music and remixes. Very much looking forward to his contribution to Unloved's imminent Polychrome Remixes EP.