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South Street Records Presents: The Revival of UKG Gold with Daryl B and Carrol Thompson + Interview.

Kono Vidovic September 22, 2023 308 4 5

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South Street Records are a South London label who have been deep digging, discovering this piece of UK Garage Gold, by M.A.D Productions – UK Underground legend Daryl B and Garage god MJ Cole – featuring the queen of lovers rock, Carrol Thompson. At the time the record got rinsed on stations like Kiss FM, here we see it re-released to ride the wave of UKG filling up record store shelves in 2023. Here we have a chance to sit down with the underground hero Daryl B, to talk about the Wimbledon Funk Force, Tiffanys, and singing down the headphones in the studio.

I’m called to action by the reissue of some UKG gold that you made back in the day, re- released on South Street Records. What year did you actually make this record?

We did the track 14 years ago for E1 Records.  It was my second release on that label after ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’.

Did it sell loads back then? 

Not sure how many were pressed or sold to be honest, it was all a bit shady back then ha ha! I’m just glad it’s gone to a proper label now.

When it was first released back in 2009 how much impact did it make on dancefloors?

It certainly made an a big impact with a LOT of the underground DJ’s especially DJ Spoony. He was a massive fan of the record.

Where did you grow up Daryl?

I grew up around Wimbledon in a house full of music. My dad is a jazz drummer and has been for 60 years. My mum loved her music. She loved her funk! The Average White Band, Earth Wind & Fire and other easy listening bands like Dr Hook & Fleetwood Mac, so I was well educated and started buying tunes very early on. 

Where did you go to school and were you in a crew? 

I went to school in Wimbledon, Wimbledon Chase, and then Rutlish. They were both great schools and mixed which was even better!  I developed a big love for soul and used to hang about in Wimbledon buying tunes, going to Tiffany’s, Walton Hop, Carshalton Hall, youth clubs etc. We were called the Wimbledon Funk Force 😂.

Darryl B

What were the first clubs that you went to in the early days?

We lived and died in Tiffany’s Wimbledon.

Who were the DJs playing out at that time?

The DJ’s I listened to back then were Robbie Vincent, Froggy, Cj Carlos, Chris Hill, Colin Hudd, Dave Brown, loads really.  Most were on JFM, Horizon and Radio London. 

What kind of stuff were they playing? 

Wish  ‘Nice n’ Soft’, Fat Larry’s Band  ‘Looking for Love Tonight’ , all of Prelude stuff, Sam & Excalibur label stuff…..Way too much to mention!

Who were you kicking around with? Are you still mates with any of those same people today?

I kept in touch with some of the crew, but loads have come out the woodwork lately actually..

When did you first start making music Daryl?

I started making music around 94/95. We started our own label called Two’s Company. 

Which one of your releases do you feel made the biggest impact?

The track that really made the most impact for me at the start was ‘Dub Train’ out on VIP Records. It was part of a three track EP with ‘Free Breath’ & ‘Find Away’. I actually got a lot of remix offers from other labels after that release.

Darryl B

Is there a record you made that you feel went under the radar?

It’s funny you should ask that, as the track that went under the radar for me was the full vocal mix of ‘Too Late’ which is now being released!  I’m really hoping it won’t this time as the sound certainly resonates with the music that is happening now.

Were you Djing first or did production come before being behind the 1s and 2s?

I started DJing in early ‘92 at a club called Lacey’s for a party called Wildlife. They were looking for three residents & an MC.  Twenty DJs turned up and three Mc’s.  I was chosen and so was MC Creed, so we basically started on the same night!

Who were you playing for promoter/ party wise?

From there I started getting more bookings and then got my residency at Spreadlove late ’93. I was at Gass Club and little venues like Oceans, Bootleggers, and Fitness Centre. In 1994 the party found it’s spiritual home at The Gass Club. 

Following on from that, I got booked everywhere. UK, Europe, Pure Silk, Sun City, World Dance, AWO, Roast.  I was a Club Koo Resident for 6 years. One Night Stand, Liberty, Grays Inn Rd. The list goes on.

Did you have a go to record shop that you used to frequent back in the day?

Weekends and sometimes weekdays were always record shopping for me.  Release The Groove, Black Market, Uptown Records, Swag, Rhythm Division and of course where I worked for a bit at Vibe Records! 

I used to love those days picking up bullets for the weekend. It’s not the same now though.

Were you involved much in pirate radio? 

I started life on pirate radio for London Underground.  I probably had the best lineup of DJs there with myself, Spoony, Timmi Magic, Mikee B, Ramsey & Fen, Danny Foster… …. Loads more but my mind goes blank sometimes, must be my age lol. 

I went from there onto legal radio – Millennium Dance based in Abbey Wood, House FM after that, and did a few guests spots on Kiss FM and Radio 1. I loved radio.

M.A.D. Productions performing

How did the idea for Too Late come about? 

‘Too Late’ came about when MJ Cole and me, met doing the EP for VIP.  He’d just come across from doing drum & base and was classically trained on the keyboards. 

With my knowledge of garage and arranging and putting tracks together, we hit it off!   Matt started doing a bit more engineering and production for me on other projects, but you could see he was going on to do much than just doing underground stuff with the likes of me.

What’s he up to today? 

We didn’t make any other tracks under the same name and kind of lost touch pretty much straight after ‘Too Late’, bar a couple of DJ gigs around the UK that we did together.

How did Carrol Thompson come to be involved? 

I got asked by the E1 label owner if I’d like to work with Carrol Thompson, the Lovers Rock singer.  How could you turn that down?!  She came in the studio and smashed the vocal out in probably three or four takes  ad libs and all. Amazing!

Sounds like you had fun in the studio when you recorded the vocal as it’s on the track right?

There’s a couple of parts in the track we improvised on with the voices in the cans. We got that from a session whilst doing the VIP EP, which was actually a very funny story! A singer was asked to come into the studio and she was truly awful, so we tried coaxing her into vocals by singing down the mic so she could copy us, but she couldn’t grasp it so we just mucked about with those canned recordings and came up with ‘Free Breath’ on the EP. A very funny session but the end product was banging! Go and listen to it and you’ll see what I mean

​Are you surprised to see the revival and interest in UKG? It’s a pretty headsy vibe right now.

I lost the flavour for UK Garage around the early 2000’s because of the sound element and the crowds. It was the moodiness of the music and people just not enjoying going out. It was all about gangs and trouble ….why would I want to go to a club to DJ or to party where you’re not comfortable enough to have a good time without seeing trouble everywhere. Totally pointless.  So, I got into another scene – which was like going back to early 90’s – playing 4 x 4 tunes with a soulful bounce and a crowd that was all about the music and letting off on the dance floor, not standing around being moody.

Are you still playing loads and what kind of vibe are you playing these days?

I’ve not stopped DJing since then, playing deep soulful bouncy house for promoters all over the world. It’s been amazing.  I’ve been booked to play in America, Germany, Ibiza, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Mauritius, and even Australia. I did lose heart DJing for a bit…. well probably a month ha! I can’t see me ever giving up to be fair..

M.A.D. Productions - Too Late

How do you source new music these days?

Most of my music is from download sites. Mainly Traxsource, Beatport, Bandcamp.  I get sent a lot, but I’d rather pay for promos, they’re only a £1-£2.49.  You HAVE to support producers now as there’s certainly no money in producing anymore.  And you have to produce tunes now to get any recognition these days as that’s the only way to make a living by doing what we’re doing.

Back in the day they used to throw money at us, now unless you’re making tunes and they’re getting a lot of plays, it’s hard to make a name for yourself unless you start your own party or get on a decent radio station.

You’ve had a long career as a respected DJ on the London underground scene and beyond.  What advice would you give to young DJs who want to achieve the same longevity.

My advice would be – know your tunes well, make sure you’re showing yourself by playing at different events, don’t be a sheep and follow other DJs style, create your own way and stand out from the rest. The main thing is to stay humble, and you’ll get longevity.  I’ve prided myself on that and I’ve been 32 years in the game!

Who do you think is making great music right now?

Producers and labels I’m following now who are still or making music now are Rhemi (Neil Pearce), Grant Nelson (The Don), Groove Assassin, Babs Presents, Distant People, Househead, and Cafe 432.

When you’re not mucking around with sound, what do you do to kick back these days?

If I’m not playing or in or around music, I’m either getting blown out by my son for his mates, or at Anfield supporting the mighty Reds – Liverpool 😂

Thanks for your valuable time.

Thank you for asking the questions. I hope this has given you an insight into me 🙏

A few final words.

As we wrap up our deep dive with the UK underground legend, Daryl B, we are once again reminded of the rich tapestry of sounds, experiences, and memories that shape the UK Garage scene. A big thank you to Daryl for sharing his journey with us and to Carrol Thompson for her timeless vocals. For those of you who want to immerse yourselves in the undying spirit of UKG, be sure to grab your copy of the re-released vinyl and let the rhythms transport you back in time

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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco

Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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