The first in our series of Days Like That mixes comes from underground dons Dem 2 – the two-step legends that seriously exploded with the release of 1997’s classic ‘Destiny’ .
With a totally unique, alien groove of madly spliced vox, shuffling beats and killer hooks, ‘Destiny’ remains a truly timeless and definitive two-step anthem (and was arguably the first) and still sounds fresh as fuck today… some 13 years on.
Pretty damn prolific in their day, their back cat of remixes is a never-ending list of two-step classics from the more well-known anthems like their remix of Tina Moore’s second single ‘Nobody Better’ and SJ’s ‘I Feel Divine’, through darker more left-of-field moments like their bass-heaving ‘Da Grunge’ mix of their own US Alliance beat ‘All I Know’ on Locked On, to the lesser known gems like the raw almost-forgotten, darksteppin’ rework of Wamdue Project’s house anthem ‘King Of My Castle’ under their Moral Fibre guise which never came out and we’ve only ever heard on one of those Pure Silk CDs (think it was an Ayia Napa one).
Funnily enough, Dean from Dem 2 has chosen not to whack any of them on their DLT 001 mix but it says shit loads about both his record collection and their own discography that it’s pure sickness and garage goodness all the way.
From the bumping shimmering soul of the TJ Cases remix of Thump ‘n’ Johnson’s‘Valley Of Love’ to the weird, whacked and way-ahead-of-it’s-time breakbeat funk of Dem 2’s dub remix of Divine Styler’s ‘Directrix’, it’s full of the dark, dubby infectious funk that Dem 2 once owned and builds into plenty of quality, bumping 4/4 bizzle from Todd Edwards, Nice ‘n’ Ripe records and the punchy bass badness and skippy keys of Big Bird’s ‘Flav’ on the Flirt EP.
We also got Dean from Dem 2 on email for a little chat ahead of his set at Days Like That on Friday 30th April.
DLT: The Dem 2 sounds was distinctive for mutating and cutting-up vocals to build that mad alien funk. What were your main influences on that tip?
Dean: My influence on chopping up vocals was Cabaret Voltaire and I started doing it in my productions as far back as 1987.
DLT: You were always cited and celebrated as one of the true leaders of the garage scene back in the day and the hype was backed up by tune after tune. How come you never got round to releasing an album?
Dean: We did do a Dem 2 album but it didn’t get released as the record company followed the scene change and didn’t know how to market it. We’re still thinking of releasing it as ‘Dem 2: The Lost Tapes’ as it is forward thinking and timeless.
DLT: Why did Dem 2 seem to disappear for a while? Did you feel garage had lost the funk?
Dean: Dem 2 will never be totally quiet, it just got put on the back burner while I got married, had my little girl, invested into property and worked on my book. I am going to be doing some remixes soon for various labels and also supplying music for my Film4 project. It definitely lost something, not sure what, maybe it got too fragmented.
DLT: Are there any exclusives in your mix?
Dean: There are no exclusives on there, otherwise it’s not exclusive anymore. To be honest, I only really play my exclusives when I smash up a venue so I’ll be bringing plenty unreleased Dem 2 bombs with me to Days Like That.
Agency Muusic Digital