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Unknown Territory

Unknown Territory is the second studio album from U.K. dance act Bomb the Bass. It was released in 1991 under label Rhythm King Records.

Unknown Territory
Unknown territory.jpg
Studio album by Bomb the Bass
Released 1991
Genre Dance
House
Hip hop
Label Rhythm King Records
Bomb the Bass chronology
Into The Dragon
(1988)Into The Dragon1988
Unknown Territory
(1991)
Clear
(1995)Clear1995

ProductionEdit

In 1991 "Love So True" with vocals from Loretta Heywood was the first single of new Bomb the Bass material. It suffered under hastily imposed (and unofficial) censorship broadcast regulations, as the outbreak of the First Gulf War prompted UK broadcasters, especially the main national music station BBC Radio 1, to blacklist a variety of songs and acts deemed potentially controversial due to their content or titles. The band name Bomb the Bass was considered to fall into this category, along with that of Massive Attack.[citation needed] Copies of the "Love So True" single were re-issued credited to Tim Simenon instead, but the resulting confusion may have impeded the single's chart chances.

With the Bomb the Bass moniker restored, and an album ready to go, band activity once again ground to a halt, when the collection, now titled Unknown Territory, was delayed when Pink Floyd refused to allow a section of "Money" to be sampled on one of the album's tracks.

With the contentious Pink Floyd sample removed, the album campaign revved up once again. Second single "Winter in July" fared much better, subsequently becoming a summer-fuelled UK Top 10 hit. The track, co-written with Guy Sigsworth and vocalist Loretta Heywood featured several prominent samples from the Japan track "Ghosts" (as featured on the band's final studio album, Tin Drum). This act of inclusion-by-sampling saw Simenon following the hip hop ethos of paying homage to heroes on record. By referencing the David Sylvian-led band's influential textual and ambient work many years before, Simenon was giving notice of his intention to help push hip hop-oriented dance music in the direction that would become trip hop.

Once again pioneering new sounds in the public arena, and following the success of "Winter in July", Unknown Territory would be the band's most well received release to date. Reviewing the album at the time, music writer and author Simon Reynolds attempted to outline a new genre in the making, suggesting that, by moving beyond mere dance tracks into fully cohesive albums, the band were venturing into progressive dance.[1] However, the term did not stick.

As usual on the album, a great deal of Simenon's hip hop fascination would shine through (most notably, the production work of The Bomb Squad with Public Enemy) via the use of multi-media samples, with the album containing dialogue or soundtrack clips from Rollerball, Blade Runner, David Cronenberg's Videodrome, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Marvel comics' Fantastic Four animated cartoon series; and Death Race 2000.

Having developed dance music's potential via debut single "Beat Dis" in to a more song-based form of what the avant-garde would term musique concrète, with its complex use of hybrid hip-hop-inspired sound poaching (in place of actual played sounds) taken to logical extremes, Simenon pre-empted a style that would do well by several major acts in the years to come.

So, whilst the downbeat experimental "Winter in July" and "Love So True" would pave the way for trip hop, the uptempo breakbeat-heavy side of Unknown Territory, would be taken into more punk-laced territory as the riotous sound of The Prodigy, from their Music for the Jilted Generation album onwards. Further to which, the style would also be explored further by - and prove infinitely more successful, commercially speaking, for - the likes of Fat Boy Slim as the genre known as bigbeat.

Interviewed for Sound on Sound magazine in 1995, Simenon agreed with the interviewer when it was suggested that, with this more frenetic side of his work, he was looking to "combine the art of sampling with the energy of rock and roll."[2]

Track listingEdit

  1. Throughout The Entire World (4:38)
  2. Switching Channels (4:49)
  3. Love So True (Depth Charge Remix) (6:11)
  4. Winter In July (7" Mix) (4:32)
  5. You See Me In 3D Remix (4:04)
  6. Liquid Metal (4:19)
  7. Run Baby Run (4:53)
  8. Dune Buggy Attack 1991 (3:23)
  9. Understand This (5:11)
  10. The Air You Breathe (6:53)
  11. Winter In July (Ubiquity Mix) (7:15)
  12. Love So True (12" Mix) (6:02)
  13. Pressure Point (5:14)
  14. Moody (5:18)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2008-02-08). "Energy Flash". Picador. 
  2. ^ Tingen, Paul (1995-03-01). "Tim Simenon: Bomb The Bass". Sound On Sound. Retrieved 2008-03-11.