0 Far so good

Alex Reece is on the up. Jim Byers jumps the elevator for a while.

With the release of his debut album So Far (Island). Alex Reece is set to become the most important player in the continuing saga ofjungle‘s crossover from the underground to the mainstream. This quiet 25-year-old from Ealing is capable of producing cutting edge drum ‘n‘ bass tracks that appeal not only to jungle fanatics but. crucially. to a broad spectrum of music lovers.

Reece has come along way since his days as a raver back in the late 80s. Following a spell as an engineer for Basement Records and a brief career making techno with his brother under the name Exodus. he gradually tuned in to the futuristic projections ofthe neo-jungle sound that was beginning to emerge. His debut ep ‘Basic Principles‘ was picked up and bigged up by leadingjungle DJ Fabio and consequently he signed to Goldie‘s. then lledgeling. Metalheadz label. The rest is history.

What sets Reece apart is his ability to apply elements of soul. jazz. funk. house and techno to the drum 'n' bass formula. Reece is one ofthe few junglists to produce full vocal cuts as seen on both his ‘Feel The Sunshine‘ and ‘Candles‘ singles. ‘By using vocals I'm just pushing the standards up. Jungle isn‘t about little dodgy tracks with samples on them anymore. its proper music now. There‘s so many new styles appearing all the time and so many ideas popping up within the scene at the moment. We don‘t wanna end up with a standard drum ’n' bass formula because it ain‘t gonna go anywhere if that happens and it‘ll end up gettin' fuckin‘ bon'n‘.

But with all the success and the fame comes the inevitable jealousy. ‘Yeah. I‘ve had a few headaches with it all.‘ admits Reece wearily. ‘People get pissed off cos I'm gettin‘ all the attention. I hear so many bullshit stories about myself these days and I'm thinkin‘ “these people haven‘t even met me so how can they say this shit?“ It‘s not nice at first but that's the way it goes I suppose. It's not my fault that the media wanna stick me in all the magazines. it‘s not like l‘rn pushing them to do it.‘

‘Like. I used to think it would be mad to have your tune played on the radio and now it‘s happened and it didn‘t even bother me. It‘s like being in the charts is great and seeing your name run across the TV on TOTP is great as well but shit like that doesn‘t impress me. Makin‘ a good tune impresses me and havin‘ someone come up to me and say “that ‘s a fuckin' brilliant tune and shakin‘ my hand" that‘s more important than all the other shit. I love makin‘ music and but I don‘t wanna build up some bogus image in the process.

‘It‘s not as serious as the media like to make out. People always ask me “What do you call your music? Is it intelligent or this and that" and I‘m like “Stop readin‘ too much into it." All lknow is that drum ‘n‘ bass is good music. That's all you need to know really.‘

But what of certain people within the scene claiming that Reece is a white boy itnposter making commercial drum ‘n‘ bass for the masses”? ‘It‘s not even worth talking about.‘ sighs an audiny pissed off Reece. ‘I don‘t consider what I‘m doing commercial. I‘ve always made music this way. I do it to please myself and I haven‘t changed even though I‘ve

‘Feel the Sunshine’ was a good record and that’s why so many people bought it. I can’t help that. I’m not gonna start makin’ shitty records again just so people think I’m underground. It lust doesn’t make sense.’

signed to a major (Island). I don‘t give a fuck what anyone else says. People say to me. ‘Oh. you‘ve had a record in the charts now so you‘ve sold out but so what! It (Feel The Sunshine) was a good record and that‘s why so many people bought it I suppose. I can‘t help that. I‘m not gonna start makin‘ shitty records again just so people think I‘m underground. It just doesn‘t make sense.‘

Then there‘s the rumours of an alleged fallout between Reece and Goldie over Reece‘s ‘Pulp

Alex fleece: the leading iace oi drum ’n’ bass

Fiction'. one of the biggest tracks of last year. originally released on Goldie‘s Metalheadz imprint. Goldie claims Reece agreed to do a remix of the track for Metalheadz and then never came up with the goods. He also claims he recieved lawyers‘ letters from Reece demanding the rights to the track so it could be used on Reece‘s debut album for Island. Goldie has been quoted as saying that ‘Pulp Fiction‘ is the only track Reece has and that Reece isjust in it for the money.

Reece laughs as if he's heard it all before. ‘He‘s said what he‘s said and I don‘t really care it‘s not like I wanna hang about with him or anything. I‘ll] not goin‘ to get into a slagging match over this. but what I will say is that I‘ve never been paid for that track. That was a big-selling track and I‘ve never seen a penny for it so when he starts slagging it off it gets annoying. He should never have slagged me off in the first place it‘s not good for the scene. He‘s slagged a few other people off as well and it's not cool y'know. It just causes major fuckin‘ headaches.‘

Jungle has come further than anyone could ever have predicted in the last couple of years and Alex Reece looks set to take it into the next dimension. (Jim Byers)

So Far ( Island) is released 5 Aug.

40 The List 26 Jul-8 Aug I996 \