The Ragga Twins
Ratpack are DJ Lipmaster Mark & MC Evenson Allen who joined forces back in 1985 when Evenson was a DJ/Vocalist for Locomotion Soul Sound playing Reggae, Soul & Hip Hop and Mark was a Keyboard Player and Human Beat Box. They both worked together with Mark doing beats over Evenson's sets and then the Acid House craze in 1989 saw them take a new direction. First by running their own local warehouse parties and then becoming the UK rave scene's first DJ/MC team and they are still standing strong 25 years later.
The Ragga Twins are Flinty Badman (Trevor Destouche) and Deman Rocker (David Destouche). Both were respected MC's starting off in a North London sound system & label called Unity Sounds. They formed The Ragga Twins in early 1990 and they became one of the most influential acts to emerge from the rave scene. In 2008, Soul Jazz Records issued acompilation album of their early 1990s recordings entitled Ragga Twins Step Out. The Ragga Twins longest musical relationship is with Aquasky, a partnership that was first cemented in 2001 when Brent Newitt went to Flinty Badmans house in Hackney and they still tour the world doing shows to this day.
Skibadee started on City Sound Radio around 1993, and by the end of 1995 Skibadee was resident for all Kool FM. Along with his gym partner, MC Det, Skibadee launched a new project called 2Xfreestyle in late 1997, which involved putting a Drum and Bass tempo over a Hip-Hop beat, therefore creating a doubletime effect. He would often perform this style with its innovator, the late Stevie Hyper D.
Michael West, better known as Rebel MC, aka Congo Natty, is an English jungle producer and toaster. In the early 1980s, West formed the group Double Trouble with the now deceased Michael Menson, Karl Brown (more commonly known as the UK garage DJ Karl 'Tuff Enuff' Brown) and Leigh Guest; and released the single "Just Keep Rockin" on the Desire record label in 1989 as Double Trouble and Rebel MC. The single was a UK Top 20 hit, and the follow-up "Street Tuff" (1989) was his biggest success, reaching #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
Coming Up PAs
These legendary artists will all be appearing in the rave scenes of Coming Up...
Shut Up And Dance
Way back in 1986 there were four guys named Smiley, PJ, Dj Daddy & Dj Hype. They had built a sound system called Heatwave and at weekends they would break into a house or warehouse to have their own illegal raves. Smiley & PJ were rappers on the sound system but couldn't get a record label to sign them up so they decided to start their own, Shut Up And Dance Music. Their first release 5,6,7,8, was sold straight out of the boot of PJ’s ford escort. Other singles followed, including Lamborghini. Their album Dance Before The Police Come became an instant success, due to support from the pirate radio scene. As the label grew they signed artists including The Ragga Twins, Nicolette, Peter Bouncer, Rum & Black & Ade.
The Godfather of Rave was playing out at parties from the tender age of 14 and putting together his own tracks by playing around with different genres, splicing tapes and experimenting with samples. Slipmatt went on to set up pirate station Raw FM along with DJ Lime and in 1989 the duo formed SL2, alongside MC Jay. Their first record Do That Dance shot the boys to underground fame and when their release of DJs Take Control/Way In My Brain hit number 11 in the national UK charts, it looked like the DJs had brought underground sounds to the mainstream. But it was their follow up On A Ragga Tip that went to No. 1 in the network charts and No. 2 in the national charts and became one of the most iconic tracks in dance music history. Slipmatt is still evolving, producing and playing to massive crowds and is one of the most respected artists of his generation.