Various Artists

Join The Future - UK Bleep & Bass 1988-91

Image of Various Artists - Join The Future - UK Bleep & Bass 1988-91
Record Label
Cease And Desist

About this item

The first release on Optimo Music founder JD Twitch’s new compilation-focused label Cease & Desist will be a collection of pioneering turn-of-the-90s British “Bleep & Bass” techno tracks curated by author and music journalist Matt Anniss.

Join The Future: UK Bleep & Bass 1988-91 is a partner product to Anniss’s critically acclaimed book on the foundations of British dance music’s ongoing love affair with sub-bass, Join The Future: Bleep Techno and the Birth of British Bass Music. The book, which was published by Velocity Press in December and features a foreword by JD Twitch, documents in vivid detail the previously untold story of the Yorkshire-pioneered style and the impact it had on the development of UK dance music.

The compilation is the first to focus on Bleep & Bass since the sound’s heyday in the late 1980s and early ’90s. It features a mix of historic cuts, period classics, overlooked gems and unreleased material. It was mastered for release by Warp Records co-founder and Forgemasters member Rob Gordon, a producer, remixer and studio engineer who arguably did more than anyone else to define the sub-heavy sound of the style.

Gordon also contributed a previously unheard version of Alfanso’s “Dub Feels Nice”, a near mythical track he produced in 1991 that has never received a proper commercial release. The cut has been a secret weapon for a handful of Sheffield DJs for almost 30 years, most notably Gordon’s fellow Forgemasters member Winston Hazel. Fittingly, the compilation also includes the original unreleased instrumental version of Tuff Little Unit’s Steel City classic “Join The Future”.

Many of the other tracks on the compilation are rare, hard to find or have not been issued on vinyl or digital since their initial release. It opens with Unique 3 and the Mad Musician’s “Only The Beginning” – the 1988 A-side of the first ever Bleep record – and also includes tracks and remixes from fellow scene pioneers Ital Rockers (an early alias of dub hero Iration Steppas), Nightmares on Wax, Cabaret Voltaire and DJ Martin and DJ Homes, the previously unheralded Chapeltown duo behind the influential Leeds-based studio and record label BASSIC.

Elsewhere on the compilation you’ll find Birmingham producer Demonik’s sought-after debut single “Layrinthe”, a hard-to-find cut from Bedford-based men of mystery Original Clique, two classic cuts from the vaults of influential Midlands label Network Records and a glassy-eyed slab of Bleep/deep house fusion from 100 Hz.


Matt says: Yorkshire lay their rightful flag in the Arctic Tundra of Who Invented UK Rave? Putting to rites any self-absorbed Manc, Cockney (or Blackburnian for that matter) who likes to think 'they' invented the universal appreciation and global amalgamation of repetitive electronic beats. This is a really strong comp - all the tracks have stood the test of time undeniably. It's something about those deep bass frequencies and ancient dance rhythm. Still sounding somehow futuristic some 30 years later, it's a compilation any lover of dance music history needs in their collection.


A1. Unique 3 & The Mad Musician - Only The Beginning
A2. Original Clique - Come To Papa
B1. Demonik - Labyrinthe
B2. Nexus 21 - Self Hypnosis (Mr Whippy Remix)
C1. Cabaret Voltaire - Easy Life (Jive Turkey Mix)
C2. Alfanso - Dub Feels Nice (Version 4)
C3. Ital Rockers - Dreams
D1. Man Machine - Animal (DJ Martin & DJ Holmes Primordial Jungle Mix)
D2. Nightmares On Wax - 21st Kong
D3. Tuff Little Unit - Join The Future (Original Instrumental Mix)

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