Reggae Owes Me Money by The Ragga Twins on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

When the history of British dance music culture is finally written, one of larger chapters will undoubtedly be devoted to the work of The Ragga Twins. The series of 12-inch singles that the duo released in the early ‘90s in collaboration with the techno-loving production team Shut Up and Dance fearlessly combined Jamaican dancehall and American hip-hop, house, and electro. The result was an entirely new, distinctively British breed of electronic dance music that would eventually birth the early-‘90s jungle and rave scenes, and whose influence could even be felt as these styles gave way to grime and dubstep at the advent of the ‘00s. Reggae Owes Me Money was The Ragga Twins' full-length debut, but essentially it's a collection of these seminal early singles. It's roughly evenly divided between tracks that outwardly display their debt to the era's hardcore dancehall, like “Juggling” (where they hijack the flow of Cutty Ranks’ “The Stopper”), and glowering, mostly instrumental cuts like the frenetic “18-inch Speaker,” which effectively lays out a blueprint for jungle by fusing a deep roots sample with a staccato drum loop to disorienting effect.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When the history of British dance music culture is finally written, one of larger chapters will undoubtedly be devoted to the work of The Ragga Twins. The series of 12-inch singles that the duo released in the early ‘90s in collaboration with the techno-loving production team Shut Up and Dance fearlessly combined Jamaican dancehall and American hip-hop, house, and electro. The result was an entirely new, distinctively British breed of electronic dance music that would eventually birth the early-‘90s jungle and rave scenes, and whose influence could even be felt as these styles gave way to grime and dubstep at the advent of the ‘00s. Reggae Owes Me Money was The Ragga Twins' full-length debut, but essentially it's a collection of these seminal early singles. It's roughly evenly divided between tracks that outwardly display their debt to the era's hardcore dancehall, like “Juggling” (where they hijack the flow of Cutty Ranks’ “The Stopper”), and glowering, mostly instrumental cuts like the frenetic “18-inch Speaker,” which effectively lays out a blueprint for jungle by fusing a deep roots sample with a staccato drum loop to disorienting effect.

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3:43
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3:59
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4:39
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3:11

About The Ragga Twins

Crucial cogs in the development of U.K. dance music, the Destouche brothers -- Trevor, aka Flinty Badman, and David, aka Deman Rocker -- became known as MCs as part of North London's Unity sound system and began operating as the Ragga Twins in 1989. Through 1992, they issued a pile of 12" singles through the self-named label run by Shut Up & Dance (who also did the production work), along with the album Reggae Owes Me Money (1991); these releases, containing tracks like "Illegal Gunshot," "Spliffhead," and an early featured role on Shut Up & Dance's "Lamborghini," were bold steps forward, fiercely energetic mutations of dancehall, hip-hop, and jungle. Resurfacing in 1995 on EMI with relatively conservative Us3-produced releases like "Freedom Train" and "Money," they also put together a second album, Rinsin Lyrics (1995). Scattered singles appeared during the early 2000s, and in 2008 the Soul Jazz label compiled Ragga Twins Step Out, which focused on the Shut Up & Dance era. ~ Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    London, England

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