Bryan Gee: Six Times V Recordings changed the face of DnB
With V Recordings celebrating 30 years as a label, we sat down with founder and DnB maestro, Bryan Gee, to discuss which V tracks he thinks have had the biggest impact on the scene.
Date published: 28th Jul 2023
V Recordings, one of the most iconic drum and bass labels in the world, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Established in 1993 by Bryan Gee and Jumpin Jack Frost, the label has been at the forefront of the Drum and Bass scene, consistently releasing ground-breaking music that has influenced generations of producers and DJs.
With a catalogue that includes some of the biggest names in the genre such as Roni Size, DJ Die, DJ Marky, Dillinja, Serum, Need For Mirrors and Krust amongst countless others, as well as a newer generation of artists who are making huge waves in the scene like L-Side, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Alibi, Command Strange and more; V Recordings has been instrumental in shaping the sound of Drum and Bass.
Celebrations of their 30-year anniversary have already started, with Bryan Gee and Co touring the country, bringing all the best tracks from their illustrious history to the seas of lucky Drum and Bass enthusiasts in attendance. A tour that will also see them play at festivals like We Out Here, Hospitality In The Woods and Crooked House In The Park.
To mark this special milestone for the label, we sat down with none other than Bryan Gee, the man behind V Recordings, to delve into their extensive back catalogue, and annal the top six V releases that have not only moulded the label into what is today, but the Drum and Bass scene as a whole. Check out what he chose and why below!
The first track ever released on V Recordings, and what a way to start things off. A record that truly got people talking, a fresh sound that was played the world over, ‘It’s A Jazz Thing’ truly put V on the map, and was the early workings of the ‘Bristol sound’ of the era. Not to mention, it’s an absolute stomper that more than holds up today. Classic.
On the track, Bryan Gee said: “Sexy jungle, that’s what we called it. Others called it the Omar tune as the double bass reminded everyone of ‘There’s Nothing Like This.’ The track was like a breath of fresh air and showed us that Jungle with Jazz was a vibe.
Not to be confused with the aforementioned banger, It’s Jazzy was a groove-laden signal to everyone in the scene that Roni Size truly had the Midas touch. An amalgamation of DnB, Jungle and Jazz, the track blew roofs off rave dens and had everyone screaming out “It’s Jazzy” at random points in their day.
On the track, Bryan Gee said: “This is classic Roni, keeping it simple but effective with that groovy bouncy double bass. It was originally supposed to come out on one of our sister labels called Chronic but after giving a copy of the white label promo to DJ Rap at Music House she excitedly told me how good it was. Her smashing it in her sets made me decide to put it on V Classics and it went on to be one of our biggest tracks.
A gigantic track that you could hear coming from a mile away, Warhead by DJ Krust is one of the most iconic DnB tracks of the 90s, and any hardcore raver of the era will tell you it sent every dancefloor into bedlam.
With those monster bass pumps, and a progression that may feel minimalist to today's standards, but was endlessly influential in the era it came out. Krush was a true innovator and this was the one that really got things rolling.
On the track, Bryan Gee said: “Minimal and dangerous, Krust was always in a different lane from anyone else. When I first heard this track I thought wow, what’s going on here? The build-up was unbelievable, it felt like it was building up to some out-of-this-world explosion and when it dropped it was like constant bombs dropping down on the dancefloor… and probably the biggest tune on our label.”
A seismic track that was massively ahead of its time as it explored the murkier sides of the burgeoning DnB sound, Scorpios ‘Trouble’ oozes with a Bristolian aurora, and there are few drops as filthy from the era. Seriously, if you aren't screwing your face up and throwing at least one hand in the air around the 2-minute mark, you’re reading the wrong article.
On the track, Bryan Gee said: “Dark, moody jungle with Scorpio, aka Roni Size and Dj Die, at their best. The duo best teamed up on many classics: ‘Music Box’, ‘It’s A Jazz Thing’, etc, and they cooked up a real anthem here which still gets rinsed out every week; mostly as a tease in the mix... Gun fingers are a must on this.”
A special track that opened doors for V in the Latin market, a sound and style that has been massively influential for the label, LK by DJ Marky and XRS is a certified DnB classic. With scattered percussion, a muted wobbly bass, and Latin guitars and vocals, this one is an innovative and uplifting mashup that never fails to bring back memories.
A genuine showcase that Drum and Bass was no longer a thing of the UK underground, and was a truly global force.
On the track, Bryan Gee said: “This track is probably the one that everyone connects us with Brazil. DJ Marky at his finest alongside Xrs .. Brazilian artists always manage to bring the sunshine to DnB like no other and this is a perfect example .. one that definitely changed the game and opened up DnB to the Latin world and gave our first top 10 and a fun day out at Top of the Pops where they performed it
A track overflowing in atmosphere, and arguably the pinnacle of the Liquid Funk era, Desperado by Artificial Intelligence is a track that got DnB DJs across the genre's ears perked, and no matter the vibe of the night was spun. With one of the most iconic basslines of its time and a vocal sample that bleeds euphoria, it again showed V championing the revolution of the scene, and constantly looking to push its boundaries.
On the track, Bryan Gee said: “Another one that changed the game .. we getting soulful house vibes with that liquid sound … this one’s a beauty.”
To celebrate their 30 years as a label, V Recordings will also be heading out on an epic tour of the country, bringing likeminded ravers a chance to hear all the label's best tunes live in a Drum and Bass set for the ages, a tour which leads to huge slots at festivals like We Out Here, Hospitality in the Woods and Crooked House in The Park. Tickets TO which you can find right here on Skiddle, at the bottom of this page!
If you want to be a part of the 30-year celebration, then you can find tickets to We Out Here, Hospitality in the Woods and Crooked House In The Park by scrolling down to the bottom of this page, or if you want to find out some more information, you can visit the event page by clicking, or tapping on the links below:
Check out our What's On Guide to discover more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.