Ice Cream Records. Over the past year my obsession with UK Garage has only grown stronger, and I don't think there's a genre/style I prefer more out there. Stepping, skittery beats, lofty chord arrangements, diva vocals and deep sub-bass, there is no formula which works as smoothly and emotionally on the dancefloor. Is their a great label than Ice Cream Records? I think it would be difficult to find a label I preferred. From the years of 95-98 (during which time I was sadly only 5 and oblivious to the wonders UK Garage) the label was untouchable, with numerous releases from the likes of R.I.P. Productions, Dub Syndicate, Double 99, Smokin Beats & Baffled. Although each of these names occupy a special place in the heritage of garage, for me it's R.I.P. Production's steady flow of releases of the years which have most impacted in establishing Ice Cream Records' immaculate reputation as purveyors of UK Garage's finest.
The top record 'Pick Me Up' is a lovely track released back in 1995. Building slowly with intricate percussion and hi-hat arrangements, the diva vocals slowly work themselves into the track, flourishing once the simple stripped back beat accompanies the beautiful wails with a surging sub-bass. Cries of 'Pick Me Up' take to the foreground once the smooth and intelligently crafted chord arrangement is worked into the track after 1 min 30 secs. The track then reaches it's full swing, a smooth roller which will have you stepping all night, trust me. I've written about the track below previously, but I just couldn't resist placing it in a post on R.I.P. Productions once again. This is seriously one of my favourite tracks of all time, the ultimate garage track in my humble opinion. It's undoubtedly the beautiful soulful vocals which punctuate the track with chants of 'Oh baby, useless baby' and of course those heart tugging synth chord arrangements which are first implemented after 1 min 25 seconds that makes this track so special, an absolute dancefloor killer, especially if mixed with Groove Chronicles or JO if you want to update things to the present day.
Listen to both. Then listen again. And then head to discogs for a long and expensive quest on finding such 12" records. Enjoy.