Da Lick, an offshoot of Joker Records, was created in 1997 by Bizzy B and had a short lifespan with the last track, Da Lick 25, being released between 1999 and 2000.
Although the label is relatively unknown to most, some of the releases were produced by the likes of Kraig Martin (Special K) and Dean Vincent (Apollo 13) who later went on to release many successful tracks such as Space Dust, Wild West, Danger, Pressure Roll and so on.
Dean Vincent was behind such aliases as Mr Freeze, Penguin, Sub Zero, Joker and half of The Dynamic Duo (alongside Bizzy B). The duo were responsible for the likes of ‘Just a Little Hip Hop’ on Suburban Base, ’16 Track Ting’ remix on Joker Records and most importantly ‘Ya Rockin‘. Released on Back 2 Basics under the Swoosh alias alongside Jason Ball this was without a doubt, his most supported release of the time.
Although it was Special K that really made a name for himself in the mid 90’s jump up scene it is highly likely that both Kraig and Dean’s careers were shaped and developed by the likes of Bizzy B and the Joker Records camp.
Labels such as Back 2 Basics, Urban Takeover, Trouble on Vinyl and Proper Talent had a huge backing from the big DJs of the time and certainly had far more presence than the likes of Joker Records and Da Lick, however, if you’re a collector of all things jump up this label shouldn’t be ignored.
Die hard fans of the era will note that small DJ support was given to Da Lick Crew’s ‘Iron Hand’ during 1997 but it was marginal compared to other labels releases at the time.
The only real feature of a Da Lick crew I can think of from memory is the Mickey Finn mix that featured on the Dreamscape compilation – ‘The Vision’. This was also later released at the turn of the millennium and renamed ‘The Legendary Dreamscape Presents The Millenium Collection’. Here, Mickey plays the remix of ‘You Know’ by Da Lick Crew (which was one of Bizzy B’s many aliases).
Although here’s where it gets slightly confusing..
Switch, the other offshoot of Joker Records released the remix whereas the original was released on Da Lick – perhaps Bizzy B was testing both labels to see which was more popular? Really does seem strange though to put out an original on one label then the remix on another especially considering both labels used the same style of production relentlessly.
Talking of production, both Switch and Da Lick were obvious jump up labels but what’s more obvious is some of the cheeky sampling used in many of the tracks. This was rife throughout drum & bass at the time and certainly no different going back years previously although the Joker camp always seemed to do it in such a blatant way.
The obvious sampling of hip hop & R’n’B features as you would expect with the likes of Brandy & Monica’s ‘The Boy is Mine’ and Mousse T’s Laid Back mix of MC Lyte’s ‘Cold Rock a Party’ but it’s the actual drum beats and bassline samples that I refer to when I say cheeky.
The best way I can make evidence of this is to point you in the direction of the mix for you to make your own mind up so here’s a sample of Da Lick featuring some of my favourite releases from the label.
01) Unknown Artist – Side A – Da Lick 11
02) The Untouchables – The Big One – Da Lick 15
03) Spirit – The Siege – Da Lick 19
04) The Saint – Come On – Da Lick 8
05) Unknown Artist – Side A – Da Lick 7
06) Unknown Artist – Side A – Da Lick 2
07) Unknown Artist – Side B – Da Lick 11
08) Da Lick Crew – Iron Hand – Da Lick 3
09) Twirl – Bounty – Da Lick 18
10) Da Lick Crew – You Know – Da Lick 3
11) Unknown Artist – Side B – Da Lick 2
12) The Untouchables – Crest – Da Lick 15
13) Spirit – Rage – Da Lick 19
14) Twirl – Untitled – Da Lick 18
15) The Saint – Like This – Da Lick 8
16) Da Lick Crew – Untitled – Da Lick 17