Return Of The Vibe – Part 1

Posted by edd_jedi on 25th March 2019

Usually when we put a new release out I will just send an email to the mailing list and post it in a few Facebook groups. But our next release is a very special one and has a story behind it, so before the record goes up for sale next month I’m going to write a couple of blog posts about it with some rave history thrown in!

Jedi Recordings #23 will be a collaboration with Stormtrooper Recordings for their 25th anniversary, featuring two brand new tracks by an original label artist. If you’re not familiar with the label, I suggest checking it out on Discogs as they were one of my favourites during the 1994-1996 ‘happy hardcore’ era and featured tracks and remixes by many of the scenes major players including Brisk, Hixxy, Billy ‘Daniel’ Bunter, Druid, Jimmy J & Cru-L-T, DJ X-Cess, and in-house production team Rebel Alliance to name a few.

Stormtrooper Recordings was created and run by Olly, who also owned the underground jungle label Underdog Recordings and the lesser known Burning Bush Communications. Across the three labels, Olly put out over 50 vinyl releases from 1993 into the early 2000s.

My first introduction to Stormtrooper Recordings was back in 1994. My favourite tape that year was DJ Dougal at The Rhythm Station, I played it to death and it’s still one of my favourite tapes now. Dougal played the first Stormtrooper release “Hold Me In Your Arms” which was one of the stand-out tunes on that tape for me. At the time I had not started DJing yet so had no idea who the track was by, what label it was on, or even that it originated from my home town of Bournemouth.

A couple of years later in 1996 when I began DJing, I found a record shop in Bournemouth called Atmospheric Records which was owned and run by Scott and Matt Harris, who later went on to form hard dance act The Organ Donors. Naturally being a Bournemouth-based record shop they were always well stocked with Stormtrooper Recordings, Burning Bush and Underdog releases, some of the very first records I ever bought were on these labels. Here’s a photo of the shop with DJ X-Cess and T-Total (Matt & Scott) behind the counter.

Around 1997, Matt & Scott sold Atmospheric records to Olly and it was rebranded as Destiny Records, named after the events he was running. Over the next 10+ years I got to know Olly pretty well by hanging out and buying loads of Old Skool in his record shop, and attending his Destiny events at The Manor, Old Firestation and Opera House, first as a raver and later as a DJ.

These were the best of times, but they did not last forever. The online record stores killed off the bricks and mortar record shops, then MP3s and CDJs nearly killed off vinyl altogether. Events wise, DJ fees kept going up but ticket prices remained the same. Destiny Records closed down in 2005, Olly threw in the promoting towel in 2009, and he left the music business behind.

A decade later, we started talking again after Olly was digging through his loft looking for the original Underdog hand stamps for Dave & Brent from Aquasky, who recently re-released a couple of Underdog Recordings records on Brent’s Vinyl Fanatiks label. During this search Olly found some other interesting artefacts from back in the day, including this floppy disk.

But he didn’t know what was on it, nor did he have a 25 year old computer or software to open it. I offered to help him recover whatever was on the disk using my old G4 Apple Mac, and after many hours messing around with various decades-old versions of Corel Draw, I finally managed to open the file – it was the label artwork for the second Stormtrooper Recordings release!

Part 2 >