Like many other listeners, I got pretty f*cking excited by a series of Instagram posts breaking the news that the revered hardcore and jungle music label, Moving Shadow, would be making somewhat of a return in 2020 with a new imprint: ‘Over/Shadow’.
Founded in 1990 by Simon (Si) Colebrooke, Sean O’Keefe, and Rob Playford, Moving Shadow records was responsible for a lot of the alchemy that pretty much birthed jungle music.
Throughout the 90’s and until 2008, the label released countless classic jungle cuts: Origin Unknown’s outrageous remix of Dead Dred’s ‘Dred Bass’, Ray Keith’s appropriation of the Reese Bass in ‘Terrorist’, Goldie’s first hit as Rufige Kru with ‘Terminator’, Dom & Roland’s laid back but moody entry into the scene with ‘Interstella Jazz’, and of course a whole library of work by the inimitable Omni Trio. The significance of Moving Shadow to this music cannot be understated.
The new label sees the return of 2/3 of the original Moving Shadow Family; after speaking to Si, it became clear that Rob is no longer in the picture.
“We didn’t speak with him after we left [Moving Shadow] in 1997 but we met up in 2012 to discuss one last project. He didn’t show a lot of interest really so we have had no communication with him since.
“Sean and myself have carried on the 2 Bad Mice thing,” Si explains.
Playford has even taken to Twitter recently to distance himself from the pair’s newest venture, asserting that the arrival of Over/Shadow is by no means the return of Moving Shadow, and reiterating that Si and Sean left the team in ’97.
I asked Si what to expect from the new imprint and he replied:
“Pretty much the whole [Moving Shadow] roster are involved and we have invited some producers we rate along too! Thought provoking jungle and DnB is probably the best way to describe what we want to do.”
Already confirmed as Over/Shadow’s first release is Conrad Shafie, a.k.a. Blame, whose ‘Music Takes You’ was one of Moving Shadow’s foundational releases all the way back in 1992. His two tracks for the release differ in the sense that ‘Lift Off’ is driven by fearsome jungle breaks, while ‘Star Traveller’ is an altogether more elegant roller. Both are sure to satisfy old heads and newcomers alike. Sully, Dom & Roland, and even potentially Goldie, have also been tipped to be contributing.
As to his undertakings after leaving Moving Shadow, Si mentioned he’d been working on a new remix for 2 Bad Mice with Sean. He cited artists such as Paul Woolford, a.k.a Special Request, as an influence, praising his versatility and experimentation with genre, and suggesting that this could be a direction Over/Shadow could take with future releases.
When asked how he felt about releasing music into a world where it can’t be heard in its intended club environment, and whether this would affect the type of music Over/Shadow release, Colebrooke responded:
“Not at all, we are treating this label as ‘business as usual.’ People always wanna hear good music – no matter what is going on in the world.”
Certainly, the energy of rave and jungle has never stopped fueling innovation in underground music, and Over/Shadow is ready to take its rightful place right at the heart of that. As we enter yet another national lockdown, and fantasize about nights out in the far too distant future, I for one look forward to seeing what Over/Shadow’s position in the still evolving jungle music scene will look, and, more importantly, sound like.