The Essential Nookie

The word “nookie” might elicit giggles from teenagers in conversation or memories of the late 70s/early 80s Newlywed Game starring Chuck Woolery. However, in the world of jungle music, Nookie is an enduring legend whose career and legacy has spanned more than two decades.

Born Gavin Cheung, Nookie’s his first release was The Love Is…EP on Absolute 2 Records in 1992. The A-side, “Give A Little Love,” was a rave and hardcore smasher that sampled Lisa Stansfield (remember her?!).

He extended his reach with releases on the mighty Reinforced Records and the Music House (the famous dub-cutting locale) label, before hitting his stride in the mid-90s with a TON of releases under the Nookie and Cloud 9 aliases on the legendary Moving Shadow.

“You Got Me Burnin”

“You Got Me Burnin Remix (Ray Keith & Nookie Remix)”

“The Pedge”

“I’ll Give It To You”

His remix of Krome & Time’s “The Slammer” is another anthem of the age.

He returned several more times to Reinforced throughout the 90s, culminating in his first album, “The Sound of Music,” in 1995. Which featured the eponymous rave anthem of the same name.

One of my favorite Nookie tracks features Robbie Craig on vocals (years before he charted with the UK Garage hit Woman Trouble) of 1996’s “Funk Be The Flavour.”

In 1997, Nookie teamed up with the legendary Larry Heard to release the “Paradise” LP. I had no idea this existed until just recently and I’m glad I did discover it because it’s genius.

His sound always geared itself towards the mellower, atmospheric sounds of drum & bass and jungle music so he fit right into the Good Looking/Looking Good stable of artists. He released the “First Light” EP on GLR in 2000 (although with the way Bukem held tunes, this was likely signed in 1995).

In my opinion, his biggest GLR tune came under the Second Vision alias, 1999’s “The Italian Job.”

Of course, that’s not to say Nookie was afraid of the heavier side of drum & bass. Nookie was the engineer on a lot of early Dread Recordings releases and worked hand-in-hand with Ray Keith on 2000’s “Sing Time VIP.”

Around 2005, he started the Strictly Digital label and it’s sub-label, Phuzion Records. The first release on Strictly Digital was the acclaimed “Atmosphere Chapter 1” which is a tearing mix into the deeper side of the label and featured early tracks from Alix Perez, Lenzman, and Electrosoul System.

In 2011 he released the Outside Life EP alongside DV8 and a string of “kLasS oF ’92 -’95” early rave retrospective compilations on Phuzion Digital. The early hardcore/rave releases apparently came from the original DATs from the 90s and were never released, so they include some hidden gems from way back when.

Though he might be oft-forgotten because he’s not as in-your-face as others, he deserves a significant amount of respect and recognition and any self respecting DJ should have at least one Nookie tune in their crates…

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