Woooo…this one has caused much discussion at Shadowboxing HQ recently. I asked several friends, respected DJs, and drum & bass aficionados to consider their top ten Dillinja tunes and received a wide variety of answers. From there I compiled those answers together giving each tune one point. If two or more tracks were tied with the same number of points I broke the tie with my own vote (no one said the process was perfect), until I developed a top ten. Is it definitive? Nope, it’s completely and totally subjective, but we’re having fun here right?
Before we dive into the top ten, I think it’s important to get a sense of how he works and why it works. This is a short clip of from Talkin Headz: The Metalheadz Documentary (1998) where the Headz crew talk about Dillinja’s production and he gives a peak inside the studio.
Now, without further ado…
10. Trinity – Gangsta
Released in 1994 as a white label, it came out properly on Philly Blunt (an off-shoot of Bristol’s V Records) in 1995 under his Trinity alias. This tune is a cool ragga anthem from the drop.
9. Capone – Massive
From the quirky “lighter” sample to the “lick a shot” refrain to the tearing amens this one, as it’s name implies, is MASSIVE.
8. Cybotron featuring Dillinja – Silver Blade
Piecing together samples from the Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack is this steppy piece of darkness that dropped on Grooverider’s Prototype Recordings in 1997. It could also be considered a companion track to Boymerang’s Soul Beat Runna, also released in 1997.
7. Dillinja – Thugged Out Bitch
I have to be honest…this track wouldn’t have been anywhere nearly my top 10, but I was outvoted. Taken from the “Big Bad Bass” LP he co-produced with Lemon D in 2002.
6. Dillinja – Thugs
Ahh Thugs…with it’s infamous Tupac sample leading into a tearing bass anthem that you can still hear Andy C drop hints of today. This one has stood the test of time even though it was a B-side on Test Recordings from 1998.
5. Cybotron featuring Dillinja – Threshold
“This is a threshold…” still gives me goosebumps.
4. Dillinja – Nasty Wayz
While this was on dubplate, the drop caused a good friend of mine (and writer on this blog) to lose his fucking mind and run full speed at Jumping Jack Frost for a rewind.
3. Dillinja – The Angels Fell
Released in 1995 along with two other classics, “Ja Know Ya Big” and “Brutal Bass,” the atmospheric lead-in on “The Angels Fell” was next level. The first time I heard it was on the Platium Breakz compilation and I remember listening to it over and over and over again. A timeless ‘Headz classic.
2. Future Forces – Strontium Jazz (Dillinja Remix)
What happens to an original tune when you give the stems to someone to remix and they send you something so mind-blowingly amazing that it puts the original to shame? You hide the original and the remix only ever sees the light of day. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that’s what happened to Strontium Jazz. The bass on this track is so low that it’s murdered more than a few cabinets in it’s day.
1. Dillinja – Deadly Deep Subs
The clear-cut #1 choice from the total votes was 1994’s “Deadly Deep Subs” on Deadly Vinyl. ‘Nuff said.