Active in the early 90s, TCM’s music is the missing link between the imported sounds of US hip-hop (especially The Bomb Squad), the established UK reggae soundsystem tradition and the birth of breakbeat hardcore, bleep ‘n bass, jungle and rave at large. Original copies of their records are notoriously hard to come by (the first two 12″s have been known to go for as much as £400), so the Rephlex compilation – entitled TCM: The Criminal Minds, and available on CD, vinyl and digital – is very welcome indeed.
DJ Halo and Chase 1 founded The Criminal Minds in 1985, before hooking up with DJ Spatts and Iceski, who would go on to become the group’s lead MC. They funded their first EP, Guilty As Charged, through the sale of Halo’s decks and donations from family and friends.
The TCM track that people tend to be most familiar with is ‘Baptised By Dub’, one of their later and most popular productions, which starts out in a dubwise skank somewhere between The Ragga Twins, Prodigy and Unique 3, before dropping into anthemic piano ‘ardkore, replete with squeaky vocal samples. This rave classic unfortunately isn’t included on TCM: The Criminal Minds, which focusses on the outfit’s earlier work, some of which has never been previously released – 14 tracks in total, all lovingly remastered.
TCM: The Criminal Minds is out March 21.
2. Urban Warfare
3. Systems Overload Remix
4. Just Check It
6. Police State
7. Weapon Of Choice (Halo’s Mind Mix)
8. Section 12 Paragraph Zero
9. Break Shit Up
10. A Taste of Armageddon
11. Who Is Next For The Graveyard
12. Rough Justice
13. Shout Outs
14. Systems Overload (original 12″ version)