Machine Drum’s ‘Half The Battle’ (2002)

With a day off I begrudgingly had to go to Soho yesterday, and had totally forgotten the great people that work in our record stores. It was brilliant to head in to BM Soho and Sounds Of The Universe and not know the staff behind the counter. Normally the record store regulars nowadays walk in knowing all the staff and exactly what they want – it’s like a family affair, which is one of the best parts of it. But yesterday I just went as a punter and asked the staff for recommendations and it was totally blissful.

But this post isn’t about that, or anything I picked up from a Soho record store, but rather something I got from an Oxfam (op-shop) that’s been blowing my mind. The guy working there just happened to be playing this when I walked in to ask about some jeans in the window, and it turns out to be the best £3 I can remember spending.

What it is, is the 2002 remix CD from Florida based Machine Drum, who last released on the Lucky Me label a month or so ago. Titled Half The Battle it originally dropped on the now defunct but fondly remembered Merck label. Incidentally, although they stopped releasing music in 2007 the Merck catalogue is still available digitally from their catalogue, and there’s a link to a blog that’s pretty dope when they post on it (about 5 times a year).

Some quick research shows Half The Battle was also released as 3 separate 12’s the same year as the CD collection. Best of all it’s made up of remixes of Machine Drum’s work from 2002 and before from a bunch of artists I’ve barely heard of; Proem, Brothomstates, Ilkae, Proswell, Lackluster, Xela, Esem, Secede, Vim, and Tim Koch as well as two Machine Drum pseudonym’s Tstewart and Syndrone.

The end product’s incredible. It comes off as the whole beats/bass/tech scene crossover served up 5 years before LA became a buzzword. Or possibly the love-child of Marcellus Pittman and Ras G. Take your pick, but someone needs to relicense this asap.

Full tracklisting via Discogs, where you can pick up some second-hand copies

1. Half The Battle
2. Yo What Uh Yeh
3. Izey Rael (Icy Rail Remix)
4. Thanks Very Much (All Bitches & Wheels Proemix)
5. Machine Drum (Riveurs Enjienrd By Brothomstates)
6. Yo What Uh Yeh (Ilkae Tapejam)
7. Pony Machine Drum Racquetball (Proswell Mix B)
8. Izey Rael (Lacklustermx)
9. Are I (Xela Soul In The Machine Mix)
10. Hello My Future (Tstewart Remix)
11. Izey Rael (Secede’s Return To Island CX Rmx)
12. Machine Drum (Vim’s One More Record To Bits And Pieces Mix)
13. Half The Battle (Esem Cloudfield)
14. Machine Drum (Tim Koch’s Thousand Times Over Mix)
15. Jewlea (Breaking Up Remix By Syndrone)