The Basement label was started up in 1990 and was run from the Record Basement shop in Reading. The label was run by Phil Wells (aka Basement Phil).
The main artists on the label included Jack Smooth, Basement Phil, Wax Doctor, Kev Bird, DJ Mayhem, Top Buzz, Alex Reece, Donovan Bad Boy Smith, Alex Hazzard, Spencer T, Loftgroover, Roger Johnson, Sentinel aka Photek, Intensity aka Source Direct, Peshay, Inner Visions aka J Majik, Subject 13, Architex & Dune.
One of the things that set Basement apart from the rest was the distinctive sound of the early releases 3 - 35, courtesy of Jack Smooth's engineering and co-production. 'Jungle Techno' is a phrase drawn from the label, with the phrase credited to Mikee B (one third of Top Buzz) who once famously commented that a Basement Records tune he was listening too, had sounds that were actually similar to those in a jungle, mixed with Detroit influenced soundscapes.
The label was a big favourite with most DJ's throughout the Rave Years and DJs such as Top Buzz, Grooverider, Mickey Finn, Ratty, Tango, Swan-e, Phantasy, Kenny Ken, DJ SS, Seduction, Slipmatt, Loftgroover, Colin Dale, Colin Faver, Frankie Valentine, Stu Allen and Keith Suckling were often heard playing several Basement releases in every set.
When the label switched to DnB it was championed by LTJ Bukem, Fabio & Grooverider, Doc Scott & Peshay.
Labels affiliated with legendary in house producer Jack Smooth were Sound Entity and Smooth Recordings and he had a behind the scenes influence on labels such as Legend Records, Symphony Sound and Sinister Recordings and many more including the Rave Anthem 'Trip to Trumpton'.
After the peak of the Rave Scene in 1993 the Basement label was one of the first to shift to releasing the more experimental side of Jungle, the genre now known as 'Drum N Bass' throughout the mid 90's before closing down in 1997.
The label was relaunched in 2000 and since then there have been a few releases and a Basement Classics series of reissued Rave and DnB tunes.
- old skool