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There are few tracks that have held onto their banger status quite so unshakeably as ‘Ripgroove‘ has. With its teasing build up, one of the best basslines ever and a devastating drop — Double 99’s 1997 speed garage whopper has remained a consistent tool in any party DJ’s arsenal worth their salt for a quarter of a century. The track’s universal appeal and ability to transcend genre has given it a longevity within the collective dance consciousness — you’re just as likely to catch a ‘Ripgroove’ drop during a disco set as you are from a don of UKG, blasting through the soundsystems of South London just as often as the main stages of festivals; and you can hear it rinsed just as frequently on underground radio as much as BBC Radio 1. A rare example of a bassline track managing to enrapture the mainstream, while remaining unequivocally underground.
“We’re proud that it’s stood the tests of both time and relevance” Omar Adimora and Tim Deluxe, aka Double 99 tell Mixmag. “[It came] from our musical and cultural melting pots. Drum ‘n’ bass, garage, dancehall and pirate radio. It’s great to see it being constantly reworked and re-discovered by budding club goers and DJs.”
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To celebrate 25 years of ‘Rip’in Groove’ we’ve collated some of our favourite ever ‘Ripgroove’ drops. From SHERELLE’s big Boiler Room moment, to Omar being “Mint” in Leeds, to floating with Jamie xx at Field Day. Enjoy!
We’ve all seen the clip — SHERELLE furiously wheeling the mixer, her mates pulling her into the crowd as the vocal sample comes in, feverishly throwing her beanie on the controller as the audience look at eachother with the same, eyes-glazed-over expression seeming to say: “What the fuck have we just seen?” Widely regarded as one of the best Boiler Room moments of all time, SHERELLE’s drop of Fixate’s ‘Ripgroove Refix’ catapulted her overnight from an up-and-comer to one of the most exciting DJs London has to offer. It’s an incredible moment, Hype with a capital H, and even three years on — we dare you to watch without getting goosebumps.
Now this is more like it! Big raucous crowd = check. Rave under a motorway bridge = check. Barely intelligible “oi oiiiis” from the MC = check. The Heatwave’s set at Diplo and Switch’s Notting Hill Carnival party in 2008 is a textbook example a rowdy knees up — there’s rave whistles, there’s vuvuzelas, there’s cans akimbo… we’re welling up to be honest, it’s perfect. The Heatwave soundsystem dropped the Double 99 and Topcat version of the track to a sea of ecstatic ravers in the final minutes of their set, clearly saving the very best till last. This is what ‘Ripgroove’ was created to do.
Like them or not, Swedish House Mafia are one of dance music’s biggest success stories. In fact, the release of their second compilation album ‘Until Now’ sold so many copies that the three wise men of EDM made their home country the biggest music exporter GDP per capita in the world. The main point here is, you can’t really get much more mainstream — SHM are regulars at Coachella and Wembley Arena… not Corsica Studios. So, we watched on with delight and trepidation as footage emerged of the threesome dropping the underground speed garage stylings of Double 99 at their show at Avalon, West Hollywood last month; a worthy example of ‘Ripgroove”s universal appeal.’ Heavens got a bassline for you!
Is there a better context to hear ‘Ripgroove’ in than DJ EZ dropping it in the North of England? The garage legend has been at the peak of his powers for decades with no sign of faltering when it comes to mixing weighty garage, and naturally, his sets in the spiritual home of bassline – the North – are something to behold. The packed out crowd at Newcastle’s Cosmic Ballroom looked like one throbbing mass of movement as they leapt around in unified ecstasy when he drew for the classic at an Ill Behaviour night in 2013 — on a Tuesday night no less.
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As you might expect from a lover of steel pans and member of a band who favour minimalist arrangements and soothing vocals, Jamie xx likes to bring out a gentler side to ‘Ripgroove’. At All Points East Presents Field Day in 2021, he leads into it with a melancholic set of piano chords floating airly under the Tina Moore vocal sample. It’s a clever fake out that stops the crowd in their tracks and makes the seismic drop hit all the harder when it comes.
Sending a dancefloor into overdrive by dropping ‘RIpgroove’ is a satisfying moment for any DJ, but it must be especially rewarding when it’s your own tune. The scenes when Omar Adimora, one half of Double 99, dropped the speed garage anthem at Leeds’ Mint Club in 2012 confirms that. A full 15 years on from the track’s release, the dancefloor is still absolutely fucking losing it to the classic he co-created with Tim Deluxe. The smug look of satisfaction on his face as he holds his arms aloft triumphantly is more than earned. Proper mint.
Giving proof that this speed garage hit still stands up against a fanbase of diehard house heads, Dan Shake wheeled up the classic track during his set at Defected Festival in Croatia last summer when the Tisno crowd got rowdy. With hundreds of hands in the air at the build-up, this ‘Ripgroove’ drop had The Garden’s beachside stage shaking on impact.
Annie Mac isn’t one for big, raucous speed garage sets, but in 2015, the Irish DJ lent her hand to high-tempo at Chelmsford’s annual V Festival. Screaming festivalgoers readied themselves for the drop when those iconic vocals cut in, and when it did, shirtless dads and excitable 20-somethings alike shot into hysteria under the scorching summer sun. Listen out for the one crowd member shout “oh my god I fucking love this” in absolute joy.
When Double 99 produced this belter of a track back in ‘97, they probably never pictured thousands of people in The Netherlands – all exclusively dressed in white – going nuts for its drop nearly 15 years later. When Joris Voorn and Nic Fanculli laid out the track at The Netherlands’ annual Sensation White Festival in 2011, it saw Amsterdam Arena packed-out with some 40,000 people go into frenzy, and a bonkers lighting display to match.
In the depths of a nightclub, Skream lights up the space with that classic rolling intro we all know and love. Simultaneous arms began to waft and the lights built up until that ultimate bass-heavy drop that had the room shaking. Also seen dropping the classic at Parklife in 2015 as well as at an event with Mixmag in 2015 Skream praises this track as one of the best nineties tracks as he told Dummy Mag it’s “the original party starter. Sent people mad then, sends people mad now.”
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Ewan McVicar’s take on Double 99’s banger emphasises everything that’s great about the track, while giving it a new lease of life for the next generation of ravers. Even after 25 years, the track thrives and remains embedded in ravers’ minds but this remix depicts its rebirth by featuring on the new anniversary album ‘Reimagination’. Holding a long build-up of suspense of just it’s deep bassline and a gradual build-up of all the elements, that final drop comes as a shock. Playing the yet-to-be-released tune out at this year’s Creamfields, thousands of festival-goers went wild for this new take on the track. The lights dropped to darkness as that iconic vocal loop began to play. As the track sped up the momentum of the audience followed with the track hitting its climax as if we it was Creamfields 99’.
As part of Defected’s ‘In The House’ series from 2016, Sonny Fodera unleashed the K K edit of ‘Ripgroove’ at the celebratory party at Ministry of Sound. Bringing the garage track to the world of house, the lyrics rather jump rather than loop into the classic drop that continues through with strobe lighting, a punch of smoke and Fodera joining his audience to groove along to the naughty bassline.
Double 99 are releasing a series of remixes of ‘Ripgroove’ titled ‘Reimagination Edits’, you can check out the first featuring Top Cat here.
Written by: Tim Hopkins