May the 4th be with us: One of the most prominent acts to emerge during the early 2000s liquid golden era are in the process of reissuing their entire back cat – and more – on digital and streaming platforms for the first time ever: Craggz & Parallel Forces.
Now operating under the name Battery, Craggz & Parallel first emerged during one of drum & bass’s funkiest melting pot eras where weight and soul were celebrated and served in equal measure.
Coming through on Dillinja’s legendary Valve imprint with evergreen cuts such as Fizzy Piglets, Love Insane and Keep Me Real, their influential sound rumbled throughout the 2000s on Valve, their own Product label (which they launched in 2005) and remixes on the likes of Dispatch, V, CIA, Bingo Beats, Hospital and Innerground. They arrived on the scene with such a solid statement that within three years they’d already released their debut album Northern Soul, an album that still hits the bullseye in your soul 12 years later. Later this year you’ll be able to check it without having to track down the vinyl or CD versions.
“It was a very exciting time,” the duo recall. “Moving to London to work with our production heroes Dillinja and Lemon D and touring the length and breadth of the country performing on the Valve Sound System, it was literally a dream come true.”
The dream persisted as the duo forged a path well into the 2010s on Product developing a formidable body of work that gradually added darker, rawer and icier shades to their palette, most notably on their second album Turn The Page.
Product was eventually put on pause in 2014 as they commenced building an even starker body of work as Battery on Metalheadz. Now peeping over the brink of the 15th anniversary of Craggz and Parallel Forces, and ready to shot out more fully charged Battery bruisers Craig James and Doug McAvoy feel it’s time turn the pages back and re-explore their vaults. Dusting off the DATS, digging up the dubs, their full catalogue on Valve and Product, including both albums, will gradually roll out from this week. It starts right here with Product 001: Poison / Flatfoot and seven unreleased dubs that have only ever been shared with the likes of Andy C, Bailey, Fabio, Friction, Dillinja, Marky, Total Science and DJ Craze in the past. They sound like this…
If you missed Craggz & Parallel the first time round, now is the perfect time to get acquainted. If you were there the first time round you’ll already know why this is a pretty big deal.
More Product reissues will land every Friday with their albums Northern Soul and Turn The Page landing on July 6 and August 3 respectively. Here’s what they had to say…
What’s caused the Product relaunch right at this moment in time and why have we had to wait so long?
The majority of our digital masters we’re lost in the sands of time due to a number of logistical issues with our distributor. Towards the end of last year we were about to embark on the mammoth task of remastering the entire back cat and a long dark road lay ahead…. Then, as if by magic, an email appeared in our inbox from Cygnus saying that they could help us to locate and access the digital masters. We all smile, we all sing!
What’s this about unreleased dubs?
They are actually just that; tracks that we and others used to spin back in the day that we thought had been lost forever, but while going through old hard drives to locate the other material we found them. These are tracks that over the year’s people have asked us about, so, we thought let’s just get them out there to help with the back-cat re-launch.
Does this mean the Battery stuff is on hold?
Quite the opposite. Battery is fully charged! We recently released our Take 4 EP on Metalheadz and Submerge, our collaboration with Makoto, is on Hospital Records’ Sick Music 2018. We’re writing new music at an alarming rate and have a number of exciting releases and collaborations lined up this year.
Including new Craggz & Parallel material?
As artists we need to keep pushing forward, developing our sound and changing the way we work. Battery is who we are today but Craggz and Parallel are in our DNA and will always be a part of any new music we create. We are going to be rolling out a couple of Craggz & Parallel classics sets to tie in with the re-launch and 15 year celebration. As far as new music goes the C&P moniker is in retirement, but we never like to say never…
What else do we need to know right now?
That we are buzzing to get all of this out there digitally for the first time ever and to expect a slew of new Battery material over the next 12 months, so hold tight! We would also like to say a huge thanks to Dan and the whole team at Cygnus as without their help this may well have never been achievable.