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Top 10: Lowkey

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

DJ Rap's offshoot label Lowkey was intended to support up and coming talent and ran from 1995 to 1999 with a total of 11 official releases. This wasn't the only sub label managed by Rap in the 90's as Unique Muzique offered the 'intelligent' style of drum and bass to the masses although only lasting 3 releases.

Obviously if you're reading this then you know all about the main label Proper Talent which had a string of hits including 'Spiritual Aura' and 'Hardstep'. The rebranded Propa Talent is somewhat still going to this day.

Lowkey was heavily supported by Special K and it's probably true to say that he was the main reason why the label lasted as long as it did.

His special technique of being able to produce drum and bass bangers for the dance floor was evident throughout all of his Lowkey releases and could easily be compared to that of his back catalogue on Trouble on Vinyl.

Special K and Ruff Cut took the first release with their famous 'Chopsticks Track'. A certified lighter tune which contained the piano riff from ' The Celebrated Chop Waltz'. Originally composed by Euphemia Allen way back in 1877, little did he know that his musical score would be sampled and made into an Amen tear out jungle riddim!

Skip to 38:11 to check MC Fearless adding some flair over 'Chopsticks' during DJ Hype's legendary set at United Dance in 1995.

From the total Amen tear out vibe of 'Give It To Um' to the classic sound of '96 with 'Up Top', Lowkey was certainly a label that favoured the real dance floor sounds of the era.

Here's a breakdown of our top 10 tunes from the label in release order.

Special K & Ruff Cut - The Chopsticks Track

Special K & Ruff Cut - Give It To Um

Special K & Ruff Cut - Kill Or Be Killed

DJ Rap - Phaze 1 (Special K Remix)

Special K - Up Top

Special K - Get Original

Slice - Wild For The Night

DJ Rap - Jacobi

Quest Foundation - The Tempest

Arcane - Cut Close

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