Reggae Owes Me Money
When the history of British dance music culture is finally written, one of larger chapters will undoubtedly be devoted to the work of The Ragga Twins. The series of 12-inch singles that the duo released in the early ‘90s in collaboration with the techno-loving production team Shut Up and Dance fearlessly combined Jamaican dancehall and American hip-hop, house, and electro. The result was an entirely new, distinctively British breed of electronic dance music that would eventually birth the early-‘90s jungle and rave scenes, and whose influence could even be felt as these styles gave way to grime and dubstep at the advent of the ‘00s. Reggae Owes Me Money was The Ragga Twins' full-length debut, but essentially it's a collection of these seminal early singles. It's roughly evenly divided between tracks that outwardly display their debt to the era's hardcore dancehall, like “Juggling” (where they hijack the flow of Cutty Ranks’ “The Stopper”), and glowering, mostly instrumental cuts like the frenetic “18-inch Speaker,” which effectively lays out a blueprint for jungle by fusing a deep roots sample with a staccato drum loop to disorienting effect.