Introducing: Nice ‘N’ Ripe

This article is more like re-introducing rather than introducing; earlier this month the legendary Nice ‘N’ Ripe, responsible for a ridiculous amount of classic garage and house tracks from the nineties, relaunched.  Based in the UK, it was originally created and run by George Power and Grant Nelson through a flat in London.  Over a 20-year period Nelson has released on the label under multiple aliases such Boiling Point, N’n’G, and Ambassadors of Swing. Listening to tracks like Boiling Point’s “Expression”, the influences from the house sound of New York and New Jersey is evident: from the Rhodes keys, wailing vocals, and classic 909 machine rhythm you can hear how Nelson tried to build on the early house sound.  This eventually led to Nice ‘n’ Ripe carving their own chunk of devoted fans in the scene and spins from many of the artists that inspired them (Masters At Work, Frankie Knuckles, and Morales).  Not only did this label help define an era of house music, but many of these tracks never left the bags of DJs and can still be heard in clubs, especially with the influx of young DJs digging for and discovering some of the original house cuts.

After their 10-year hiatus the label appears to be off to a great start, they’ve not only made their back catalogue available digitally, but for the vinyl junkies they’ve dug through the vaults and put many original pressings up for sale.  If that wasn’t enough they’ve also tapped NJ garage house legend, Todd Edwards, for a compilation, due out in June, to kick off a string of releases from new talent.  Edwards is responsible for helping create the signature UK garage sound.  His records tend to be characterized by a collage of vocals and “Saved My Life” is a prime example of this with Edwards’ unique use of samples and manic drum shuffle; it even received a remix treatment from Grant Nelson.  This is yet another bump in his recent activity; he just released a 5-track EP on Body High after five years without an original release.

To see such an iconic label reinvent and introduce itself to a new audience is a welcome surprise and it’s great that they’re not just bringing back the old rooster, but plan on introducing us to new artists.  There’s no word on who some of these new artists will be, but we’re sure they’ll be top notch.

Jonathon Alcindor

Writer & Techy. My word is bond, whatup doe? Twitter,