As part of Newham Heritage Month, “Crate Digging: The Influence of De Underground Records”, is a cultural project that documents the heritage and legacy of De Underground Records.

A new project by Rendezvous Projects is documenting the heritage and legacy of De Underground Records, one of the cornerstones in the foundation of UK hardcore, jungle and drum and bass music.

The project is a limited-edition booklet/poster, audio trail and hour-long podcast as part of Newham Heritage Month running from 1st to the 31st May, 2021.

De Underground Records was at 18 Sebert Road, Forest Gate (1991-1996). Run by Mike De Underground, DJ Randall, Cool Hand Flex and Uncle 22, the shop and its numerous labels were responsible for many releases including Lennie De Ice’s We Are IE. Collectively the DJs and producers who were associated with the shop and this sound, were highly influential in the development and dissemination of this uniquely UK sound.

Rendezvous Projects CIC who devised this project, have captured oral history interviews with key protagonists in the establishment of the shop and its legacy, including DJ Hype, DJ Randall, Cool Hand Flex, Uncle 22, MC Fats, MC Navigator, MC Rage and A-Sides, some of whom have not given an interview in over 25 years.

This project, entitled Crate Digging: The Influence of De Underground Records, celebrates this previously undocumented history, drawing a line of influence from the area’s sound system culture of the 80s through to more recent grime artists such as D Double E and Footsie, as well as highlighting the important contribution young people have made to the development of British culture.

The archive established as part of this project will be deposited with Newham Archives and Local Studies Library, this includes the full-length oral history interviews, photographs and playlists.

Rendezvous Projects is a Community Interest Company based in East London. Its main purpose is to find creative ways of exploring and capturing social history.

For more information follow the Crate Digging page on Newham Heritage Month site.

5th May, 2021

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