There are few tunes that can lay claim to being key predecessors to jungle, drum & bass and everything that followed - 'We Are I.E.'
If we are talking about the origins and history of the music, we have to look back to the depths of 1991 and Lennie De Ice's 'We Are I.E.'. Said to be originally concieved in an early form back in 1988, 'We Are I.E' meshed together dub reggae bass, firing amen breakbeats and what would go onto be a jungle staple - the gunshot! The gunshot itself as well as the vocal had been lifted from Coldcut's 1989 album 'What's That Noise?', so presumably were added after the original 1988 version. The vocal isn't actually saying "we are I.E." at all, it's from an Arabian call to prayer that features fully on the Coldcut album. Despite that fact, it is the line that has become synonymous with the record, a kind of rave chinese whisper that has permiated through the last two and a half decades to present day.
Turned down by Bryan G for the Outer Rhythm label, release found it's way by means of Forest Gate's I.E. Records as the opening release. The label itself is associated with Reel 2 Reel Records and De Underground, homing early productions from the likes of A Sides, Cool Hand Flex and Uncle 22.
Credited as a key early amen track, it is in fact not the first example of the break in hardcore as some may claim, that moniker is more likely to be taken by 'Father Forgive Them' by Holy Noise. But make no mistake, this is a key track in the break's history within rave music. It is the cross road where raggamuffin meets b-boy meets rave. Rough around the edges, home produced and all the better for it.
"We Are I.E. means we are an example to everyone, black, white, Indian, Chinese. I done it in a home studio on a 6-track mixing desk. It was made in 1988 but came out in 1991 on IE Records. I was listening to a lot of Mantronix for the futuristic beats, the way he sued to sandwich stuff. A lot of people were using breaks combined with the progressive feel of the house music and drum machines. We started merging things. From there it progressed. We played it at Living Dream, East Way Cycling Centre to 17,000 people in an open-air tent. It was July 1991, it was a lovely, lovely buzz." - Lennie De Ice