Ice Cream records is set to go down in history as the foremost record label to pioneer the first ever UK Garage cross over, the catalytic bassline track Rip Groove by Double 99. From their infancy back in 1997, Ice Cream helped to carve the way for what can be described today as a very healthy and vibrant UK urban scene.
The creatives behind this ground breaking label, Andy Lysandrou, Tim Deluxe and Omar Adimora started to gather momentum back in 1995, dropping their first release, ‘Pick Me Up’.
With Tim Deluxe and DJ Omar, (aka Double 99, RIP Productions, and 10 Below), making the music, Andy L was tasked with heading up the A&R, promotion, and marketing.
Between the years of 1995 and early 1997, Ice Cream released some all time underground classics including, ‘Deep Inspiration’, ‘Obsessed’, ‘Work It’, ‘Club Traxs vol.1’, ‘The Players’, and ‘Move To Jersey’.
As 1996 became ‘97, Ice Cream decided to go all experimental, and with the epic buzz emanating from DJs, record shops, radio, and clubs, they ejected a musical climax with the introduction of their double-pack, featuring two 12″ vinyls. Something which for those lucky enough to part with their cash at the time still kicks a beat deep down in the old blood pump.
The double-pack, titled Double 99, featured 8 epic tracks, each with their own unique vibe, with one track really standing out from the crowd: Rip Groove. Released in the March of 1997, demand heavily outweighed supply, and within 3 days this Double 99 sold out in every independent record store from London to Dublin. With demand so high, Ice Cream had to rush release the second batch within 48 hours, with some shops opening until midnight, allowing punters to get a taste of this fresh new flava!
Within a month of its release, Rip Groove was being played in 97% of clubs and radio stations up and down the country. Unbeknown to them at the time, Ice Cream had set a milestone that was about to change the direction of UK dance music forever.
For the first time, it was about to take UK Garage to the National charts.
With the major record labels out in full force, Virgin, Warner’s, BMG, Sony, EMI, XL, a new sound had been championed, and they all wanted a taste.
The demand saw the official release of Rip Groove reach the national charts in October of ‘97, where, through its epic following it went straight to No.1 in ‘The Chart Show’ and to No.14 on ‘Top of the Pops’. Following its unprecedented success, just about every major record label wanted to get in bed with the next garage hit.
Ice Cream continued its journey in 1998, signing Colours, a double AA side including ‘Hold On’ and ‘What U Do’, which incidentally “Hold” went on to become one of the biggest 2 step records of the year. Between ‘98 and 2000, and whilst continuing to drip feed records to the masses, Ice Cream, Rip Productions and 10 Below continued to be behind some of the biggest remixes of the time, including: Roy Davis Junior, Gabrielle, Ultra Nate’s “Free” (UK No.1), Mighty Dub Cats, and the classic Garage anthem Kele Le Roc “My Love” to name but a few.
Success breeds success, and in 1999, Ice Cream records were on the precipice of another hype storm, with the eye around a home grown band called True Steppers. But this time it was Andy L that was at the controls with legendary DnB producer Jonny L. As the eve of ’99 dawned, they dropped their first release, a re-worked version of Jonny L classic ‘Hurt You So’.
Enter the month of Aquarius, the year 2000 and True Steppers were just about to become one of the most talked about dance bands of the year. Joining together with ex Another Level member Dane Bowers, they co-wrote the track ‘Buggin’.
With the backing and support of the Ice Cream machine, as the summer of Y2K dawned, the track fast became a hit, reaching no.6 in the National charts; it was THE summer anthem.
However, the hype of True Steppers was just about to move up a gear, as journalistic spin ensued, they made front page news. Victoria Beckham was on the trail of The Steppers, and looking for that garage sound. Step in Posh and hold on tight, True Steppers ‘Out Of Your Mind’ feat Dane Bowers and Victoria Beckham was the biggest hyped record of 2000, going head to head for the number 1 spot with one of the biggest dance tracks in the last decade, Spiller feat Sophie Ellis Bextor.
True Steppers sold over 50,000 records in the first day of release and kept the number 1 slot on mid-week sales until the very last day, ending up at no 2, selling just fewer than 200,000 records, in the first week alone.
Gathering momentum Ice Cream records went on to sign Mr Reds Vs. DJ Scribble feat Busta Rhymes which was a No.1 dance chart hit and national chart hit.
In 2008 we had 2 Number-1 urban records with Craig David, one of which featured Tinchy Stryder and Rita Ora (both were unsigned artists at the time).
As the industry continues to evolve, and with the emergence of new and exciting sounds taking influence from their predecessors: Grime, Dubstep, and UK Funky, Ice Cream are proud to have been a vital part of the movement and at the very forefront of the scene with the sound of UK Garage.
Fast forward to the year 2017, and the Ice Cream machine aims to continue on its success by offering up some of the best quality urban music around, and with its original founder Andy L behind the wheel it’s going to be epic!
To date, Ice Cream Records have been involved in over 20 top 40 chart hits inc 5 No.1’s, 14 top 10’s and 8 No.1 dance chart records, and to top it off they were behind the very first UK Garage No 1 selling compilation album.