Rare or Unreleased 9: Cinque Cento vs. Count Tomas

Cinque Cento: «33 (Count Tomas 45 remix)» [mp3]
Today, Thomas D. Nicholson, a.k.a. Cinque Cento, is packing his Fiat 500 and heading off to where the rain stays mainly in the plain, sensibly relocating from Norway to the land of sun and tapas, leaving us northern suckers behind.

One such sucker is London DJ Count Tomas a.k.a. DJ Don Tomaso, one of the original, forgotten jungle pioneers. Of Trinidadian and Welsh heritage, Tomaso was put up for adoption and raised in child care homes and by several foster parents.

Tomaso was a member of a breakdance crew (Northside), based in the Dalston area of London, in the 1980s. He later joined a breakdance crew called the A-Boys, and made his name as a graffiti artist along Kingsland Road. His artwork was featured heavily in Evropaa Bambaataa's documentary Bombing Schmombing.

He took part in the largest ever British graffiti art battle alongside Staines artist Ali G., who later formed West Staines Massiv.

He moved to Norway and started selling skinnvæst (leather vests) in Trondheim and Oslo, a business which he continued after his return to England in 1988, and turned into his trademark.

On this remix, Count Tomas reworks Cinque Cento's lounge-y and deceptively upbeat retro-futurism into a Metalheadz-reminiscent party monster, where the hungover lyrics' existential dread of mortality and the rock'n'roll lifestyle—«as my guts crawl out, there's nothing left inside»—are reflected in nihilistic beats, hedonistic bass and bursts of delightfully malevolent glitch-noise that cut right through your eardrums, before Goldie-sounding bass waves make you want to wave your arm about like a wigga fool. The loathful words are given their due, as previously the pill had been sugared by the sweet pop of the original. Count Tomas offers no such comforts.

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