Wednesday, March 31, 1999

House Party Drum 'N' Bass

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 12:00 AM

British-born drum ’n’ bass DJ DB has long championed the stateside jungle scene from his adopted home of New York. On his first mix CD for his and Astralwerks’ founder Andrew Goldstone’s label, f111, he brings drum ’n’ bass out of its dark ages of the last few years, a period when it got hamstrung by its esoteric, dubplate, Mafia mentality – only certain DJs could get certain records – and the sound’s decline into dark, eerie, repetitive tech-step tracks. Journey, in fact, seems more influenced by American house than London jungle. DB includes unashamed vocal tracks by Terra Deva and Cyba Space, blending tracks in a kinetic but soulful take on drum ’n’ bass’ usual manic rush. He avoids the dark, death-metal bass frequencies of much jungle and instead goes for brighter, shinier fare from the likes of fusion-tinged junglist Jonny L, while keeping the hard, repetitive tracks, such as DJ Krust’s "Warhead," as just segues. The result is an upbeat hour of a kinder, gentler – but no less impactful – drum ’n’ bass. DB’s talent is in not trying to re-create the dance floor apocalypse of UK jungle, but instead brightening it up with a house feel – and in the process, making it more danceable than ever. Screw the dubplate Mafia, this is jungle for the rest of us.

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