Friday, June 18, 2010

Smart Beats Vol. 1 - X-Sight 73016-2

Next up we have an obscure U.S. jungle compilation from the year when jungle was writhing under the excruciating agony of minimal, techy drum n bass: 1997. Despite the unfortunate year of its release, this is, to draw from its title, a rather "smart" collection of tunes from U.S. producers, most of which (perhaps all) resided in New York. There is a bit of the blechy influence on the tunes from High Jinx, Money Grip, Toxic 220 and Tom Grim/Gruv 42, but the three artists that most listeners are probably familiar with --Odi, Datcyde and Soul Slinger-- are clearly at the top of their game here, and the first two take us not only out of the garbage, but into some of best examples of amen-oriented, monster-bass tunes ever to come out of the Stars and Stripes. In particular, Odi and Datcyde are trading punch for punch, and following the bout, I'd be hard pressed to declare a clear winner. After the heavy hitting, Soul Slinger slows it down with some outerdelic trip-hop a la DJ Wally. Most of the unknown guys don't appear to have done much; Toxic 220 has a single release on the Sugar Spliff label, and Gruv 42 has a few trance/breaks releases for the label Don't Panic, but other than that I don't find any mention of them on discogs. Whatever the case, it makes me wonder what else the New York Dons did in this vein that never saw the dark of vinyl, and prompts me to add my list of mixes to make an Odi vs Datcyde mix, and just like this, that's gonna be one tough cookie to crumble.


01 High Jinx - Postfinalcrash.mp3
02 Datcyde - Solice.mp3
03 Toxic 220 - Toxic 220.mp3
04 Money Grip - Mega Blast.mp3
05 DJ Odi - All Fucked Up.mp3
06 Gruv 42 & Tom Grim - The Judge.mp3
07 Datcyde - Kindred.mp3
08 DJ Odi - No Reason.mp3
09 Toxic 220 - Basemental.mp3
10 DJ Odi - Days Alone.mp3
11 DJ Soul Slinger - The Brain.mp3

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dubtronix - Interfaze LP - Q Dance (QRLP003)

Pumping some life-blood back into this sleeping beauty, today we have one of the lesser known albums by the duo Dubtronix, which, according to discogs, consists on this outing of the producers G.E. Real and Ninj. That leads me into a bit of confusion, because Dubtronix, from what I can gather, is generally composed of Jeremy Sylvester, aka Darkus, and his father, Charles Sylvester, who had his heyday in the mid-70s as part of the disco-funk band J.A.L.N, and who I would take a stab at pinning down as Ninj (this would explain Ninj's experimental jungle album with jazz guitarist Derek Bailey and his work with avant-bassist Bill Laswell).

It could very well be that G.E. Real and Darkus are in fact J. Sylvester, but until I come across some confirmation, I'm hesitant to believe it, for one because Sub Assertive Sounds #2 (CUE2) lists Darkus, GE Real and Ninj as three separate people, as does the first track on Dubtronix - The Extreme Collection, Vol 1.

What I think more likely is that, as track AA2 seems to indicate, this is Darkus and Ninj, the only father and son duo I'm aware of in the oldskool jungle world, though I do recall several oldskool producers whose fathers were musicians and influenced their children to flex their own gift of the ear in turn.

Anyhow, some floaters on here, as well as some amen smashers, but whichever side of the fence you tend to play on, there's well-executed examples of each. My pick: Contradiction, an amen-heavy, piano-riffing, stab-slick slice of 94 jungle the way it was meant to be heard.

A1 My Fantasy
A2 Sensation
A3 Snare Time
A4 Interfaze
AA1 Pass Me A Dubplate
AA2 Ninj & Darkus
AA3 Contradiction
AA4 Feel