Various Artists

Drum & Bass Sessions, Vol. 2

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If all you want is an hour or two of jungle or drum & bass, then you've got a wealth of options out there, some better than others but almost all of them offering the heavyweight double-speed breakbeats that you crave. If, on the other hand, you want a thoughtfully selected, carefully programmed, and nicely annotated historical overview of the genre, starting with its first emergence from the bubbling cauldron of London's multicultural nightclubs and ending with its eventual arrival as a worldwide, aboveground dance music phenomenon, then this nicely priced two-disc set is just what the doctor ordered. All the usual suspects are here, of course, from Goldie and Roni Size (with "Jah the Seventh Seal" and "No More," respectively) to the groundbreaking Rebel MC (whose "Tribal Base" has an honored place at the head of the program) and MC Conrad (who contributes a sexy come-on titled "Golden Girl," with a little help from fellow scenester LTJ Bukem). You'll hear hints of reggae, nu-jazz, and techno all along the way, and if you aren't dead tired by the end of the two discs, then you haven't been listening hard enough. If you have a friend who's been wondering what all the drum & bass stuff is about, this set will make a very good introductory crash course in the subject. Highly recommended.

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