Shoot to Kill

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AK1200, America's premiere jungle DJ, definitely concentrated on his mixing during the '90s, only rarely stretching out with a post-production (for Rabbit in the Moon, Dub Pistols, and Cirrus, among others). Finally, in 2002, he issued a production album, Shoot to Kill, and he made up for his lack of experience behind the boards by recruiting a handful of the outstanding drum'n'bass technicians in the world. Any production LP including just one of the following names -- Rob Playford, Danny Breaks, Dominic "Dom & Roland" Angus -- would deserve a second look for jungle fans. All three appear here, and Playford, arguably the best producer in jungle history, co-produces (with AK) no less than seven of the 12 tracks. Fans looking for next-level breaks, however, may be slightly disappointed; Shoot to Kill is less a productions album than a collaborations album, and space must be made for a parade of intriguing vocalists: Junior Reid, Terra Deva (for the solid single "Fake"), Phife Dawg, and Last Emperor (on "Contact," one of the highlights). Elsewhere, Playford adds a nice early-'90s throwback, "Deja Nu," to his career of great productions. Much better than the usual collection from a mixer-turned-producer, Shoot to Kill is that rare latter-day drum'n'bass album: one that advances the craft while still pulling in potential new converts.

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