The Selector Series, Vol. 2

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Dego McFarlane remained as active as ever throughout the early 2000s. 4hero was afloat with Marc Mac; he collaborated with several of his fellow West London producers on countless releases (Dego & Kaidi, DKD, etc.); and he released material as Cousin Cockroach and Pavel Kostiuk on Archive, Visions, and his own 2000 Black. Here, he delivers the second supplement in Goya Music's Selector Series, following Alex Attias' stellar work on the inaugural volume. While not as dynamic as Attias' mix -- and a little brief at 53 minutes -- Dego makes another strong case for broken beat's ability to churn out complex and uplifting 21st century boogie. Selection-wise, he doesn't take the easy path; there aren't any tried-and-true monster tracks that broken beat insiders and Co-Op regulars had long since grown tired of -- instead, the mix is based around less obvious choices and a handful of exclusives. As a result, it's not an ideal introduction to the scene, but it's enough to pique newcomers' curiosities while pleasing most of the heads. After opening with momentum-building finesse, with Likwid Biskit's "The All New Ummm!, Pt. 4" -- carrying a stuttering rhythm offset by luscious string swells and a group chant -- Dego settles briefly into a house groove, though not for long. From there, Dego's selections regularly switch up time signatures while avoiding rough transitions and the standard 4/4 template. A good portion of the tracks -- including highlights like Ne-Grove's "Let It Ride" and SK Radicals' "Reachin' 4 da Farside" -- feature vocalists that seem to be equally inspired by rare groove and contemporary R&B, whether originally presented by Larry Mizell or Timbaland. This mix would be outshined later in the year by Bugz in the Attic's Fabriclive.12, but it still functions as a significant piece of the broken beat puzzle.

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