Various Artists

21st Century Drum+Bass, Vol. 2

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The second volume of 21st Century Drum+Bass is a rangier set than its predecessor, one that illustrates the mutating jungle scene by slotting a trio of competing discs that flaunt high-tech steppers, smooth house-influenced tracks, and rounder, more down-tempo sides, respectively. (Unlike the first volume, the three discs are mixed by three different artists, all co-heads of the Industry label.) Cause4Concern's mix on the first disc is a set of hyper-technical terror tracks, highlighted by the demented synth fuzz of his own "Moongerm," Sinthetix' "Dementia," and Universal Project's "The Truth," the latter somehow outdoing the intensity and dense paranoia that appeared to have reached apotheosis within techstep drum'n'bass several years earlier. Chris Industry backs away from the brink with an elegant set composed of house- or disco-influenced tracks such as "Into Music" by Carlito & DJ Addiction, "Spaced Invader" by J Majik & Hatiras, or John B's "I Like to Get It On." Killa B.'s final disc ends the set with a slightly chilled collection paced by Insiders' "It's Not Over" and Mathematics' polyrhythmic "Sunday Morning." The quality of the inclusions on 21st Century Drum+Bass, Vol. 2 is excellent as on the first volume, while the range on display means that non-fanatics will pull it off the shelf more often than the original.

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