London Elektricity

Billion Dollar Gravy

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It's been a long road for Chris Goss and Tony Colman's Hospital Records. Originally established in 1996, its jazz and rare groove influences held the label very much at the fringes of drum'n'bass while more mechanical material dominated the nation's dancefloors. However, as the music evolved, so the melting pot of Hospital became increasingly in demand, with the irresistible "Song in the Key of Knife" a significant turning point in the popularity of the label. Their debut full-length, Pull the Plug, built upon these 12" accomplishments with a well-rounded body of work that succeeded, where so many others had failed, in blending soul and funk at a frenetic pace of 170 beats per minute. This sophomore outing again demonstrates the sheer width of field open to drum'n'bass producers. Although Colman has since flown the studio solo, he shows no letup in the quality control here -- from the breathtaking opening through to the vocal contributions of Chicago house hero Robert Owens to "Different Drum" and a brace of tracks featuring the soaring delivery of longtime collaborator Lianne Carrol -- unusual arrangements and rich instrumentation amount to a distinctiveness that ultimately results in one of the better long-players to have ever emerged from a genre traditionally encumbered with a short shelf life and lack of staying power.

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