Klute

Breakbeat Science: Exercise 3

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Few genres of dance music are quite as formally hidebound as drum'n'bass, a style that is defined by its stuttering, warp-speed breakbeats, minor keys, and usually chilly, robotic flavor. Depart too far from those conventions and the junglist massive tend to start losing interest quickly; stick too close to them and no one else wants to listen for more than a minute or two. Because the fact is that while drum'n'bass really is some of the most exciting dance music there is, at its most formally correct it's only interesting for three or four minutes, tops -- then it just gets tiresome. The best DJs are those who can both follow the rules and maintain a non-dancing listener's interest over the course of a whole album; luckily, Tom Withers (aka Klute) is one of those. On the third installment in the Breakbeat Science label's excellent Exercise series, Klute brings together an impressive roster of junglists for a marathon 72-minute DJ mix, recorded live in the studio. The mood is pretty constant, of course, but the textural ebb and flow offer plenty of variety; highlight tracks include Calibre's "What We Give" (which incorporates an eerie sample from the Congos' "Feast of the Passover" along with some tasteful disco strings) and Concord Dawn's "Take Me Away," one of only a few actual songs on the record and a lovely one. Highly recommended.

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