Breakbeat Science: Exercise 5

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Drum'n'bass is the niche dance music that simply will not die. Just when you think the genre has been completely played out and all those old Roni Size and Goldie albums are going to start showing up in the remainder bin, someone manages to stretch the boundaries just a little bit more and catch your interest all over again. Clever (aka Brett Cleaver) does it by downplaying the darker side (fewer minor-key freakouts, fewer monster-robot sound effects) and stripping down the beats a bit, bringing them closer to what you might hear from mainstream breaks men DJ Icey and √úberzone. Clever's contribution to the Breakbeat Science label's Exercise series finds him pulling together a nicely varied program of dub plates and classic singles, all of them played on vinyl and put together in a live-in-the-studio DJ mix. Highlights include Graphic's rhythmically quirky "I Am Metal" (featuring rapper Beans), Pieter K's brilliant "Sequence," and a pair of tracks that both make creative use of cut-up vocal parts: "Smoking Man" by Controlled Substance and "Steel" by Seba. This is that rarest of animals, a genuinely danceable drum'n'bass album.

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