Asphalt Jungle

Electro Ave.

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Asphalt Jungle is a duo comprised of smooth jazz guitarist Brian Tarquin and producer/drum programmer Chris Ingram. You've heard their work as a duo on MTV, but not in videos -- they've provided background music for shows like Road Rules and Making the Band. Their first album is a nice fusion of big beat, drum'n'bass, and metal guitar that is at its most interesting the less it showcases the guitar. The more rockish and guitar-heavy the music gets, the more it starts sounding like TV theme music, which shouldn't come as a big surprise. There are lots of genuinely compelling tracks here, though, among them the clubby "Wha Da Ding," the funky-crunchy "Last Crusader," and two complementary mixes of "Witchcraft," one of them a nicely brutal deconstruction overseen by DJ Soul Slinger and DJ Wally. Other highlights include an exhilarating and vaguely jazzy drum'n'bass workout entitled "Kato" and a funky chill-out selection called "Distant Heart." Recommended.

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