Various Artists

Legendary Sounds

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A somewhat strange compilation covering some of Reinforced Records' classic singles, Legendary Sounds draws together a slew of great tracks from jungle and drum'n'bass acts from its early days, but does little to explain the songs and their context. Even in the times of all information everywhere via the Web (or so it seems), something more in the liner notes about what prompted this collection to come into existence, or information about the artists would be helpful, even if just for a newcomer's reference; instead, the cover graphic and (as it turns out, incorrect; the first two tracks should be switched) track listing is repeated a few times, and that's about it. This definite flaw aside, Legendary Sounds is still a great listen. Though it can't hope to match the truly monumental compilations from the early '90s that helped break the music further out of its club and pirate radio homes, and though the label's output favored pure instrumentals rather than some of the absolutely inspired high-speed ragga vocals on contemporary releases, this is still classic material that retains the power to thrill, surprise, and, most importantly, provoke dancing. Hearing the maniacal but precise overlay of everything from steady bass drops and fast but not hyperactive drums to the slippery keyboard fills on Nasty Habits' "Here Come the Drumz," to name just one great song among many, is to hear the rules of music get changed once more, despite all the dullard sludge that was soon to follow. Familiar names like Rufige Cru, Nookie (whose "Gonna Be Alright" is presented via the Plan 9 remix), Peshay and 4hero all take bows, though not hearing the latter represented with "Mr, Kirk's Nightmare" seems wrong somehow.

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