Various Artists

Nu York Nu Skool, Vol. 2: East Coast Drum'n'Bass

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There's absolutely no reason why New York, a city more musically fertile, ethnically diverse, and energetic than almost any other, shouldn't be producing world-class drum'n'bass music. After all, the frenetic, double-time funky beats and the chilly, digital impersonality of drum'n'bass combine to practically define the New York aesthetic. But for some reason, there is very little really good drum'n'bass coming out of that city, and while this compilation gives some reason for optimism, it also confirms the conventional wisdom about the way things currently are. DJ Kazimir's "Dear Prudence (Vocal Mix)" is excellent, partly because the beats are crisp, the bassline is super-heavy and there's, you know, vocal in the mix. And "Sigg One," by Ras, is also lots of fun, what with its music-box hook and oriental flute riding the breakbeat. But too many of the other entries are just plain pedestrian, with uninspired beats and uninteresting production. Recommended with reservations.

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