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Overdrive Review

by Rick Anderson

There are a few people who get instantly turned on by the prospect of listening to an entire drum'n'bass DJ mix, but most people start heading for the doors. As DJ Aphrodite knows well, one way to hold skeptics' attention is to spice up the usual stew of dive-bombing minor key basslines and hyperkinetic breakbeats with reggae elements -- a chattering MC here, a shred of vintage Studio One rhythm there. On the latest in a marathon stream of releases, the seemingly tireless Aphrodite keeps things spare and hard most of the time, using those reggae elements judiciously to keep hooking the possibly weary dancer back onto the floor. Overdrive opens strongly, but maybe a bit predictably, with a couple of nice but unremarkable jump-up tracks by Top Buzz and Accidental Heroes (followed by Aphrodite's own more impressive "Stalker (Benny Page Remix)"). It's when Stevie Hyper steps in on the brilliant "Can't Stop (Aphrodite Remix)" that things start getting really interesting, and they mostly stay that way through the rest of the album, with the Force's vaguely Devo-esque "Invasion," a spectacular remix of "Soul Makossa" and Aphrodite's own "Move 'n' Rhythm" taking top honors. And don't miss the Jamaica-meets-Algeria-in-the-jungle fusion of NG3's "Holler (Aphrodite Dub Remix)." Very highly recommended.

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