Various Artists

Scattered Snares

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4hero's Marc Mac unveils his Twisted Funk label for Scattered Snares, a compilation of dense broken-beat productions that are heavy on chopped-up polyrhythms that glean from house, techno, drum'n'bass, hip-hop, jazz-funk, and any other groove-oriented music form you can think of. Several of these productions are knockouts. Bug Nyne's "Broken Rhode" slips casually through a series of mini-movements, all of which have unrelentingly percussive foundations -- it's so easy to get lost in the bashing clusters of drums that it's just as easy to lose the Fender Rhodes melody that levitates on top for most of the duration. Torus' "Space," one of the few vocal tracks, is somewhere between the complex jazz fusion of Weather Report and the uplifting jazz-funk of James Mason, but it's far more kinetic than anything by either point of reference; the quick, complex drum patterns are so propulsive that they make you feel as if you're being shot from a cannon. It isn't without reason that these 14 tracks are grouped together on the same disc, but some feature snares that can hardly be described as scattered. "Drum Ensemble," Marc Mac's contribution as Nu Era, would be equally at home on a Delsin compilation, or alongside Aril Brikha's "Otill," or even next to something from Titonton Duvante. It falls a lot closer to Detroit techno than West London broken beat, with all its warm and lush properties masking some furious rhythm programming. One of the best various-artist broken-beat comps -- if not the best -- Scattered Snares is particularly ideal for drum'n'bass heads who have become disenchanted with that scene. Furthermore, those who have been turned off of broken beat due to the polite jazz leanings of some producers will find that this one goes down a treat.

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