Shy FX / T-Power

Set It Off

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Getting the drum'n'bass scene back on its feet with a pair of surprising hits, Shy FX followed up with his first LP ever, co-billed with T.Power (who co-produced one of those hits). Ironically, considering all the strides drum'n'bass had made during a decade of history, Set It Off sounds dangerously close to those full-lengths from the days when dance producers didn't know how to make a full-length record work. The productions are uniformly excellent, and he never has to resort to watering down his sound, but Shy FX does resort to a few genre workouts, subtly reworks some of his popular material in hope of new hits, and shares billing with a few female vocalists whose talents don't shine in his company. Most importantly, though, the hits are here: "Set It Off," a Timbaland-tinged fusion of ragga and hip-hop, and the Brazilian roller "Shake Ur Body." "Don't Wanna Know" sounds like the follow-up to the hit, and though it's not as catchy as "Shake Ur Body," it's arguably a better track. Shy also gets in touch with his dancehall past on the synth-monster "Nature," featuring Greensleeves master Elephant Man. A few too many songs, however, would've sounded much better as instrumentals, including "Calling You" (a tight, minimal production with snares like gunshots) and the closer, "Everyone" (a detour into fusion-soaked downbeat). His attempt to go even farther into Brazilian territory, with Kele le Roc on "Feelin' U," isn't successful either.

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