Various Artists

Total Trauma

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AllMusic Review by

Here's another fine budget-priced compilation from Shadow, one of the best and most prolific downtempo and electronica labels on the market right now. This time out, the focus is on hard drum'n'bass and the content is licensed from the Kickin' Records label. Many of the artists on this 11-track program will be familiar to armchair junglists everywhere -- Decoder (whose "Defender" is one of the darker and more compelling tracks here), Digital (whose reggae-inflected "Bad Mind" is another highlight), and Manifest, for example. All of them deal in relatively minimalist double-speed breakbeats, eerie vocal samples, and instrumental atmospheres that imply a certain sense of foreboding without clearly defining it. At its best, this particular drum'n'bass subgenre makes you want to dance while looking nervously over your shoulder at the same time. Recommended.

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