Aphrodite

Urban Junglist

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As jungle entered its second golden age in the early 2000s, thanks to British chart hits and worldwide adoration (often more fervent than on home soil), Aphrodite's Gavin King continued to tear it up behind the decks, even if his trademarked breaks productions never showed much more than a subtle refinement. Apparently recorded live (though perhaps not in front of an audience), Urban Junglist is a smooth, perfectly paced mix, the fruits of 12 years as a mixer and crowd-watcher. Aphrodite begins with a nod to the past, drum'n'bass veteran Peshay remaking an old hardcore staple into a new production, "You Got Me Burning." Early on, King rarely pauses for breath, slotting a breathless diva track ("Your Love") right next to a feature for the chatting triple-team of MC Fearless, MC Det, and MC Shabba on "Flava for Rava," and quickly moves into Latin territory for High Control's Jobim-sampling "Global Love" and D Kay & Epsilon's "Barcelona." Most of these tracks are four minutes or less, the meat of the track, but transitioned well -- especially when he goes from own-production to own-production, which happens a few times. The mix gets most intense during Shroombab and Polarity's "Double Trouble," but peaks near the end when King rinses the jungle classic, "Original Nuttah" by U.K. Apachi & Shy FX. Ironically, though, it turns out to be his own remix of the track, on top of which he's added his requisite hyper-bassline madness. Even though the pacing is perfect, King has trouble avoiding that same style, the one that sounds great for a few tracks but grows tiresome over the course of a 70-minute mix.

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