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Ed Rush & Optical: "The Original Doctor Shade"
(****)

Covert art

Irresistable Bass Pumping

I struggled with my rating for this album. On one hand, I wanted to give it less stars than I gave Peel Session, but on the other I just can't resist this album. This album is produced to perfection, lots of layered beats and pumping basses that just simply work. If you're in a party mood, this a great album to feed the fever with. Also makes fabulous driving music, provided you have a subbass in the car, but mind the gas pedal. There's not a weak track to be spotted in this album - it feels like most of the tracks are all too similar, but at least on the first few listenings you won't mind. There could be more variance, but then again - this way you have plenty of that party music that follows the same theme and mood with a steady quality and is at the same time different enough to be interesting.

Some tracks do stand out. "Smarty Pants" is - quite surprisingly! - pure house. A good way to end the album, I suppose, with a twist - a change of pace from the rest of it. And that synth in there - damn, you just got to love it. Call it cheesy if you will, but I love it all the same. What a great track if you're the least bit into house. Another favourite of mine is "Bullit" which is probably the most upbeat track on the disc. "Puerto Rico" also stands out with a great synthline and build-up in the first two minutes or so.

"Why", the opening track, was a bit of a turn off for me, though. I just don't like vocals in my drum'n'bass. (Side note: I also despise rap music. Notice a pattern...) Luckily "Why" is an exception to the rule - most of the album is safely instrumental, with vocals used only as samples (like in "Get Ill").

There's also a second disc, which is a DJ mix of the album with two new tracks thrown in. It's not bad, but I might have been happier with the two tracks on the first disc separately and not having the second disc at all. If you're into that sort of thing, though, I can say that the mixing is pretty neatly done. Still, this album doesn't get a score boost for the second disc, at least not in my opinion. Some remixes would have been a much better idea. (Side note: The sleeve lists the mix-disc as having 14 tracks, when it in fact only has 13, with the Outro mixed into the end of "Bullit" and track 13 - while labeled Outro - is actually just "Smarty Pants").

This is very high-quality drum'n'bass all throughout the disc(s). It's quite up-front and hence accessible to a lot of people, so you could pick it up just for the fun of it even if you're not a drum'n'bass fan. Who knows, you might become one.

TOP TRACKS: Bullit, 32/8, Heads Will Roll, Puerto Rico, Goodfoot, Smarty Pants

Tracklist

  1. Why [Sample]
  2. Hacksaw
  3. Bullit
  4. 32/8
  5. Heads Will Roll [Sample]
  6. Get Ill
  7. Puerto Rico
  8. Goodfoot
  9. Hammerhead
  10. Smarty Pants
Image of CD

Tracklist

  1. Intro
  2. Get Ill (Mix)
  3. 32/8 (Mix)
  4. Hacksaw (Mix)
  5. Why (Mix)
  6. Kinetic (Mix)
  7. Puerto Rico (Mix)
  8. Hammerhead (Mix)
  9. Goodfoot (Mix)
  10. Pod (Mix)
  11. Heads Will Roll (Mix)
  12. Bullit (Mix)
  13. Outro
Image of CD

Virus Recordings 2003

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Review by Saboteur


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