These days it can seem sometimes like we’re going through the fall of Rome…but, you know….with wifi. Ya feel me?
Welp, you’re not alone in that sentiment. Ray Keith looked into his crystal ball, and it’s a pretty dark picture. It does, however have a bad ass soundtrack. Is it possible to give a history lesson and tell the future at the same? Gather around children and let me tell you a tale of an old school Junglist who has seen the future. And it is murder.
Bear in mind that I’m reviewing a 10 track sampler of an epic 31 track release. So, there is more. Much more. But, this is a good start and should give you a good feel for where this album is going.
‘Dark Forces’ features one of my all time favorite MCs, DRS and is about as menacing as it sounds. Complete with all four horsemen of the apocalypse and the Devil in the details. Chasing Amens all day with subs humming that make your feet vibrate. Sharp driving snares, atmospheric synths with breaks that keep you guessing and grooving. ‘Darth Dread’ is more danceable than it sounds. It’s got a nice rolling snare line that hooks you in and smoother vocals than you’d suspect from the title. And ya gotta love those classic rolling snare fills at the breaks. ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ is a nice moody groove that sneaks in some funk and soul at the break. Soulful is word that gets thrown around a lot. It happens to be accurate in this case. ‘Fight My Style’ has a great dialog going on between the snare hi-hat and bass line. It’s a great style but a fight I’m pretty sure that most people would lose. ‘Master Assassin’ is a good ride along track and over all is a great example of how this whole album feels like soundtrack material.
Ray Keith brings us old school Drum & Bass styles and elements with absolutely top notch modern production standards. Right down to the track length. Remember back in the day when every piece of Jungle vinyl as a single was like it’s own little mini seven to nine minute mix? Ever wish that style would come back? I have good news for you: it never really left. It’s been camped out over at Dread Recordings knocking out one epic saga after another. And a bunch of that work is collected for you in one place on this album.
Ray Keith is historically considered one of the pivotal founders of Jungle/Drum & Bass. He began DJing back in the 80s and broke into the London rave scene shortly after. Hailing from Essex and Suffolk he took an early interest in jazz, soul and funk. As these have been clear influences on the sound that he’s developed over the years. He has remixed everyone from Orbital to Shy FX to Moby; and has worked with just about everybody else. Forming Dread Recordings in 1994 that has been one of the cornerstones of the Jungle/Drum & Bass world ever since.
This collection demonstrates very clearly why. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Prophecy drops on February 28th.