Rising up from the ashes of the poppy and commercial 2-step/UK Garage sound is Broken Beat - hardly sounds any different from breaks which it spawned from, however the genre concentrates mainly on the jazzy, soulful side of music while maintaining the syncopated aspect which breakbeat is known for. Bugz In The Attic is a collective of 9 individuals, some of whom are from other well known groups such as Kaidi "Shocka T" Tatham from Ninja Tune's The Herbaliser and Seiji who's been making a name for himself with his own productions.
Fabriclive 12 is a collection of 14 broken beat/2-step tunes some representing the soulful side of breakbeat such as Umod's Tromboline which opens the mix. Drum'n'bass heroes, 4 Hero take Focus' Having Your Fun on a beefed up, bass heavy broken beat vibe, while keeping the jazzy vocals laced on top of the manic rhythms below.
The mix soon moves to a darker, breakstepper vibe with Artwork's Red which was included on Zed Bias' Bingo Beats compilation from 2002. Lyric L displays her vocal gymnastics on Loose Lips with production from Seiji, while Zed Bias (using his Nu Design moniker) bridges the gap between the 2-step/UK Garage style he was known for and broken beats on Time To Skyank - a minimal production which relies solely on heavy breaks and a whispery vocal sample.
Members of Bugz In The Attic display their production prowess on tunes like Got Me Puzzled by Kaidi and Dego (of 4 Hero fame) and on remixes as well such as Viketer Duplaix's Looking For Love - yet again taking soulful vocals and lacing them on top of heavy beats, rich in texture while still allowing enough melody to sing a long to the lyrics.
Daft Punk's Harder, Faster gets remixed by Top 40 kings The Neptunes for a funky take on the electro tune - Pharrell adding new vocals to the tune - nice! It's a typical Neptunes production with the percussive breaks and melodic synths added to the mix, before the mix closes off with N'Dambi with Call Me - a laidback keyboard melody with stabs of horns on a swinging house beat, while N'Dambi lays down her jazzy vocals.
Bugz In The Attic create a different atmosphere with their mix for Fabriclive - deep and soulful while keeping the beats chunky. Good for lounging around to or just playing in the background. For those looking for a nu-skool breaks mix - look elsewhere, Fabriclive 12 offers listeners a more musical trip through the underground sound of broken beat. Not really a sound that grabs me first up, however given a few more listens this may be more appealling.
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