One of 2004's biggest drum'n'bass anthems Nightbreed's Pack Of Wolves sends the mix underway fusing together elements of heavy metal distorted rock guitars and basslines with wailing vocals - it's heavy enough to fill hospital wards of people complaining about neck injuries incurred from headbanging. It's featured here in remix form done by Pendulum who lay down a half tempo introduction before building up the pressure and slam the speakers with a hard rolling breakbeat. Adam F & DJ Fresh team up on When The Sun Goes Down rinsing out more rolling breaks and hard bass which provide a nice contrast for the funky piano riff and sing-along vocal samples.
Ram Records' stalwart Shimon teams up with Kimani for the funky and uplifting Jazz Freak which features a funky double bass bassline and Kimani's sweet vocal stylings are enough to get even the laziest of rear ends up on the dancefloor to have a boogie. The funky vibes continue with Hospital Records artist Logistics bringing it all Together with soothing synth lines and funk licks laced throughout.
The funk gets placed on the backburner and the rock rhythms return on Shimon & Sparfunk's Cold Killa once again featuring the vocals of Kimani. In contrast to her previous effort, she too puts down her jazzy vocal stylings in favour of a rock vocal approach. The funk and sing-along factor return when Calibre & Singing Fats (MC Fats singing as opposed to his usual MC styles?) offer up Drop It Down and in keeping to the title of the song, the tune is a deeper and dubbier drum'n'bass affair featuring Fats' souled out vocals and deep dubby bass.
Blow Your Whistle by Reprazent's DJ Die sounds more like it belongs in an illegal warehouse rave than a drum'n'bass club featuring familiar vocal samples lifted from an old skool rave anthem and a catchy bassline that will get stuck in your headspace. More aggressive bass and synth follows on with Future Prophecies' Dreadlock which drops a hard and dirty bassline which sidles next to a siren like synth hook.
Funky vibes and uplifting melodies return to the mix with another Hospital Records artist, High Contrast. Persistence Of Memory taken from his sophmore album High Society incorporates funky bass thumps, calming synth work and sweet female vocal stabs - quite an interesting track selection considering the tunes that feature before and after. Photek's remix of Tubby T's Ready She Ready follows on and brings the mix back to hard and grimey tear out drum'n'bass featuring Tubby T's ragga vocal chants which sit atop monster bass drops, industrial noises and female sci-fi vocals.
Ghost by Sub Focus & Danny Wheeler brings out, as the name implies, spooky ghost like melodies - as if one were in a movie theatre watching re-runs of old horror movies before Andy C brings the mix to a close with Photek's Age Of Empires bringing to light jungle horn calls and hard, rumbling bass. Quite unfair to select that as the last track as it makes you want to hear more drum'n'bass rather than winding down and taking a quck break... time to RRRREEEEEEWWWWIIIINNND to the first tune!
The second CD features Andy's most memorable works as a producer, whether he's pulling off his own original compositions or whether he's slicing and dicing up other people's works on remixes. Concept 2 - an early moniker for Andy C and Ant Miles - are featured here with a tune from 96, Cause 'n' Effect. A deep, techy roller which features squelchy bass lines and occasional drum fills dropped at random. Good for its time but it does get quite monotonous.
Andy C and Ant Miles other moniker Origin Unknown then pull off a remix of Suburban Base signees Boogie Times Tribe's Dark Stranger, which features jungle-esque choppy drumming styles, rave-like vocal samples and probably due to limitation in technolgy at the time a few missed beats (especially one at the end). It's probably the oldest tune on the CD and has a raw feel to it.
A CD of Andy C's productions would be incomplete without Shimon & Andy C's classic Body Rock - the tune which got the whole scene swing-stepping and more than likely confusing heads on the dancefloor as well. Still, one can't go past that booming bassline and the swing step beats. A mate was telling me that Krust's Warhead is an absolute classic with a monster bassline that gets the crowd cheering. Ram Trilogy (the group made up of Andy C, Ant Miles and Shimon) take the tune and turn it into a jump up classic without taking away the monster bassline.
Adam F & MOP's Stand Clear taken from Adam F's KAOS album gets remixed by Origin Unknown who take the jiggied up hip hop and propel into drum'n'bass territories with crossover potential dropping rocky basslines and hands in the air style hip hop vocals.
Another tune that just can't be missed is Origin Unknown's Valley Of The Shadows which is also known as the 31 seconds tune - not for it being 31 seconds long but for the vocal sample that keeps repeating "31 seconds" throughout the course of the tune. Written in 94, the tune features jungle style breakbeats, twisted synth hooks and a strange female vocal sample going on and on about a long dark tunnel.
Nightlife 2 is a complete package for all those who love the work of Andy C both as a DJ and a producer but have never been able to combine the two sides of the man into one. The mix CD is a diverse mix of the latest dubplates and drum'n'bass anthems and shows him dropping tight mixes which, as a good drum'n'bass DJ is known for, oscillate between the hard tear out sounds and funky vibes, while the second CD brings out some of the best and memorable tunes Andy has had to offer.