Australia's Pendulum crew are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of drum & bass and they get the mix started with their remix of Ed Rush & Optical's Bacteria. Pendulum's remix starts off with a deep and moody introduction incorporating dark techy sweeps and tribal percussion before quickly progressing to a dark, bass heavy monster with ear drum peircing horror movie strings and frantic rolling breaks. Bacteria nicely sets the tone for J Majik & Wickaman's Scooby Doo which lightens the mood slightly with a catchy melodic bassline and features the vocals of Kathy Brown who's renowned for providing vocals on the classic tune "Turn Me Out".
Ed Rush & Optical return again with Kerbcrawler which is featured with a remix done by Baron. Probably the funkiest tune in the mix, Kerbcrawler features an infectious synth hook, plenty of hoovers, and sci-fi effects.
Drumsound & Simon Bassline Smith are another duo making waves in drum & bass and they are responsible for providing three tunes to the mix. Bandsaw as the title suggests features a liquid Reese bassline that could slice through the toughest of metals. Tyrant too offers a sinister bass riff and Crossfire Danger features a sweet female vocal sample (which in some way sounds like the vocal from a Massive Attack tune) and drops a rich rolling break filled to the brim with percussion and another menacing bassline.
J Majik & Wickaman rinse out a funky tune in the form of Ska Disco dropping dubby basslines, a funky riff and female vocal stabs before tear-out pioneer Dillinja appears in his Capone guise to deliver another bumping, dubby bass line with computer generated sounds and vocodered vocals on Just Relax.
Quite possibly the biggest rock/drum & bass crossover track to emerge in 2004, Nightbreed's Pack Of Wolves rears its head on this compilation featured here as Pendulum's tempo switching remix before the mix comes to a close with the third and final Ed Rush & Optical tune, Compound. For the mix they've enlisted the skills of Gridlok to provide a remix and he gives the tune a wobbly, fluid bassline, tribal percussion and closes it off with a long winded beat drop.
What's interesting about the mix is that when artists release a mix compilation they will usually jump at the opportunity to provide their own exclusive tunes. Ed Rush & Optical have taken this one step further and provided their own tunes in remix form done by the current crop of drum & bass' elite. As per usual it's the DJ that comes out with the tunes first that is on everybody's lips and in that sense, this is where the mix can fall short as a few of the selections here have already appeared on recent mixes done by Andy C, Shimon and Grooverider. Still for those who couldn't give a rats and just love the music for what it is will love this energetic selection of tunes. It also comes with a DVD featuring live footage of Ed Rush & Optical in the mix, interviews with pioneers of the scene and studio tips for any budding producers out there!