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Album Review

Perhaps realizing that jungle was not just growing uncool but turning into a creative dead-end, Coxon and Wales toned down the heavy breakbeats and unrelenting drum'n'bass on their Treader album. Yes, it's still much more drum'n'bass than trip-hop or electronica, or anything else, but the inclusion of a few downtempo tracks ("Is," "More Stuff No One Saw") plus the frequent slants toward experimentalism (short bursts of noise) or classicism (chamber-quartet strings) show the pair moving discreetly away from the green pastures of their mid-'90s peak. "Winter" delves into jazz-fusion with a trumpet flourish straight out of Miles' darker years before adding a few paranoid effects characteristic of darkstep drum'n'bass. Treader is just as impeccably produced and crisp-sounding as Coxon and Wales' previous work (just check highlights like "Blackwater" and "Toledo"), but it has the definite sound of a transitional album.

Customer Reviews


this album got me back in to drum and bass after 10 years last year, enuff said i think. sick!


Formed: 1993 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The recordings of John Coxon and Ashley Wales as Spring Heel Jack were some of the earliest and best applications of hard-edged drum'n'bass to the full-length LP concept with no lack of energy, similar in result to Orbital's living-room/danceclub fusion of techno. A pop producer who had worked with Betty Boo, Marc Almond, and Spiritualized, Coxon met up with classical composer Wales while working as a soul DJ in London's East End. The duo soon began recording breakbeat jungle, initially with inclinations...
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Treader, Spring Heel Jack
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