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The Kings of Drum + Bass

4hero & DJ Marky

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Album Review

BBE’s Kings series shifts to drum‘n’bass for its ninth volume, its mixing duties split between 4hero (as in Marc Mac) and DJ Marky. Unsurprisingly leaning toward the form’s earlier years, 1993-1995, Marc Mac's set is heavy on his own production work and releases from his and 4hero partner Dego’s Reinforced label. Over half the tracks involve him in some capacity, and while it could be seen as vain to squeeze out other crucial cogs — only one Moving Shadow track and no Photek, for instance — there’s plenty of sonic range, from the sublime to the foreboding, and the closing trio of tracks (Internal Affairs' “Find a Way,” Rufige Kru's “Terminator,” A Guy Called Gerald’s “Sunshine”) is duly riveting. DJ Marky delivers a comparatively speedy, rapid-fire sequence covering the late ‘90s through the present, little of which stimulates quite as much as the first disc’s content. The surfaces are smoother and the sounds are frequently automated-sounding, virtually nuance-less for extended stretches.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Dollis Hill, London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Consistently on the front lines of the drum'n'bass battleground, the duo of Dego (McFarlane) and Marc Mac (Mark Clair) nevertheless failed to receive the exposure of luminaries like Goldie and Roni Size, mostly because they didn't release much 4hero material during jungle's crucial crossover years, from 1994 through 1997. Despite beginnings in London's hip-hop underground during the mid-'80s, the duo moved into the hardcore/rave scene later in the decade and recorded classics like "Mr. Kirk's Nightmare"...
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