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Bizzy B – Science EP Volumes III + IV

Label: Planet Mu Format: 2×10″ (Vol. IV only), CD

Science EPs Vols. III + IV - sleeve detailUpdating the sound of Drum’n’Bass as he’s been rinsing it out since the early days, Bizzy B‘s Science EP Vols. III and IV CD doesn’t so much re-invent Junglist mania as restate it with extra oomph. There are no obvious surges into Grimey territory or cheap nods to Garage, but plenty of fun to be had from Bizzy B’s messing with the general form, remoulding and disassembling it along the way. While Vols III and IV offers plenty of straight-up, full-tilt hardcore D&B, the requisite soul diva samples are kept to a bare minimum and the equally well-utilised countown to takeoff and Dancehall MC snippets floating around but thankfully not over-used. On the surface and initally offering up straightforward examples of how to produce genre-set breakbeat frenzy, the progression of track to track on the CD reveals a definite sensibilty for clever fine tuning of the form, all with added extra science.

As Bizzy B’s sleevenotes explain, this is the central mission of these latest two instalments of the series, to bring newer musical technology into the mix. So the breaks churn and dive, with beats juddering to a halt, ringing, regurgitating and sliding with frenetic tempo changes to the step of a big bass boom with plenty of self-assurance and heavyweight Dub knowledge applied to low end and rinse alike. One track, “Merda Style 2004”, is an actual reworking of an older tune, where with assistance from Equinox the original becomes a furious melange of “Amen” breaks and warblingly warm bass, skipping along at breakneck pace and turning some nifty rhythmic corners on proverbial sixpences. Throughout, the flow of drum loop and bass staggers from chilled intro into main force dementia with an eager, questing sense of rhythm and groove, tinged with the darkness which has kept the format largely worth listening too for all these years.

While Science EP III+IV is a collection of single tracks no doubt intended originally for dancefloor and radio DJ mix purposes, it’s pleasing to report that the album when taken as a whole works rather well. By the time the MC shout out of “Can you feel the bassline/Give me some fire!” is rippling into timestretched eeriness on “Fire” at the album’s close and the bass churns with queasy distortion under some unsettling minor chord wafts, the beats are getting really mashed up and undanceable. The sense of being placed in an audio liquidiser is pretty much complete at this point – and ultimately very satisfying indeed.

-Freq1C-

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