Artist: Alex Reece
Title: Al's Records Volume One
Format: 12" single
Label: Al's Records (subsidiary of Island Records)
Catalogue Number: 12ALS1
Year of Release: 1996
Drum 'n' Bass (wikipedia article) has not aged well. This record sounds astonishingly dated. It's also very formulaic, which makes me glad I never bothered to buy Volumes Two and Three.
Where to begin? Both are identikit tunes, following the same imprint of countless other 12"s banged out by Looking Good/Good Looking Records and Metalheadz at around the same time. Take your breakbeat, add a bassline, throw some chords over the top. At some point the breakbeat will drop out, and four bars later it will come back in again. The most interesting thing about these tracks is that the basslines seem to be cast-offs from Deee-Lite. This has the effect of dating the sound even further, so much so that anyone who thinks A Nu Era really does herald some new age of music will probably go on to tell you about how much better things were in this country before the war, and mean the Boer one.
A Nu Era also has a vocal sample towards the end, saying simply, "Bring it on". The inherent smugness of this line, plus the seriousness of it's delivery, just made me laugh. I countered with "Make it stop", which it duly did. Said record is back on the shelf, where it will remain for evermore, or at least until we move house.