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Aug222007

Moving up a level.

DJ Friction – The Next Level 2 – Mix CD Review

Label: Shogun Audio

by: Neil McCullough

 

 

Next Level 2

This is the second instalment of DJ Frictions hugely successful Drum and Bass mix CD series. DJ Friction seems to have been around forever and for year after year he won the best newcomer DJ category at various awards, but he could never break Andy C’s stranglehold on the top dog award. Now however he is well established within the scene and has a few good productions under his belt. He has made an appearance on Radio One’s Essential Mix (a rare honour for Drum and Bass DJ’s). His label Shogun Audio is also causing quite a stir and building up an impressive back catalogue with tracks from a wide variety of new and established artists such as Commix, Noisia, Blu Mar Ten, D-Bridge, Alix Perez, Shock One, Teebee and Breakage. The first mix CD in this series was released on Dillinja’s Valve Recordings but such is the prominence in the scene of Frictions own label now, he has been able to release this 48 track, double CD epic on his own.

The mix is split into two distinct CD’s, CD one is a full on in your face futuristic party CD entitled ‘Next Level’, whilst CD two takes a trip into the deeper, more musical drum and bass grooves and is aptly titled ‘Deeper Level’.

So CD one: ‘The Next Level’. It’s straight up party business from the outset here, TC’s ‘Jump’ mixed with Bad Company’s classic ‘Planet Dust’ makes for an uncompromising intro that sets the stall out for this mix perfectly. Followed by more Valve tracks with Dillinja’s ‘Bell Tune’ and another TC tune ‘Game Over’ with computer game samples, and Sub Focuses ‘Swamp Thing’ from the legendary Ram Records the first few tracks on this mix set the party vibe right off and are sure to get you bopping about and in the mood for the rest of the CD. Cleverly though Friction uses Noisia’s remix of the Pendulum & The Freestylers breaks tune ‘Painkiller’ and Friction’s own re-working of Jonny L’s ‘Back to your roots’ to switch the mix into much ‘techier’ and rolling sounds, and all though the jump up party vibe is no more, the energy and groove keeps flowing en-masse out of the speakers through tracks from the likes of Noisia & Teebee, Break & Fierce with the superb ‘Redline’, State of Mind and Phace. There are great tracks to follow including two superb tunes from Commix on Metalheadz with the deadly bass of ‘Talk to Frank’ and a tune sure to get you moving, the simply amazing ‘Electric’ with tip top production. Then follows the quality SKC re-rub of his own ‘Offguard’ before the mix starts to close out by moving back into the jump up party sound we encountered at the beginning bringing this mix back full circle with energy fuelled tracks from Dillinja, TC, Shimon and Clipz.

DJ Friction

 

‘The Deeper Level’ is what we encounter on the second mix CD in this package. Although this CD will get you moving, grooving and nodding your head, it takes a different approach to the first CD. Rather than fast moving and in your face style of music with mixing to match like the first CD, this mix is all about the drum and bass music with more groove, feeling, soul and melodies and Friction rolls out nice mixes that really complement the tunes he plays. The mix starts off with the Artificial Intelligence remix of Fat Freddy’s Drop ‘Cays Cray’s’, before moving into a wonderful new track from High Contrast and a couple of Shogun Audio releases from D-Bridge and Friction himself alongside K-Tee. Then in comes the first of three tracks in this mix from a hot new property in the mellower side of Drum and Bass, Alix Perez. This kid has been hitting the scene with some superb tunes and Friction is obviously a big fan having signed him up to his label and putting some of his current releases on here for us to enjoy. The mix keeps on rolling through with a couple of tracks from the untouchable Calibre (seriously can this man do no wrong?) and another nice track from ex-Bad Company man D-Bridge. Klute makes an appearance with ‘Revolution’ before a nice roller from another main man of the moment Break with the forthcoming ‘Let It Happen’ showcasing the mans diversity, musical touch and softer side. Break has to be the hottest producer in the scene at the present time and with his seemingly magical touch to a variety of styles, I for one would be very interested to hear of an album project from the man. Continuing along the theme of the last few tracks the mix follows up with more soulful, melodic and bass heavy grooves from some of the big dogs of the scene, Total Science, Break & Survival, Commix and Spirit before finishing off nicely with K-Tee’s ‘Hypnotize VIP’ from Frictions own label.

This double CD is packed with exclusives, hot tracks, tight mixing that complements the music perfectly. Friction keeps flipping the script throughout whilst maintaining a beautiful flow and keeping the energy high. Each CD has distinct style and makes for a different listening experience. All in all this is a great document of the Drum and Bass scene in 2006 / 2007 and should keep your home speakers bouncing for quite some time.

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