Second instalment in the Aphrodite story. Armed with machine gun snares and funk...
Christian Hopwood 2002
There are very few albums you could use to knock down walls yet the dance floor demolition skills of Aphrodite aka Gavin King are unparalleled. Armed with wrecking ball bass lines, machine gun snare rolls, razor sharp hooks and funk tipped missiles his is a sonic arsenal capable of creating an international incident. These are jump up party tunes at their best.
October 1999 was the last time Aphrodite dealt us an album. In that time jungle's longest serving super producer has DJ'ed extensively around the world and on the basis that his last record sold surprisingly well across the pond, he has decamped and set up shop in the States. It comes as no surprise then that parts of this latest bundle have a distinctly US flavour. The sampled vocals from the likes of LL Cool J previously witnessed on the 1999 album have been largely dispensed with. This time round Mr King has collaborated with the likes of Rah Digga, Barrington Levy, Big Daddy Kane and Schooly D with some fantastic results.
Reminiscent of his Jungle Brothers remix, "Hoochie" is a loving union of drum and bass and hip hop with Schooly D ripping up the mic in fine style whilst Barrington Levy toasts over Aphro's thick slice b-line in "All Over Me". Hip hop and ragga influences aside, the album journeys eastwards away from the streets as the soaring vocals and tablas of "Calcutta" and the positively outrageous "Karma Sutra" give the album a more international brief and allow Aphrodite to experiment with some new sounds. Female UK MC and Skitz collaborator Wildflower makes a welcome appearance for the close of the record on the deep and techy "See Thru It".
Aphro's tunes are so wonderfully predictable. You know he's about to lay a mushroom cloud of bass, it's a foregone conclusion but the thrill is witnessing just HOW he executes the drop. He has a sixth sense and a degree of control that would leave most producers scratching their heads whilst staring at their equipment with sad bemusement. Perhaps this is why so few attempt to make albums in the jump up style.
In light of the fact that there are so few drum and bass albums of this calibre, each Aphrodite collection tends to assume the status of a gift from on high. Large... so very, very LARGE.