The E-Z Rollers line up
Review: E-Z Rollers at Dumduckerdum
By Robert Jackman
A rumbling bassline and sounds of a live band clashed for E-Z Rollers' night of forward-thinking drum 'n' bass on Norwich's Dumduckerdum Festival bill.
In the realm of drum 'n' bass, the idea of a live band still remains a novelty.
Since its inception, drum 'n' bass has typically been represented by computer-literate club DJs, capable of flicking switches and slapping down vinyl records at the pace of a four-armed Hindu deity.
Live bands – made up of drummers, horn sections, bassists and anyone else who'd shudder at the thought of racing through at 160BPM – have never been the orthodox.
But, then again, E-Z Rollers aren't the type to shy away from something new.
Back in the early nineties, the duo began producing tracks in their Beccles bedrooms. Little did they know that their experimental musical fumblings would go on to define the drum 'n' bass sound for a generation.
As their work developed, its influence spread, and soon E-Z Rollers tracks were popping up everywhere – from laddish Guy Ritchie films to computer game soundtracks.
The Rollers latest ploy is to introduce a full band to their live performance. It's a line-up featuring the talents of keyboardist Chris Cooper, bassist Ed Raison and garnished with the vocal contrast of Lady Roller and the boisterous MC Messy.
And it all works brilliantly. For - as the Rollers remind their excited crowd at city venue The Talk - variety is what they're all about.
It's what gives their music the edge. From the ghostly trip-hop patter of Slow Fire, to the infectious disco bounce of Go Go Electro, tonight they treat Norwich to drum 'n' bass at its most adventurous.
Their beats and breaks work just as well alongside flicks of savvy, suburban jazz, or the gentle ambience of a digital sunrise, as they do when they're pouring full-volume from The Talk's towering speakers.
Their audience – comprised mainly of drum 'n' bass fanatics, shameless ravers and other creatures of the night – go wild for it, thrashing the sort of dance moves scarcely seen since the party-pooping Criminal Justice And Public Order Act 1994.
That the ravers approve is just the beginning. With an approach this forward-thinking, E-Z Rollers could be set to go much further.
E-Z Rollers played at The Talk, Norwich, on Saturday, 20 October, 2007 for the city's first Dumduckerdum Festival.
last updated: 23/10/07