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  DJ Addiction Soulful Behaviour
Rating: 4 out of 5 Rating: 4 out of 5 Rating: 4 out of 5 Rating: 4 out of 5

by Sterling McGarvey

So every once in a while, a CD comes in the mail. It gets popped into the CD player. It quickly gets popped out after a 5-minute scan of the tracks. Being forced to state an opinion is akin to feeling like Dustin Hoffman meeting Sir Laurence Olivier in the chair in Marathon Man. Sometimes a reviewer puts off listening to a bad CD. Soulful Behaviour is possibly the worst thing that could have been put in my hands were I drowning in a sea of crappy albums and accompanying deadlines. It is the kind of CD that a reviewer would put ahead of everything else he is forced to write about just so that one more listening session with it can happen. In other words, it's an album that I'd rather be listening to in my spare time. If bad review CDs are like being forced to eat your vegetables, then Behaviour is like sneaking a fat pack of Now n' Laters in your mouth while the 'rents have their backs turned.

Obviously, liquid funk is the hot shit right now. Soulful drum n' bass is big again. People like me will have you believe that it plays in the background as the gods sip nectar and munch on ambrosia. Well…there's a reason for it. Between the warm analog sounds, female vocals, and beats at a relatively smooth tempo, the sounds have become a haven for junglists who have grown tired of "deathstep." Among the many labels, such as Soul:R and Hospital, who have been major players, Defunked has released classic cuts, such as Carlito & Addiction's anthemic "Supergrass," and "A Perfect Combination." Headed by Fellowship, whose productions are prominently featured alongside Carlito & Addiction's tracks, Defunked's roster also includes works from Australian, Greg Packer, John B, Blue Sonix, and New York's Mathematics. Behaviour is a disc highlighting the greatest cuts on the label.

DJ Addiction press photo Disc 1 is mixed by Addiction, and opens up with Solid State's "Pure Funk (From Us to You)." The transitions are well blended and consistently fluid. Behaviour can certainly be touted as a decent effort for the skills of Addiction, but the power of the disc certainly lies far more in track selections than in technical adeptness. From tracks highlighting his outstanding work with Carlito ("Supergrass," among many other tunes, is a Liquid Funk classic), to cuts featuring John B ("Half Now, Half Later" has flavor for days), Razor, and Fellowship, the album is a workout in the sonic range of soulful drum n' bass. Among the many standouts on the album, Carlito's "So Liquid" is a bonafide atom-smasher. Between the vocals, synth stabs, smooth BPMs and deeeeep bassline, it's the choice cut of the mix. Given the quality of the tracks displayed on the disc, the best tracks of the album are outright phenomenal. The smaller-in-scope tracks are still good enough to rock out. All in all, a superb effort.

Mathematics press photo Disc 2 is an unmixed US-only bonus disc with some of the mixed CD's tracks thrown in (the majority of those are the aforementioned standouts) alongside Defunked's recent signees Greg Packer and Mathematics. Fellowship's "Coming On Strong" opens up, with its powerful bass and warm vocals. "Supergrass," in its unmixed glory, lines up next. As good as "Supergrass" is unmixed, the true power of John B's "Half Now, Half Later" reveals itself when heard in its unblended glory.

Ultimately, though, it is the cuts that are not on the first disc that are really worth giving a glance. Mathematics sound off on "Jersey Deep," which is making big waves worldwide. Coincidence that it has vocals in the key of Jersey garage, a la Tony Humphries? Probably not. It's got all of the soul of Zanzibar classics, as well. It's a track that has gained the approval of a range of DJs from LTJ Bukem to Marky to Dieselboy to Hype, and a listen to it will immediately explain why. Mr. Packer kicks in the vibe from the get-go on "Into the Groove." Between the speaker-rattling bassline and the irresistibly grin-inducing synth, this one's a winner. Mathematics' "It's in the Way" closes out the bonus disc. Between the smooth piano work and killer percussion, "It's in the Way" and "Jersey Deep" should ensure Mathematics a ticket into the ranks of the elite masters of soulful drum n' bass sounds.

Soulful Behaviour accomplishes for Defunked what the Plastic Surgery series has done for Hospital: it serves as an avenue to expose the label's highlights to an even broader range of people. Given the caliber of tracks displayed on the two CDs, this one ought to have even more people clamoring for the next releases on the label.

At Amazon.com

Soulful Behaviour from Amazon.com Soulful Behaviour
by DJ Addiction

Disc 1:

  1. Pure Funk (From Us to You) - Solid State
  2. Coming on Strong
  3. Half Now, Half Later
  4. Perfect Combination - DJ Addiction
  5. Move Me - Blue Sonix
  6. We Can Make It
  7. Supergrass - DJ Addiction
  8. Resistance
  9. It's a Mystery
  10. So Liquid
  11. Free Us
  12. Nothing Better - DJ Addiction
  13. Keep Ur Distance
  14. Better Day - DJ Addiction
  15. Sanctuary - DJ Addiction
  16. Feelin' Good
Disc 2:
  1. Coming on Strong
  2. Supergrass - DJ Addiction
  3. Half Now, Half, Later
  4. Better Day - DJ Addiction
  5. Jersey Deep [*]
  6. We Can Make It
  7. So Liquid
  8. Into the Groove [*]
  9. Perfect Combination - DJ Addiction
  10. Move Me - Blue Sonix
  11. It's in the Way [*]

Order Now at Amazon.com

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