Alex Reece / Doc Scott / Dillinja: 2015 Remasters: Basic Principles / Far Away / The Angels Fell EP

The lines between drum'n'bass and jungle repeatedly blur on this thirty-five-minute collection of mid-‘90s classics by Alex Reece, Doc Scott (Scott McIlroy), and Dillinja (Karl Francis), their cuts dusted off and shinied up for this latest chapter in Metalheadz' Remasters series. And timeless cuts they are too, so much so you'll probably shake your head more than once over how fresh the tracks sound despite being created twenty years ago.

Reece gives his own “Basic Principles” the reprieve treatment, after which Dillinja subjects it to a ‘Step 1' makeover. Reece's version is as fresh as the day it took its first breath, especially when its dubby bass thrum and silken strings are joined by the soulful vocal wail of Siedah Garrett (lifted from her 1988 cut “K.I.S.S.I.N.G.”) and a crisp drum pattern, while Dillinja funks it up with some characteristically inventive drum treatments to forcefully point the original in jungle's direction.

With its skipping groove sweetened with percussive colour and funk guitar flourishes, Doc Scott's dreamy “Far Away” shows in fabulous manner how amenable jungle can be to a treatment that's elegant and understated instead of raucous. Dillinja's represented by three cuts, all of which originally appeared on a 1995 Metalheadz twelve-inch and feature drum breaks that time's passing hasn't rendered any less awesome. “Ja Know Ya Big” is particularly stunning in that regard, especially in those moments when Francis's jaw-dropping fills arrive, while “Brutal Bass” lives up to its name with a bass throb heavy enough to deep-six a speaker or two.

May 2015