by Charles Terhune
In 1993, I discovered this new “jungle” music from the UK. I didn’t care how it might evolve. All I knew was it was loud, fast, full of ever changing beats, crazy noises and it made me want to take off my pants.
Five years later, I’m pressing play on the new Pitchshifter CD www.pitchshifter.com, and I get the same feeling. Two of my favorite elements have finally been united: crunchy, punk rock riffs and skull-shaking jungle beats. The album is not the pop sell-out some call it; this is a progression into new lands. Prodigy sucks; Pitchshifter will eat you alive and leave you thinking. These guys didn’t go out and buy a sampler with the latest CD-ROM of jungle beats. Continuing the jungle explorations they began on their last album, Infotainment, they’ve fully integrated the rhythms of drum’n’bass into their music without forcing anything. Every song is well-written, incredibly produced and worth repeated listenings.
“Microwaved” opens the CD with sharp guitar jabs, staccato drum beats and J.S. Clayden’s singing – yeah, I said singing, not the typical growling of some anemic Satanist hairwagger – about the ills of society. High points of the CD are “Please, Sir,” “Subject to Status,” “Disposable” – but the whole album kicks ass! Drum’n’bass isn’t for club kids anymore, as Pitchshifter expertly show you.
And Pitchshifter has also included 50 free samples for you, the listener, to use on your own mammoth recordings. My only comment on this is, “Fellas, give us something we can use!” Out of these 50, a number are easily obtainable on your own. The drum loops are mediocre. Good intentions, limited execution.
The final analysis: it’s a great album. Buy it, and go punch a club kid in the face. They’ll know why you did it.