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Project 23: Project 23

Drum’n bass faces the same challenges as any other dance music. Namely, where do you go once you have a beat? Project 23-drummer Marque Gilmore, Cleveland Watkiss, and DJ LaRouge-opts not to lockstep into double time nirvana. Its debut disc (Doro54CD, 69:48) translates to areas outside the dancefloor. Gilmore’s live-D&B beat surgery is a highlight, with a subtlety and a barely noticeable, slightly off the beat slyness. Here, it’s added to the wistful Brit soul of “Surgarize (Lost Inna Dream)”, the dancefloor groove of “Pleasure and the Pain” or the subdued creep of “Know,” resulting in a refreshingly multihued jungle trip.Mushroom Jazz (Om 005, 45:22) is one of those rare new-breed chillout discs that doesn’t chill you into a flatline. As a matter of fact , it’s a remarkably solid collection of subdued instrumental (live and sampled) textures, tight hip-hop beats and retro funk. This nonstop mix by DJ Mark Farina features a wide range of after-hours-friendly goodies, from the clavinet-y soul of Lalomie Washburn’s “Music Use It”, to Julius Papp’s zoned out “Warm Chill”. Then there are the shimmering D chord textures of Apollo Grooves’ “Gibby Music” and J. Live’s Pharcyde-ish “Longevity”. Pick it up, slap it on and let the vibe flow through.

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