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Wired For Sound

Wired For Sound
(Violent Turd Records)

Back in the day, I went through a phase where I thought Shabba Ranks and Mad Cobra were the shizzle. I never really delved very far into the whole ragga genre, just touching base with those with the most well-known names, but there was something about the aggressive, almost primal vocals that struck a chord with me and set me off in a way that it's milder cousin reggae could never do. It was sometime during my growing infatuation with electronic music that I first heard the ragga/jungle style and it again blew my mind. Something about those again primal vocals mixed with absolutely crazy drum programming and low-end that rumbled my innards that had me hooked.

It was an infatuation that was re-ignited with DJ/Rupture's amazing Minesweeper Suite mix that came out last year. On that mix, he threw a bit of it in alongside just about every other genre you could imagine. Imagine that disc as a very small launching warmup for this release, though, because as the title states, this one is full-on. I'd read a couple things about it before it came out, and after listening to it several times, I can honestly say that it lives up to all the hype.

Over the course of 70 minutes, Soundmurderer (owner/producer of the ragga-jungle Rewind Records label out of Detroit) blisters through almost 60 tracks, and it will make your head spin. The reason that so many tracks are packed into such a time isn't simply for quantity over quality, but rather a combination of both. Soundmurder literally takes the best moments from each track and turns the release into something super sweet. All the great mashes, collisions, snare-rushes, and bowel-churning bass blasts tumble out of the speakers in rapid succession. Amazingly enough, there are moments where he allows the listener a breather, but for the most part this disc is an exercise in letting shit fly.

Originally intended as a two-sided mix tape, the disc is split into 3 pieces. The first two parts run a little under 30 minutes each, while a bonus third section is added to fill out the disc, giving the listener even more punch. The age of the records ranges from nearly brand-new to almost a decade old, but the flow is slick and although I'm kind of a newbie in the area, I can't imagine fans of the genre not going spastic over it. I've owned a lot of drum and bass and jungle mixes over the course of my collecting, and it easily clocks in near the top of that list, probably even taking over the top spot. Everyone from Cutty Ranks to Squarepusher to Plug (aka Luke Vibert) appear on the disc, and it definitely inspires loose-limbed flailing. DROP!

Rating: 7.75