Album Reviews

DJ Marky & XRS – In Rotation

(Claire Colley) UK release date: 29 March 2004


The evolution of drum and bass has been an interesting one. Its inception in the early ’90s from underground Jungle through to the mainstream, has produced a huge variety of forms. From the hard and dark, to the avant-garde, from ambient to drill ‘n’ bass, it has been an interesting, diverse and amalgamational of a musical journey.

DJ Marky has long been an influential figure on the Brazilian drum and bass scene. Since the mid ’90s he’s been pushing the full force of UK dnb, DJ’ing and hosting radio shows and has comfortably climbed into the cult of the superstar DJ in his homeland. He’s hoping to do the same here and became a Movement International Resident, toured with V Recordings, was given his own Kiss radio show and was voted number 52 in DJ magazines’ Top 100 DJ’s.

Hot on the tails of these successes, he releases his debut LP with Brazilian production wizard XRS and is set to create a record of feel good dnb tunes to appeal to the mass market.

The first tune, Highlights, offers a gem of a hook that gets its teeth into you, keeps hold and takes you in and out, backwards and forwards, always fluid and bass driven. The trumpet interlude marks this tune out as a sure fire club anthem as it embraces with ease. I Know is again very easy listening dnb, but hits its mark with a dance essence that is cool and loungy.

This album has some notable guests on it. Breeze, a speedy jangle, features Cleveland Watkiss who has worked with Stevie Wonder, and soul man Vikter Duplaix collaborates on the airy but soulful Moments Of Lust.

The duo also bend around with beats; this is not purist dnb. Tijuana Frogs hits a techno rhythm and LK is a Brazilian ambient trance dnb state, all satisfying on a dance level, if a little lightweight for some tastes. The ‘slow me down/pick me up’ beats are undoubtably formulaic, and of course, personal preference definition depending, this isn’t dnb to appeal to all.

Simply, In Rotation is a feel good LP that mixes potential chart hits, lazy chill out moments and heave ’em up dance tunes and in this way, may well appeal to the more commercially minded. However, if Brazil can embrace the UK, then we too must explore other musical avenues. Sit back, dance it up, chill, enjoy.


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DJ Marky & XRS – In Rotation