Album Reviews

DJ Scud – Ambush

(Rephlex) UK release date: 10 March 2003

DJ Scud - Ambush DJ Scud has been releasing a barrage of fierce tracks on his own Ambush! Label since 1997, fusing elements of gabba, with hardcore, drum and bass and ragga, all imbued with a punk spirit. Here for the first time nine of his most sought after tracks have been compiled by Rephlex, to give us a snapshot of the man some people are calling the new Aphex Twin.

From the off, it’s obvious that in DJ Scud we have an artist not overly bothered about crossover success. Over heavily distorted breakbeats, we have discordant blast of white noise, siren wails, shouty ragga samples and a whole lot of attitude. Like veteran production outfit Shut Up and Dance‘s pissed off younger brother, Scud takes the sound of the Jamaican dancehalls and blasts it through a wall of feedback and dirty noise.

Having honed his skills DJ-ing around the world, DJ Scud’s tunes are all serious dance floor killers. Unlike some of his peers, his tunes aren’t examples of ludicrously complicated drum programming and sound design. Instead they are more concerned with getting the listener up and dancing. And if you can get your head round to dancing to 200 bpm breaks you’ll be bouncing up and down like an idiot.

Fun as this album is though, I’m not sure I could recommend it to the casual listener, on tracks like Jungle Warrior he sounds like he’s torturing an elephant with a jackhammer, and this isn’t even the most hardcore of the tracks on offer here. After 40 minutes of hyper-kinetic drums distorted out of all recognition, you do start to long for a melody – of any kind.

The remix of Asian Dub Foundation‘s Witness with the vocals rewired to sound like malfunctioning Daleks, offers some respite, but then on it just gets harder and harder.

For those who love their music fast and furious though, Ambush! should be just the ticket especially if you’re trying to force your neighbours to move town. Possibly the noisiest, messiest and at times even exhilarating album released so far this year. Strictly for the hardcore.

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DJ Scud – Ambush