Hexstatic/Various Listen & Learn

The latest team to step up in Ninja Tune's acclaimed Solid Steel series is Hexstatic, a duo who up until now are probably best known for their work with label-mates Coldcut on "Timber." Robin Brunson pieced together this extraordinary display in audio ecstasy with Stuart Warren-Hill and together they explore all sorts of tempos and genres and thread them along perfectly such as Grandmaster Flash bleeding into Ike & Tina Turner as if they were meant to go hand in hand all along. "It was kind of a compilation of earlier mixes and skits I had done in the past that hadn't been released," explains Brunson on his approach to Listen & Learn. "I just wanted to take all my favourite bits and string them all together. Also, I really wanted to include all my favourite records no matter what tempo or style." The end result is a blend of old school hip-hop, funk, dub and classic breakbeats that are mixed with untouchable skill and creating a fast and furious mix that will make your head swim. The pair drop a lot of old cuts on this release, from the likes of Michael Viners' Incredible Bongo Band to Toots & The Maytals, giving the effort an overall feel of a history lesson in classic breaks and vintage electronic compositions. "Hexstatic have always liked old computer games and I suppose [Listen & Learn] is an extension of this and where all our influences came from. Also, I wanted it to be a mix that you could listen to years later and still enjoy, hence a lot of classic tunes on there." This is a stunning display in DJ wizardry, and with only two records under their belt and more brilliant attempts on deck, Ninja Tune has already surpassed all competition. (Ninja Tune)