Various Helter Skelter Vs. Raindance Presents Rave Nation The Anthems

Despite the unnecessarily long title and some fairly obvious track selections, as the name suggests, the three-disc compilation is not without its merits, and anyone who still has distant memories of long summers in fields and warehouses all those years ago may like to pause a moment for reflection. The first disc is an old school rave history lesson featuring legendary tracks such as "Far Out” by Sonz of a Loop da Loop Era and the seminal Top Buzz dance floor destroyer "Living in Darkness,” which symbolically closes out the first side to lead into the second disc of jungle and drum & bass. In a chronological progression from Omni Trio and Alex Reece through to Pendulum and "The Nine,” the sounds of 15 years at 180-bpm are crammed into the subsequent 80 minutes before ending all too abruptly. The third disc, featuring UK hardcore, lacks the same depth of quality but still has a few classics for fans of the genre. As a whole, the album may hold some appeal for newer listeners, and a few of the tracks and remixes bring it up to date, but for the most part, listening back on the rave sound is like a private joke with an old friend: to really understand, you had to be there. (Ministry of Sound)