Bugz in the Attic/Various Fabriclive. 12

There are plenty of broken beat compilations out there, but very few that come DJ-mixed. The fact that this one’s been sewn up by heavyweights Bugz in the Attic warrants extra attention. Led by Orin Walter, Seiji and Kaidi Tatham, the nine-piece West London crew spin a relentless mix of killer beats and insanely hybridised sounds. Their set has its share of expertly damaged grooves, like the stutter-breaks on Umod’s "Tromboline” and the serpentine bass invasion of Daluq’s "Oriental Express.” With the contrasts in rhythm being pretty sharp from track to track, the Bugz also have a way of unleashing the drums to sound totally restless at the cross-fades. The energy makes for a strong prelude to "Loose Lips,” where Seiji locks up Lyric L’s feverish rhymes with a dose of 303 acid to the bounce of a combustible groove. The hyper dub-skank of Trouble Man’s "Strike Hard” and soul power-talk on DKD’s "Future Rage” further Fabriclive.’s eclecticism, while the Neptunes climax with their remix of Daft Punk’s "Harder Faster Better Stronger.” Chopping up hand claps in b-boy time to robotic vocals and military chants makes for one of the most soulful and experimental productions Chad and Pharrell have thrown our way thus far. Makes you wonder how incredible things might sound if the duo gave up commercial music for underground dance. (Fabric)