Various Through The Eyes - Presented by Krust and Roni Size.

There are many people who walk away from drum & bass these days. It's not a fad anymore, which is great, because the focus is now back to the music and not the antics of Goldie-esque media creations. There has been an explosion of mature and richly produced albums in the genre this year. This has been a trend breaking and explorative year for drum & bass. It has also been a particularly explorative year for Roni Size, Krust and Die. Together these three DJs are the core members of four giant record labels: V recordings, Dope Dragon, Philly Blunt and, finally, Full Cycle recordings. Each label represents a sound, mood and sub genre of sound. There is a Full Cycle sound that stands apart from Philly Blunt (the producers use different aliases on each label) and V. There are two (and one more from DJ Die in later October) releases to this compilation. Both include one CD with most of the original track listing (there are a few differences) and then a mixed version on each disc by either Size or Krust. At first I thought this was just a gimmick, like putting different covers on comic books. I stand corrected: the mixed discs include personal choices by each artist and represent each of their styles - it's a treat to hear the tracks mixed with each other. I would grab the Krust disc alone for the track "Universe." Full Cycle disc one includes all the dub plates drum & bass fans have been salivating on for a while now, such as "Hop scotch" (Krust and Size), "Jittabug"(Die) and "Kloakin Device"(Krust). There are also fresh tunes from the new recruits such as D Product - who destroyed dance floors with "Faithless," on the Planet V compilation, and Surge. Surge's track "Cisco" has an almost offbeat synthesiser loop fed over kick drums - a very unique sound. "On Point," by Size, shows his affection for fast tempo, minimal beats and funky bass lines. Krust steals the show with his classic drum and sample production on "Freak Show" and "Break ya neck." Roni Size's production is always tight, but there's nothing mind-blowing here from him. In general, Through The Eyes actually represents a sound from the recent drum & bass past. There are a lot of amen breaks and drum samples in this compilation and it's missing the popular tech-step and thundering production of popular heavyweights such as Bad Company and the Ram crew. If there's something to be said about Full Cycle, it's that they represent solid beats and a solid part of drum & bass. (Full Cycle)