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DJ FreshReview: The bass goes boom in DJ Fresh’s Bass Invaderz
By BPM Smith

There aren’t too many DJs trying to pull off a theme album. That’s something you expect from sleepy 70’s bands like Pink Floyd, not a spirited Drum & Bass mix. DJ Fresh angles his way from dark beats to uplifting anthems in his album Bass Invaderz, all the while pursued by video game robots who demand more bass.

Nowadays, a Drum & Bass DJ is expected to come out hard and hold a fast pace from beginning to end. With a nod to today’s impatient Drum & Bass-head, Fresh quickly moves from a spaced out robot intro to the rumbling bass lines of his self-produced track X Project.

As longtime fans are no doubt thrilled to find, Fresh delves deep into some dark Drum & Bass with tracks like X Ray by Subfocus, Floodlight (a Fresh track) and Crossfire (Drumsound & Bassline Smith). But hardcore dark listeners shouldn’t be disappointed when he pulls an about face, seamlessly moving into anthem tracks like Makoto’s Golden Girl, which features a guest appearance by MC Conrad.

Fresh shows his dexterity on the decks working off Golden Girl, with some nice fader and stop-go action. This transition from dark to sweet is also somewhat of a pull-back from recent years, when dark Drum & Bass DJs often pushed the BPM threshold to somewhere between a fast bounce and outright over-stimulation.

Crossfire is a good snapshot of DJ Fresh’s mix as a whole: about 180 BPM, crisp snares, and mean rumbling basslines are countered with the a soft woman’s chant of "Angel." Bass Invaders takes off like a rocket, smoothly transitions from dark to anthem tracks and keeps the listener’s attention from opening to finish.

As for Bass Invaderz’s subplot, catch the video game robots who make repeat visits and offer ecstasy to rave-attending humans.

Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!…4 stars: Excellent…3 stars: Good…2 stars: Mediocre…1 star: Lame!

Rating: 4 stars

The Bass Test: Every album faces a severe test in BPM Smith’s car stereo, which regularly wins bass wars vs. the hip hop loving homeboys of Oakland, California. DJ Fresh raises the lows on certain Bass Invaders tracks to launch a bevy of sonic bombs. This creates bass waves that roll up your back, vibrates the rear view mirror and turns heads on the busiest of city streets. Coming smack in the middle of Fresh’s mix, Uprising by Artificial Intelligence will jiggle your cheeks. Bass Invaderz is aptly titled.

Bass Score: 10

BPM Smith is a Drum & Bass DJ, novelist and editor of WORD'N'BASS.com. He can eat a pint of chocolate ice cream in one sitting. You can contact him by e-mail at editor(at)wordnbass.com

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