Next up from Renegade Hardware's 'From the Vaults' rerelease series we have an EP that might have just celebrated its twentieth anniversary, but still sounds as future-proofed as ever. This is the 'Street Level EP'.
First, a bit of background. By 2001, Q Project and Spinback – or Total Science as they're known in combination – were already well-established pillars of the junglist community. Between the pair of them, they'd delivered anthems like the perennial 'Champion Sound', released on labels as disparate as Reinforced, Good Looking, Hardleaders and Metalheadz, and even dropped a full-length album, 'Advance', on their own CIA imprint.
As we journey from 'Street Level' to 'Rebel Soul' onwards to 'Room Service', we hear the influence of Total Science's junglistic roots, a sound that has remained steadfastly relevant across the generations. Breaks and samples are sliced, twisted and manipulated into heart-palpitating arrangements, with an expert's ear for rhythm programming keeping us just the right side of insanity.
The EP is closed out with Source Direct's remix of 'Out of Touch', reconfiguring Total Science's break and bass workout into an evolving old skool-tinged surrealist landscape. So, we're shown yet another facet of drum 'n' bass music's possibilities drawn out by Hardware's roster.
And again, Renegade Hardware's 'From the Vaults' series delivers. Many current junglists are actually younger than this EP, which is why it's huge that this music has become available for them in an accessible form. Clearly, this era of stylistic meldings as jungle influence combined with drum 'n' bass technique should be a cornerstone of their musical education.