- Stalwarts of the Brazilian drum'n'bass scene Marky & XRS have finally delivered their debut album In Rotation - an album of finely tuned drum'n'bass tracks with a notable Latin flavour to them. Hailing from Sao Paulo Brazil, the pair have been regularly flown back and forth to the UK to play at clubs like Movement where DJ's the likes of Bryan Gee have been caning their tracks and signing their releases to labels like V Recordings. Marky & XRS run their own label in Brazil, Innerground Records, to release their own product to the South American masses and it is on Innerground that In Rotation spawns from. In Rotation showcases the duos fascination for all things drum'n'bass and have even teamed up with notable collaborators to rework previous releases.
The albums opens up on a sublime laidback tip with tunes like Highlights - chilled out moods, atmospheric synth lines, funky bass licks and tight drum'n'bass beats without too much emphasis on ripping up the dancefloor. I Know builds the vibe with harder snares and female vocal hooks while continuing on Highlights' chilled vibe. Terapia gives off a dub vibe with it's dubby drums, echoey piano loops. Marky & XRS appeared to have created an album in the vibe of a mix CD - starting off on a laidback tip then moving into harder dancefloor oriented tracks. Not bad, but if you wanted people to listen to your album wouldn't you want to start it off with a corker of a tune to grab peoples' attention and then mix in the rest of the tracks in later?
For me, In Rotation starts with Rotation which is aimed at the dancefloor - percussive drum'n'bass beats with a nice uplifting vibe, cleverly placed breakdowns and drum fills but still isn't the heaviest weapon in Marky & XRS arsenal. Tijuana Frogs changes tempo down to deep jazzy house. Fat electronic bass lines, jazzy synths, classic old skool samples and what sounds like an electronic flute fluttering make up one deep house track suitable for summer days and warm sunsets.
It's been almost 2 years since the pair had unleashed LK on an unsuspecting drum'n'bass audience with the song being selected to open up Marky's Brazilian Job CD from 2002. LK features Spanish guitar and a vocal sample of Jorge Ben with Stamina MC completing the mix with his combination of sung vocals and MC lyrics - "We like it, I like it, you'd like it too!" Moments Of Lust appeared in instrumental form on Bryan Gee's Sound Of Movement CD which was released last year. This time around they've teamed up with Vikter Duplaix to provide his soulful vocals for the guitar led rhythm.
Fellow drum'n'bass producer M.I.S.T. provides some input to Sunshine (Touch Me) featuring the vocals of Un-cut's Jenna G. The three producers give the track a nice uplifting feel using lots of percussion, long synths while Jenna gives the tune a little R&B flavour. Legendary drum'n'bass MC/vocalist, Cleveland Watkiss lends his vocals to the Latin flavoured Breeze which is similar in approach to Moments Of Lust - funky vibes and soulful vocals from one of the scene's best.
As a finale (to the CD release), Brazil's Minister for culture, Gilberto Gil sings on Dia De Sol. It's good to see government officials taking part in dance music culture and Gilberto has been in the music biz since the late 60's. Dia De Sol is one prime example of latin flavoured Marky & XRS style drum'n'bass only to be latinised even more by the vocals of Gil. Finally, vinyl buyers get the exclusive vinyl only Backspin which I suppose would call for a lot of them as it is a peaktime percussive slammer aimed directly for steamy dancefloors.
After a weak introduction with the first three tracks, In Rotation offers drum'n'bass fans a selection of uplifting tunes with that Marky & XRS Latin flavour laced throughout. Not all tracks here are really intended for the dancefloor with some perfect for quiet times lounging around at home. For those expecting an album full of LK style dancefloor slamming tracks, it's best to forego this and go for Marky's Brazilian Job - bug your local store to get more copies.