Various Artists - If It Ain't Broken, Don't Fix It

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  • Aussie breaks are becoming a bit of a worldwide phenomenon lately, with acts like Nubreed getting signed to Tayo's Mob label and being commissioned for some neat remix work for major players. Onya boys! If It Ain't Broken, Don't Fix it is a new compilation coming from the Artists Known As label and is a salute to all things Aussie and all things breaks. Melbourne's EK starts off the compilation with Tomorrow a dark nu-skool breaks track which sits up there with the Koma & Bones' of the nu-skool fraternity. One of the winners of Bedroom Bangers, Bass Kleph gets the party started with Dance With Me. Keeping it totally dancefloor (as it should be), you can hear a bit of FreQ Nasty/Plump DJ's influence throughout - this is some funky stuff with some tribal percussion laced throughout. Love the way he got a hip hop MC sample to spell out his own name - this should not always be seen as some self-centered pat on the back. If done well, as Kleph has done here, it can be seen as a calling card for future reference. If you liked FreQ Nasty's Amped but preferred it without that weird synth line in the middle, then this should suit you. Puretone's Addicted To Bass makes an appearance in nu-skool form, however it is uncredited as being the Hyper & Rhymes mix which gained recognition on the Bedrock Breaks CD. If you remember the drum'n'bass crossover original from 99/2000, then slow it down a bit into breaks tempo while keeping Amiel's voice and the wicked bass drops and you have a refreshing take on an awesome track. Lior Attar lends his voice to Lo-Step's production The Roots giving it a bit of Indian flavour. A bit of 2-step/UK garage flavour on this one. Nice deep bassline to accompany his voice. Similar to what The Prodigy did with the interlude to Smack My Bitch Up. Brewster & The Fotios' Bass Axe gets a bit more industrial sounding with samples ranging from a circular saw to an embosser. Quite harsh sounds and it's quite hard to get into. Wear hard hats and take 2 tablets a day. Even the middle eastern chant in the middle is not enough to lull the listener into a normal head nodding groove. Offworld Sound's Shane Norton gives up an exclusive track in the form of Metal Hit. The drumbeats are quite similar to the Stanton Warriors remix of Where's Your Head At. This track gets everything uplifting again and is less hurting on the ears. Phat bassline, a wicked 303 groove, ragga samples and the occasional siren are a simple enough formula for an awesome track. Lose Face by Kay Bee is a subtle, almost ambient groove, with a beat so soft and syncopated you'd be hard pressed to try beat mixing it. Definitely a groove for those chilled sessions. Keltec vs Mangan use a hard breakstep vibe and get Priscilla Tonkin going all vocoder crazy on Get With You. Her vocals sound similar to Amiel on Addicted To Bass, with the rhythm being a lot darker and more menacing. Ransom teams up with Perth based drum'n'bass producer Echoic to conjure up the Star Trek sampling 7 of 9 which is on a minimal funk tip. Funky bass makes up most of this track and all you male trekkies out there are probably envisaging the android reciting her lines. First known appearance was on Physics Of Freestyle Vol 2. and it seems that Krafty Kuts' Supercharged label might be consigning it. All you vinyl junkies can hopefully get this on vinyl. Nubreed continually pull out the dark tracks and their Hardarse is no exception. Lots of bass and and a tough beat at the beginning, it feels a little "softcock" when the synth lines kick in at the end. Their Midi Killa is way better! Not a bad release from our own crop. Some tracks a bit hard to get into, but it seems a lot of compilations have that nowadays - can't satisfy everybody. However the majority of tracks here show that the local breaks scene is kicking and ready to put on a pair of studded soccer boots to take on the world. Interesting artwork to boot on some recycled cardboard - a testament to breaks and dance music in general it's mainly recycled sounds! However, it gets a bit hard to read the credits page. The label is also running a competition out there for a DJ mix of this compilation to be produced, the winning mix going to be released as a mix CD. So get out there and support your own product. Details on the unmixed CD available in stores and on the website Artists Known As.