Journey To The Centre Of The Mind

Drum'N'Bass albums, as a rule, are all about 40 minutes too long....

DRUM’N’BASS ALBUMS, AS A rule, are all about 40 minutes too long. You get the meat of the record first then a lot of pointless mixes and sonic buggering-about that twiddle on for infinity or until you fall asleep with boredom, whichever comes first.

Jonny L’s ‘Magnetic’, however, like his patchily brilliant debut ‘Sawtooth’, is raw and near-the-bone with no flab to weigh it down. This is cosmic thug noise [I]par excellence[/I].

Inspired by a trip to Tokyo, Jonny L took along a DAT player, recording sounds around the city and the temples in Yoyogi Park. The resulting mash of white noise, raps (courtesy of Silvah Bullet) and lost-soul female vocals (Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite fame doing an uncredited homage to The Slits’ classic ‘So Tough’) and bullet-train beats is the way 21st-century funk ought to sound.

Piledriver-hard tracks like ‘Brother’ are innovative and experimental without losing touch with the big fat sound that fills dancefloors. When final track ‘In Vain’ fades, it leaves you wanting more. This is an album that’s about an hour too short.