V/A - Bingo Sessions Vol 3, Mixed by Chase & Status

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(Bingo Beats/Inertia)

Drum & bass is a genre which is growing in more ways than one. Its popularity on a local scale is tremendous and it’s little wonder when the sound boasts so many styles and sounds. Some like it hard and demented, others like it pulsating and energetic, whilst others enjoy the smoother and jazzier sounds. Personally I am very open yet at the same time very choosy about my d&b; a tune has to have just the right impact or energy and a mix has to be varied and interesting. Given that the names Chase & Status are relatively unknown to me I was unsure as to what to expect from their latest compilation “Bingo Sessions Vol 3”.

Chase & Status (aka Will & Saul) began producing several years ago with the best possible ethic – to make only the freshest dance music as opposed to following trends, what their name might suggest! It’s only recently though that these two London lads have risen to the forefront of the jungle sound and their breakthrough came via the world of producing. Their first ever tunes “Tricky” and “Wise Up” were published on the well renowned Bingo imprint, headed by none other than DJ Zinc. Suffice to say “Bingo Sessions Vol. 3” is also published on Bingo, given that and Chase & Status’ background; my expectations for this mix were high.

DJ Zinc is himself a naturalist preferring organic sounds and vinyl over the digital format, and his record label is a good reflection of this. Therefore he would expect nothing less from those whom he would assign to select tracks representing his label’s sound. Chase & Status get right into action with the first prime cut on the mix; a collaboration between themselves and Top Cat called “Come Back”. This track is full of fine reggae feeling and vocals. The tone was set nicely for a tight rolling mix.

The energy jumps up a little more with the second track; “Stepping Stones” by DJ Zinc. This tune has more of a dance floor flavour, with its wavy beat and sinister synth. The DJ Zinc influence continues along with some excellent MCing from Eksman during “Roll Slow”. I couldn’t help but take time away from the speakers to wave my torso and arms along to the smooth jungle drums as I imagined myself dancing the night away in a club in South-East London.

I’m not easily impressed when it comes to drum & bass compilations. If I hear the same theme throughout a mix I simply reach for the stop button. There was no chance of this happening though as “Supersounds” by Jenna G presented some of the most unique sounds that I have ever heard in a drum & bass tune. A few people out there might be seeking something that puts their faith back into their favourite sound and its tracks like this one and those that follow which could soundly repay such faith. The composure of the mix changes again with the laid back soul of “Saigon Traffic” by Sonic.

DJ Zinc’s name pops up again, along with the energy level, with “Hello”. The pace throughout this mix is as turbulent as a flight between London and Perth but that makes it all the more interesting. Chase & Status are definitely into their ragga sounds as the next track “Believe” is once again full of that lovely Old Jamaican flavour. The mix hits a high point in its intensity with “Frozen Solid” by Sub Focus and then requisitions its groove with “Mistral” by DJ Zinc. I already loved what I was hearing, but then things got even better as the mix moves onto what is unquestionably one of my favourite d&b tracks of 2006 – “Deep” by TC & Jakes. I can’t get enough of Jakes’ catchy vocals.

“Sunday Morning” by D Kay is another track I thoroughly enjoyed as it is one of those that paints a clear picture in your mind. I imagine lazing on the beach, looking at the crystal clear West Aussie ocean whilst thinking about the big drum & bass event coming that night. Like the rest of the tunes on this mix there is a definite bounce to the beat but behind it there is a sumptuous soulful melody. The next few tunes carry on with the sun and sand sounds before the infectiously percussive “Can’t Have You” by Control & OB1. Chase & Status make me want to fall in love all over again with another jazzy jungle dub plate; “Love’s Theme”. The vocal on this track is simply divine.

The feel of the mix had for a while been on a jazzy, soulful tip but the mix wouldn’t be as listenable or interesting if it remained the same for the entire second half. “Hear No Evil” by DJ Zinc and Chase and Status’ own “Havoc” ensure that this brilliant mix ends as well as it began. Both tracks are dark and eerie and once again induce visions of hanging out in a dingy club while on holiday in Sao Paolo. Chase & Status are talented DJs and producers who are deservingly rising stars in the drum & bass circuit. If you’re like me and are after a quality mix with something new and refreshing, grab “Bingo Sessions vol. 3” as you won’t be disappointed.

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