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Still Life 

Modus Operandi (Grand Poo-Bas Record Shoppe)

Still Life, the resident DJ at Spy's Wednesday "Jungle Lounge" and the drum 'n' bass buyer for Grand Poo-Bas Record Shoppe, has set himself apart from other local drum 'n' bass selectors with his interest in working more mature, musically rewarding records into the mix along with the flavor-of-the-week floor fillers that get most crowds moving. This trait is evident, to an extent, on Modus Operandi.

The disc starts by flirting with the fractured, dissonant breaks of Mechanizm's "Mystic Amen" before segueing into the body-rocking bass swells of Capone's "Take It Down Low." The gleefully funky and festive "Shake Ur Body" by Shy FX follows, opening with a salsa-flavored piano riff before rolling out a funky-as-hell bass line and some sassy, R&B vocals that make Still Life's purpose clear: It's party time. The young jock forgoes the headbanging Amen tear-ups that explode onto most DJ mix CDs these days in favor of material that puts the funk first. This is evidenced in the smoothly seductive vocals of Uncut's "Midnight" and the sticky, elastic-textured bass lines in testosterone-fueled numbers like Matrix's "Bad Dreams" and Kemal's "Mutationz" remix. Eventually, Modus Operandi ends up in more cerebral territory, where the playful pitter-patter of the breaks in a stellar Sonic & Silver track bring out a refreshing groove.

Unfortunately, there are a few rough transitions in the mix. When Still Life flashes from JuJu's "Revenge" to the aforementioned Kemal track, the volume levels are clearly mismatched. Overall, though, the mixing is top-notch, only complementing the great taste in track selection.

More by Steve Boughton

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