Original Business (Mixed)
On 2019’s RTRN II JUNGLE, Chase & Status paid tribute to jungle’s dancehall-reggae roots, putting the voices of Kingston, Jamaica’s most talented deejays over the London group’s unrelenting rhythms. A year later, on RTRN II FABRIC, they bring the same energy back to fabric, the legendary London nightclub that stands as one of the pillars of the UK drum ’n’ bass scene. The 44-track DJ mix encompasses a dizzying array of styles. From the blistering ragga jungle of the opening “Retreat2018 (RTRN VIP)”—one of a number of exclusives in the set, it flips Cutty Ranks’ RTRN II JUNGLE feature into an attention-grabbing intro of barked chat and thundering rave stabs—they power through minimalistic hoovers, liquid rollers, jump-up mayhem, and even the occasional moment of eyes-closed bliss. It’s not so much a history lesson as a merger of the old school with the new: Stone classics like UK Apache & Shy FX’s foundational “Original Nutta 25” appear in remixed form, beefed up to hold their own against contemporary production values, while new cuts like Chase & Status’ own “Hardstep” testify to the latest innovations in breakbeat science. Immaculately paced, the set builds to a stunning climax as Chase & Status’ rework of Origin Unknown’s 1993 anthem “Valley of the Shadows” sets up a hat trick of timeless classics from DJ Rap, Alex Reece, and Wax Doctor. It’s part DJ set, part time machine.