The genre of drum and bass may sound all the same for many listeners, in the same way that people say that all baroque or country music sounds the same. True, it may sound the same to people who don't listen to it very much and haven't learned to hear the variations on the theme that differentiate one performer or subgenre from another.
Therefore, many an hour-long drum and bass DJ mix can get tiresome even for an electronica fan, especially when the breaks on which the tracks are based don't vary much in rhythm/structure. Many kinds of funk variants are out there for the taking for use in junglist applications, so it's surprising when a DJ picks one break pattern and sticks with it for a whole album-long mix. We unfortunately hear a tinge of this repetition on what Total Science has done on this, their contribution to the celebrated Exercise series. But there are fresh sounds and mixes to make up for it as well.
Total Science is comprised of Q-Project (of Champion Sound fame) and Spinbad, and has made this their first domestic release after touring the US for 6 years!
Fortunately they manage to keep things interesting by drawing on material from a variety of sources — such as the ragga-flavored "Champion Sound" by Q-Project, the almost industrial-sounding "Bulletproof Monk (Taxman Remix)" by Splittn' Atoms, and the sunny "Closer" by DJ Marky and XRS. Vocals are included on most tracks, but are generally cut into gossamer sections of dub-style impressionism rather than retained for lyrical purposes. In fact, a little more reggae influence would have very appropriate, but this disc is a solid winner overall.
I especially enjoyed rolling to the rhythm during track #2, "Sunking [Chris. Su Remix]" by State Of Mind, with its lovely mystical vocal whiffs. Weird vocal samples kept repeating the word "closer" on #8, "Closer [Total Science Remix]" by DJ Marky & XRS. Pretty rolling D&B beats lead on the following tracks as well: # 12 "Mojohand" by Juju, #13 "Red Kooga" by DJ Marky & Total Science, #15 "Let It Burn" by Atlantic Connection & Mathematics, #16 "Soul Patrol [Sunny Side up Mix]" by Total Science & MC Conrad, and #17 "Ask Not [VIP Mix]" by Q-Project.