A friend from West London played me this upon its release and I was properly gobsmacked. Still am really. This was my introduction into the Rhythm and Sound canon and remains my favourite of their work and indeed one of my very favourite records of all time. On paper there is very little to it indeed – a dubwise pulse at house tempo, the most artful use of hiss I’ve ever heard, the delay and echo is relatively taught and restrained. But within that Mango Drive is an endlessly fascinating ocean of sound. This should really come as no surprise coming from Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald. These guys pretty much simultaneously invented and perfected the dub techno genre, then in the same process rendered everything else that followed them redundant. This was the first time that Bullwackies allowed themselves to be remixed which speaks volumes to the heavyweight regard in which Rhythm and Sound are held in the reggae world. Check the formidable ‘With the Artists‘ / ‘The Versions‘ sessions also for a continuation of this genius level of creativity.
Mango Drive also is hugely playable for DJs. It’s lovely to mix with and bridges gaps between all kinds of music. And, naturally, it sounds mind bending on a good club system. I played this track to my daughter in the womb and whilst she still seems hooked on the saccharine hit of the 10 odd songs that rotate in the Capital London playlist, I’m hoping that on some genetic level she can feel that slack heartbeat, delay and endless reverberation.