DIESELBOY "Substance D" Human Imprint/System

Dieselboy's two-disc set will get you moving.
Dieselboy's two-disc set will get you moving.
  Enlarge Photo    
Friday, June 6, 2008

DIESELBOY"Substance D"Human Imprint/System

THE THUMPING progeny of techno and dancehall reggae, drum'n'bass can be trippy and even jazzy. But not so much on "Substance D," the new two-disc mix by Brooklyn-based Dieselboy (a.k.a. Damian Higgins). Although the release is named for the fictional hallucinogenic in Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly," the music aims for the body, not the mind. With its jackhammer tempos and pig-iron timbres, these 28 tracks often whomp like industrial dance music. The album even includes a new version of "Helter Skelter," by veteran industrial outfit Meat Beat Manifesto.

The first disc features exclusive mixes of tracks by Technical Itch, Psidream and Dieselboy. The second CD, whose tracks aren't blended, reprises some selections from the first, but also previews upcoming releases from Dieselboy's Human Imprint label. Set highlights include Noah D.'s "The Big Pullback," which balances spacey and funky passages, and Freeland's jumpy "We Want Your Soul," whose title derives from its vocoder-treated chant. Both are energetic reminders that, despite its mechanical tendencies, drum'n'bass does have soul.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Saturday at the Starscape Festival, Fort Armistead Park, Baltimore (800-594-8499,http://www.starscapefestival.com). Festival starts at 2.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company