Locked On – The Best Of Locked On

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Locked On has been going for three years, and in that time, has established itself as one of the UK’s premier garage labels. This BEST OF compilation is a two CD affair – the first one contains 14 classic tracks from the likes of Tuff Jam, Artful Dodger and Doolally. The second CD has 10 remixes of the aforementioned tracks, all by the same bunch of people.

I guess this release is pretty pointless for non-devotees of garage music – and I am afraid I am not a fan. Considering the tracks here are by different artists, the music is unbelievably samey: soporific beats, soulful vocals, sparse keyboards. As if one CD of this tedium is not enough, CD2 continues the torture – the remixers need not have bothered.

Steve Gurley’s mix of Antonio’s HYPERFUNK is laughably spartan. The Rhythm Masters mix of Dem 2’s DESTINY starts as though going to go somewhere, but it never does. Only Nu-Birth’s ANYTIME, in both original and remixed form, has any kind of interesting sound contained within.

I’m sure this is an essential release for garage DJs, but I have little time for music this dull when there is so much else to listen to.

1 star