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lee gamble - Diversions 1994-1996
*Well, this could very well be our favourite record on the PAN label yet. It has a concept so brilliant and simple we can't quite believe it hasn't been done before, taking the burning embers, breakdowns and ambient interludes off classic Jungle mixtapes and re-assembling them into a ghostly ambient-not-ambient mix that's at once hugely nostalgic and totally forward thinking - so so good* 'Diversions 1994-1996' is Lee Gamble's chimeric recollection of jungle's golden era. Using samples sourced solely from his cache of jungle mixtapes accrued as a raving teenager, Gamble creates a richly evocative, serotonin-depleted suite of morphing, diffuse and dusty moments, choosing to largely focus on the sensuous interzones between the rhythmic torque, rendering those sharply contrasting fragments of euphoric diva vocals, angelic techno pads and jazz fusion-aping chords as tantalising, ghostly immersions. However, while hypnagogic in effect, the processes behind Gamble's manipulations owe far more to his background in academic computer music - he's a founding member of Brum-via-London's CYRK collective and has previously released on the equally high-brow Entr'acte imprint - applying tactile, de/reconstructive software programming to emphasise the grain and weft of the source material, in turn yielding nano-fine layers of microtonal dissonance, fathomless amounts of space and timbral quirks that were always there, yet practically imperceptible in original form. It's effect is visceral, starkly compelling, bound to send shivers up the spine of anyone who's stood with their ears ringing at the end of a warehouse party and returned home in a state of near-shellshocked delirium after disengaging the soundsystem. One of the best ever PAN records this.