Jacob's Optical Stairway
R & S Records
This could be Marc Mac and Dego’s most complete jungle / drum’n’bass album as such. Where 4Hero’s Parallel Universe had been made in a period of untold innovation and was pushing occasionally too hard against the constraints of technology, this — two years later — was the sound of the musicians having achieved absolute mastery over it. All the Detroit techno and deep soul influences are here, but now the jungle breaks cascade with total conviction, and the aquatic and cosmic atmospheres are all encompassing. This is Sun Ra, it’s Drexciya, it exists in a mythical time and space, but it is totally London 1996 at the same time.