Quarks And Gluons
Their “names” are Clark ov Saturn and Recone F. Helmut, and they call themselves pH10. They make drum n’ bass music, more or less, with kind of a Big Beat accent and lots and lots of vocal samples from films; they call it pHungle, which apparently means “fun + jungle.” (I’m just gonna let that one pass without comment so no one thinks I’m a big jerk or anything.)
This album is about half a great dance record. Some of the songs just leap out at you and take you in, and against your better judgment you’re just workin’ it. “Funkus 2600” is one great example: all it is is a mutated two-step beat with a very repetitive vocal hook and a very repetitive fuzzy synth line, but it’s done with so much innocence and silliness that you can’t help loving it. I’m digging the “Helmutplex remix” of their previous single, “Maize On,” not because it’s all that original or anything — some of us still have Roni Size’s New Forms in our CD collection, guys — but just because I like the noises they make. And while it isn’t the most slammin’ cut, I still pass “Deffender” on the basis of its many fine samples praising Brooklyn, the greatest borough in the world.
Are some cuts overly slow and devoid of any sort of pHungle? Well, yeah: it’s hard to understand why anyone would be interested in the first half ultra-downbeat “Floaters” (until the little bleeps come in…that’s cool), and how they have the balls to credit themselves as writers on the “Peter Gunn Theme” rip-off called “Spy Hunter” is beyond me. Henry Mancini’s people should get on this, like, now — plus, The Art of Noise did it better back when I was in college. For shame!
But ultimately I like pH10, mostly for their potential rather than anything else. Oh, and for the sample from Blazing Saddles that opens the funky “Corpuscle.” It’s the second-best Cleavon Little vocal sample in history!