Spring Heel Jack
With musical backgrounds including classical composition and rock production, Spring Heel Jack's John Coxon and Ashley Wales clearly bring ideas and influences well beyond clubland to their brand of Drum 'n' Bass. Incorporating elements of Dub, soundtrack music, and avant garde experimentalism, their 1995 debut album There Are Strings stunned listeners with its sure-footed synthesis. A main strength of theirs is the viability of their beats; unlike many rock musicians who dabble in dance music, Coxon and Wales have a deep understanding and love of Jungle and appreciate the power of a quality break. This fact, plus their reputation as DJs that can rock any dancefloor with heavy Hardstep pressure, gives their work added resonance. Though their success producing Everything But the Girl gave the duo major pop chart currency, their own releases have become -- if anything -- more difficult. Endlessly inventive, they continue to push the format with complex breakbeat symphonies that refuse to sacrifice impact in the name of sophistication.