Various 'Astrophonica presents Gradients' (Astrophonica)
Charlie Fracture’s runaway underground hit of 2016, ‘Makin’ Hype Tracks’, signposted a whole legion of drum ’n’ bass latecomers towards the joys of footwork-inspired jungle experiments. But his Astrophonica label has been doing the leftfield business in style for several years – and good lord, what a compilation this is, with 13 road-tested club tracks from Fracture himself, Richie Brains collaborators Sam Binga and Stray, Om Unit (in Phillip D Kick footwork guise), DBridge and more. There’s handclap-anchored footwork springiness, shimmering sunshine-funk mosaics, crunchy technoid jungle and bleepy workouts. All of jungle’s eternal agility is here, futureproofed via the most creative of hands.