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Alice Coltrane – The Sun (Words spoken by John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders)

Kubrick explains in an interview the plot of 2001: A Space Odyssey – “You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression.

Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man’s first baby steps into the universe – a kind of cosmic burglar alarm.

And finally there’s a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system. When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he’s placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man’s evolutionary destiny.

That is what happens on the film’s simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself.”

This Drum and Bass masterpiece came out on 12″ back in 1996, a time that many would consider the Golden Age of Jungle. Produced by Doc Scott under his Nasty Habits guise, it was released on his own label, 31 Records. A perfect example of what is known as Tech-step or Dark-step (pioneered by such artists as Nico, Fierce, Ed Rush and Optical) where complicated breakbeats are replaced by more straight forward drum machine made rhythms with the occasional Amen break thrown in. The hoover-like bass-line also serves as the melody and hook. Its sinister and brooding sounds brings a real sense of menace as it slowly fades in over the beats, morphing and growing. The bass is occasionally punctuated by the occasional stab of fighting sounds taken from old Hong Kong Kung-Fu films, hence the title – Shadow Boxing.

Nasty Habits – Shadow Boxing