Friday, 16 August 2013

Shy FX - Pandora's Box

Shy FX - Pandora's Box (Ebony Recordings, 1998)

A couple of tracks I wrote about earlier this week, 'Lifecrisis' and the Matrix remix of 'Medicine', both feature the Worm break. This classic break is taken from Jimmy McGriff's funky 1968 track 'The Worm' and is played by either Mel Lewis or Grady Tate - apparently McGriff alternated drummers on the album and I'm not certain who played on the recording. A great early use of it was the Chemical's Brothers' 'Chemical Beats' in 1994 while Origin Unknown introduced it to drum & bass on 'Truly One'.

It was a favourite of Ed Rush & Optical but it's a break that also suits more laid back tunes such as this one from Shy FX. The track's title derives from Greek myth - Pandora was the first woman on Earth and couldn't resist opening a box that the Gods had explicitly told her not to. From the box sprung hate, disease, envy and all the negative things that had previously been absent from the world, although hope was also inside. It's not a title that really suits the track as it emanates nothing but positive vibes, even featuring the distant sound of children playing in the park. The Worm break, jazzy keys, a funky bassline and snippets of trumpet and guitar combine to create an idyllic, rolling tune that is one of Shy FX's most underrated.

Shy FX gave 'Pandora's Box' an update of sorts with 'Plastic Soul' in 2005 which liberally borrows from Michael Jackson's 'I Can't Help It' while the track sounds like it also inspired DJ Fresh's 'All That Jazz'. A great tune for MCs you can hear it given an extended rollout as the final tune in Jumping Jack Frost's set at the One Nation Valentine's Experience Part 5 with Det and Skibba on the mic:

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