Truth is I'd never have checked this out if not for a tip-off from a friend who thought it would be my kind of thing, and he was right, for no sooner had I ran through a few samples than I knew I had to get it. Tip-offs from friends are better than sales hype, of course, unless said friend is a Footwork fan, in which case, you'll ignore them.
See me as a friend, please, because that's how I like to see you, unknown reader. Yes, I know we rarely speak, and yet - nothing.
Oozing atmosphere, Lee Gamble's Diversions 1994-1996 is the aural equivalent of scrap metal art, or scrap Metalheadz (!) - cue 'Rufige' (and Goldie taking time out from TV show appearances to claim royalties). Rarely do breaks make an appearance, which is the whole point. The album plays out like a dark ravers worst come-down. In another light, it collects parts of your favourite tunes, the ambient promise of fierce rhythms to come, where expectation is all. 'Emu' is particularly effective in this respect, lifting as it does the beginning and middle part of Rod Hull's hardcore gem, 'Shaolin Puppet Master' (I think it's from that, don't quote me), and creating over 5mins of moody brilliance. 'Dollis Hill' (oh 4 Hero, where art though now?), although immediately appealing as an obvious plunder from Jungle, is one of the least interesting tracks. The album works best in extracting and amplifying those parts before and between beats. Detached from their bodies, these ghost limbs gain a visceral kind of power. Witness 'Razor', a fragment from the past which resonates more from being made of less. The same could be said of the whole project.