Artist: Fred Numf Vs Etienne Overdijk
Title: Jamaica Skunk
Label: Minimal Records
By: Matthew Esler | 9 January 2003
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Alvin Dorsey & Nick Petrel Mix

Fred Numf Vs Etienne Overdijk "Jamaica Skunk"

Out Now on Minimal Records

Judging from their latest offering on Minimal Records (UK), Fred Numf (Fred Van Eck) and Etienne Overdijk may indeed have been indulging in a little bit of Jamaican skunk. From the outset, "Jamaica Skunk" is solid, insistent and just a little bit bouncy. A deep droning seems to engulf the listener, almost creating a feeling of dampened sound, while smooth high hats and shakers give this track a trancy but bouncy feel.

Subtle background vocal samples, echoed scratches and whistles provide some texture for an essentially very simple and trance inducing deep and dark track. A prominent horn-like sound sounds off a few times before a phat flanged synth brings us to a breakdown. The vocal snippets become more obvious and the breakdown ebbs and flows until we are left hanging for a moment and the body of the track drops back in.

"Jamaica Skunk" builds a little bit before fading down into another pleasantly short, different and percussion laced breakdown, after which the track empties into a somewhat tribal sounding section, and then suddenly stops.

All in all the original is a solid and hypnotic effort from Fred and Etienne, but there is a little something missing.

The Alvin Dorsey & Nick Petrel Remix provides something different with a more percussive and funky strain of Jamaican skunk pumping through their veins. The trancy element is still there with that prominent drone once again dampening your hearing until you are engulfed. The beats are toughened up a bit, and the entire track is a lot lighter than the original.

The background vocals become more prominent and a long sweeping synth pushes the track more into trance for a short while before the sudden and brilliantly different breakdown takes over. The speed of the track drops to a slow reggae ramble, with a beautiful big phat bassline cruising through. One gets the feeling that maybe this breakdown is more Jamaican skunk inspired than anything in the original.

After coming out of such a slow paced breakdown, the energy of the track is more noticeable, and the track quickly builds up to it's main body. The main body is a little too full for my liking, but will surely sound great on a bigger system than headphones. A short breakdown finishes up the main body of the track, and afterwards there is a subtle change in feeling as the track winds down and loses layers to end suddenly.

"Jamaica Skunk" features very smooth production and a no nonsense track structure meaning that both tracks weigh in at about 7 minutes. The excellent breakdown in the Alvin Dorsey & Nick Petrel Remix is the standout thing, and if you feel like sneaking a bit of a reggae change-up into your set, this is the track for you.

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