[Age of Terminal Irony sleeve]"The Age of Terminal Irony" (EP, 2000)

Gun Music

Sporting the perfect name for a band on the Gun Music label, Ammo's 9 round clip The Age of Terminal Irony EP discharges some unusually brutal drum 'n' bass bullets in the direction of anyone listening. But Roni Size this aint. There are four core tracks: Ghost Phalanx, The Sniper Syndrome, An Unexpected Guest and Psychoville as performed by Ammo. The remaining five receive technical modifications courtesy of Implant, Silk Saw, Takshaka, Dryft and Imminent. The results are remarkably similar and equally punishing and challenging. With each of the four untreated Ammo tracks each clocking in at 170 BMP or over, there is, despite the eerily ambient opening to Ghost Phalanx, no respite once the beats do kick in.

Initially, this EP is exciting stuff, yanking in breakbeats and seriously deep dub basslines into the foray. The Age of Terminal Irony takes drum 'n' bass into truly subversive territory. Try playing this in any d'n'b club in London and and it would either cause a riot of hatered or stop everyone dead in their tracks in total incomprehension. Which, of course, is all good. The problem I have with the EP is it's all just too samey. If you're not concentrating, it's easy not to notice when one track finishes and another begins. Surprisingly, this holds true for the remixes too (one by Gridlock's Mike Cadoo). I have to confess I'm not one for the high number BPM beats that this plays with and that might be the reason I feel too alientated by this selection to really 'enjoy' it. However, that isn't to say I don't appreciate what Ammo are doing. The charts would really be saying something if this ever made it onto Top of The Pops - but don't hold your breath. Drum 'n' bass with an agenda... dangerous stuff indeed. 6/10

Rob Dyer