Agent Alvin: Agent Alvin
By Stephen Jewell
Agent Alvin has been a stalwart of both the local breaks and drum'n'bass scenes for some time, contributing tracks to various compilations including 'Plug_In Drummer' and 'Return of the Boomshwack' and providing the likes of Rhombus (notably on Clav Dub) and Minuit with some killer remixes. Now Alvin has stepped up to the front to produce a self-titled album that is closer in spirit to his drum'n'bass outings rather than his breaks efforts. At first listen, 'Agent Alvin' appears to have just one tempo: full on - and even the various vocal tracks start as they mean to go on, at full speed. Alvin's collaborators include Ruth Carr from Minuit on Saboteur. On The Rise boasts a fine toast from London rapper and DJ Spikey Tee, who has also previously worked with King Kapisi while MC Kyla appears on Smut. Alvin relaxes the frantic pace momentarily on Invert and the almost trancey Meg Martin vehicle All Around Us. Overall, Alvin has produced an accomplished debut that should appeal to both fans of Baitercell and devotees of Concord Dawn and Shapeshifter.