Reviews – Singles


Following the well received Sitting On Top Of The World, Londinium features the brilliant blues style vocals of Chrissy Van Dyke over a drifting, summery vibe and a gospal influenced chorus. The inclusion of some Rhodes and acoustic guitar add warmth to a lyrically poignant track that touches on the never ending, always growing urban sprawl that is out capital. Bridge is a pacey, jazzy take on suicide whilst track three is Octoman’s challenging hard step mix of LondiniumPlutonik continue to forge ahead with their own unique brand of drum & bass.

“Someone finding new uses for drum ‘n’ bass is Plutonik, a Midlands collective who submerge their supple junglist beats in the chocolately Julie London-ish jazz-soul vocals of Chrissy Van Dyke. Polished and assured, this humid little elegy to a city in crisis treads the line between retro-chic novelty single and ace 90’s torch song. Whatever happened to Carmel ?”
(NME – 5th June)

Plutonik get around a bit. On their debut single they clambered aboard a blue train, bound for the deep dark depths of the jungle. Now the future thinking d & b boys from the Midlands are heading straight for Londinium. Cramming a Rhodes piano, acoustic guitar and a hefty drum kit into the hold, the journeymen keep vocalist Chrissy Van Dyke company as she belts out gospel-tinged vocals on this summer excursion to The Big Smoke. It’s all in preparation for their forthcoming Prime Numbers long-player, which should shunt its way into stores in July, courtesy of Integrity Records.”
(ECHOES – 5th June)


The debut single from Plutonik has already stirred responses from several major publications. Melody Maker (Feb 13th) placed the single top of their HIT LIST, describing it as : “Like a jazzy Portishead torch song with one eye on the drum ‘n’ bass clubs.”

“This is a track that’s had me whistling for the past few months. Purists, pay heed – it’s a commercial track that definitely cuts the mustard. Plutonik – Alan Rowe and James D – combine the sensuous vocals of Chrissy Van Dyke and beat know-how with fantastic consequences. Sitting on top of the world is a once heard, never forgotten venture into melodic, upfront drum and bass. Amen breaks punctuate punch b-lines and wistful rhodes lines. Think E-Z rollers in a contemplative mode. A good builder that’s as welcome in the caras it is on the floor. Keep an ear out for their forthcoming debut LP, Prime Numbers, due out later this year. Don’t go without.”
(ECHOES – April ’99)

The online Music & Video Magazine Sampler listed Sitting On Top Of The World as : “Quality first release from this Brummy outfit.  All out drum and bass but obviously these guys have an ear for a tune, a melody, hell, a song.  They’re not content to simply knock out the appropriate hi-hat rhythms and call it drum and bass…. a gloriously refreshing change.  Quality vocals too from Chrissy Van Dyke… we like.”

“Saving grace here is the pure f***-off hardness of the beats, and the lush plume of a voice – like Skye Morcheeba gettin’ it awn with Ed Rush and Optical”.
(Melody Maker – March 6th)

The brand new fortnightly music magazine Flipside reviewed the B sides of the single; “Brum and bass-heads Plutonik’s “All I have is” starts magnificently – layers of diva vox and cymbal heavy d’n’b are added, one by one, to an easy groovin, slow loop – but subsequently meanders. It’s the other way round on “Rainmaker“, where a rather standard opening develops into a drum’n’bass cousin of Michael Nyman’s music from The Piano.”

Student Radio stations have embraced it, giving it rave reviews and high positions on the playlists across the U.K.  Amongst the responses have been comments such as “Very cool, mellow drum and bass.  Excellent intro and sublime vocals” (Bailrigg FM). “Very cool and laidback.  Almost loungecore drum and bass” (Slick FM).  It has been awarded Single of the Week on both Imperial College and C4 Radio – Christchurch, and Producers Choice on Shout FM – Liverpool.

Radio Play :

To date,  Sitting On can be heard on the following mainstream stations : XFM, GLR, Galaxy 102, Metro FM, Forth FM, BBC Radio Ulster, Vibe FM, West FM, Surf 107 FM.


“Birmingham’s PLUTONIK treat us all to a little taster of their forthcoming LP Prime Numbers and I’m reserving my copy, right now.  Jungoltrane pulls away from platform one on a brand new route.  A nice clean bass guitar tolls an effortless but intriguing book, not unlike the racy bit in Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain.  However, unlike most Grand Prix we’re in for a smooth ride.  Humming Rhodes, sampled wah-wah guitars and floating sax flow seamlessly into a stomping robotic hoe-down, the beats remaining tight and constant throughout.  Filter sifts out all of the sweetness, beats galloping over muted foghorn breaths as the mist gradually creeps in.  Trancy Moog arpeggios pitch and fall around intricate breaks and synth splutters.  Fresh sounds and absolute analogue know-how could hint at a change in direction for ’99.  Let’s hope so.”
(ECHOES – 23rd Jan ’99)

“Dark D & B that starts off pretty jazzy but then evolves into an aggressive style later on.  I’m learning how to appreciate these sounds despite it not being my DJ material and this one I definitely like.  It’s on the grittier side of jazzy D & B, with thumping beats, deep jungle b-lines and a meanness and nightmarish approach.  The structures are a little bit jump-up; weird dance grooves. Jungoltrane is slightly more laid-back, with a meandering and discordant freestyle sax blended well to a combination of beats and rhythm in an intimidating and original way…”
Beats Chart :  No. 67  (DJ Magazine – 16th Jan ’99)


Reactions/Quotes from various DJ’s :

“Massive for me, wicked track….  10/10”
(Les Ryder – CREAM)

“I really like JUNGOLTRANE….  8/10”
(Graeme Park – Galaxy 101, Galaxy 102, Galaxy 105, Crash FM)

“Excellent production….  Can’t get that f**king bassline out of my head…. Filter makes me want to kill someone ! ….  9/10”
(Jay Walker – Bagleys & The Met)

“This record is top quality, intelligent, musically competent, forward thinking, serious dancing/listening music.  This, without a doubt, is the best record you’ve ever sent me.  It has depth and imagination where the majority bore me….  10/10”
(Lee Jones – Dogstar & Po Na Na)

“I like this one.  Sounds like what Laurent Garnier would make if he did Drum & Bass, which is fine by me…. 9/10”
(Simon Howlett – The Waterhouse)

“It’s good pumping, limberjerkin, drainthumping trance at it’s best.  Will make clubbers kack in their Calvin’s, desecrate in their D & G’s and alleviate them into the Armani’s”.
(5 – HT)

“JUNGOLTRANE is a brill groover indeed….  8/10”
(Phil Gifford – Atlantic Jam, Wobble)

“Three groovy numbers….  9/10”
(Spyder – C.C.C.)

“An excellent Drum & Bass roller.  Top production & programming.  Very dark intelligent Drum & Bass at it’s best….  9/10”
(Neal Bethune – Rhythm Room, Propaganda)

“Superb – The sound of modern urban jazz with some dark touches – excellent….  9/10”
(Gordon Ritchie – Lowlifes, Lifestyle) 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *