John B ‎– Catalyst (Drum & Bass)

Beta Recordings ‎– BETA LP 01
6 × Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM, 45 RPM, Album

Tracklist Hide Credits

A Let Rip
B Prowler
C Progress
D Droogs
E Imagine (Vinyl Mix)
Vocals – H. Williams*
F Gollum
G War Cry
H No Answer
I Poison Arrow
J Interrogation
K1 Simulated Sax
Saxophone – Chris Lang (3)Trombone – Eric Cunningham
K2 We Like The Music
K3 Live Dangerously
Flute – H. Williams*Scratches – DJ Special
K4 Adrift
Trumpet – J. CooperVocals – John B
K5 Key West
L1 Intro
Vocals – A. Mac
L2 Double-J (Original)
Featuring, Vocals, Lyrics By – MC JustiycScratches – DJ SpecialWritten By, Producer, Performer, Other [Published By] – John B. Williams, MC Justiyc
L3 Krisptron
L4 Symbiosis
L5 Bugs
L6 Fluid Mosaic
Saxophone – Chris Lang (3)Scratches – DJ Special

Companies, etc.

  • Pressed ByMPO
  • Distributed BySRD



All sides 33 ⅓ RPM except B, 45 RPM. Also available on Double CD and Limited Edition Triple CD formats.

Other Versions (3 of 3) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
BETA CD 01 LTD John B Catalyst(CD, Album + 2xCD, Mixed + Box, Ltd) Beta Recordings BETA CD 01 LTD UK 1999 Sell This Version
BETA CD 01 John B Catalyst (Drum & Bass)(CD, Album + CD, Mixed) Beta Recordings BETA CD 01 UK 1999 Sell This Version
none John B Catalyst (Drum & Bass)(29xFile, MP3, Album, P/Mixed, RM, VBR) Beta Recordings none UK 2008


Reviews Show All 5 Reviews

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March 16, 2008

[review continued]

"Fluid Mosaic" is a very chill tune. Slowed down to about 90 bpm with long drawn out synths and a funky bassline. Synth guitar and sax in bits give it an almost cheesey feel though. Not a bad track to chill out to.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed by this album. So many tracks I hoped to fall in love with at least one and I'm not sure I'd play any of these out. Lots of them start out sounding great and then never develop into anything worthwhile. The last record is interesting at the very least. It seems like it was more of an experiment for John B. Not sure why he released it though. I dunno, worth a listen, but not quite worth the cash.


March 16, 2008

This is a long album, so I'll try to break it all down for you. I'm limited by post size, so I'll split it up.

"Let Rip" is a pretty chill record. Not quite liquid funk, but definitely not a rinser. Nice guitar work throughout that relaxes things, but then tones of bass flood in and "let rip". Pretty good tune overall, but not outstanding in anyway.

"Prowler" was not quite as nasty as I really expected it to be. The choppy, almost tech-step beats are a little different for John B, but don't really go anywhere. Wobbly bass floats in at parts to keep your head nodding, but never really got me moving. This had a lot of potential, but kinda fell through.

"Progress" is probably my pick of the album. Even still, I wish there was more. The soulfull vocals and punches from a brass section get you ready for something big, but the drums let down. This needed a long buildup to some of the sickest drums he had and this could've been a giant floor filler. Still not a bad tune. Maybe I'll remix it someday...

"Droogs" is hypnotising. I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe it's the whispered words I can't quite understand, or the long synths from a trance tune, or the rumbling bass, or the tinny, almost jungle drums. A very strange arrangement that somehow works. Maybe this is my pick of the album (record two for certain). Unfortunately like many of the other potentials in this album, it kinda falls short and you wish more happened.

"Imagine" has beautiful vocals (even though they just repeat the same word over vnd over again), but the synths don't really do them justice. The drums are quite good in an oldskool style of crazy drum and bass (not sure why they're added to such chill vocals). Kinda reminds me of some DJ Hype oldskool shit, but not as good.

"Gollum" uses some minimal drums to support the monstrous bass that just give me the vision of some monster on the hunt. I feel like this should have been "Prowler". Great bass and appropriate drums. It's a good tune, but gets boring quick. Needs another record playing overtop it at all times.

"War Cry" I think was going for a jungle battle feeling or something. Sounds, grunts, and some music indicitive of jungle or indian scenes. The rumbling bass and bongos get things a little funky and more danceable. Not a crazy, over-the-top tune, but could go well to bring a jungle crowd down after a big stomper.

"No Answer" annoys the fuck out of me. I mean, it probably uses the lamest sample I've ever heard. "You want to know more than answer" could be interesting, but when repeated over and over again in a acid, synthy, drum and bass tune, it's rubbish. If I heard a DJ play this I'd probably punch him.

"Poison Arrow" reminds me of something Black Sun Empire might do. I like it. Punchy, growling bass in between a weird sound kind of like a rusty door opening. Good jump up drums and proper pauses. Definitely one of the better tunes on the album.

"Interrogation" is another annoying song. I don't really understand why. Decent jumpy drums with some wobbly bass, but the french spoken word doesn't fit at all and just confuses me. Maybe I'm not recognizing where the sample is from and might get more thrilled if I did, but I have a feeling that's not the case.

"Simulated Sax" sounds like some oldskool Hospital Records. Borderline lounge/elevator muzak fused with toned down drum and bass. Unfortunately the drums sound like they were played live off some dude's crappy drum machine with a lounge trumpet solo (definitely trumpet, not sax). Not a fan of this one.

"We Like The Music" sounds like a continuation of the last one with the same trumpet, although this has more rinsing bass. The bass isn't really enough to make it good though.

"Live Dangerously" is slower breaks, not drum and bass and has John B's occassional latin flare. Sounds almost like something Mocean Worker or The Propellerheads might make. Good string bass, some jazz flute and sax, and decent added scratches. Pretty good tune, but as chill breaks go I don't think I'd ever play this out.

"Adrift" has real chill, slowed down drums and the muffled trumpet sound that just goes up your spine. This tune takes you right into a film noir. City streets flooded with dark red light. Even the whale sounds in the background somehow fit. Great tune.

"Key West" is back into the drum and bass with a chilled out liquid funk sound fused with an almost 80's synth pop twist. Synths like Kraftwerk, guitar like Wicked Game, and drums like London Elektricity. Not a bad tune, but a little too chill for me.

"Intro" is a computer introduction to not just this record but pretty much the future of John B's career. In my opinion, this is probably the part of the album John B liked the best. The album as a whole was different for him, but the electro style is where it all eventually goes.

"Double-J" sounds like a speeded up version of Planet Rock with different lyrics. Not bad, but definitely a step into the future of John B.

"Krisptron" has decent electroesque drums, but that's about it. There is very little more to this song than the drums. It really needs more.

"Symbiosis" has a sort of fusion of tech-step drums with this electro style of drums. Interesting combination. Long synths and vocal "ahs" with a little bass. Like "Krisptron" needs more, but is pretty decent as is.

"Bugs" is a strange tune similar to "Gollum" with the minimal drums and rinsing bass but not as powerful and too short to really play out.


April 3, 2007
edited over 11 years ago
This album is unique in that the sleeves & labels of each vinyl are colour coded. e.g. Vinyl sides A & B have a red label & the sleeve for that vinyl is red. This system makes it easy to find the tunes you want when your playing out & makes sure you put them in the right sleeves afterwards.

It worked so well that I colour coded the sleeves and labels for several of my other drumnbass albums. Props to the designer

Catalyst is an awesome album; dark tunes, light tunes, heavy tunes, vocal tunes, jazzy tunes, experimental...a real range


September 12, 2006
edited over 12 years ago
Excellent album from John B. Theres a whole range of styles on here; you have atmospheric, pounding amens, 2 step beats and it is produced very well. The opening of "Let rip" uses the same guitar lead from "Ladies of Spain" by Bad Company on "Book of the Bad Volume 2" on BC Recordings.


November 24, 2002

this album shows the darker side to John B, and by far his best material as well. he drops the whole player/sex-fiend attitude and unleashes some of the best music i've ever heard. fuck the jungle-salsa, this is the real Senor Juan B!