The Sound of (r)evolution
The Critical Massive
Great compilations seem to come in two flavors. First are those that can truly be called “revolutionary.” They assemble a variety of artists, all of whom are more or less doing the same thing — something new and unheard of. Unlike similar albums by single artists, the message these comps send out is that something is truly brewing and gathering force. The second (which this actually belongs to, despite the name) is more of a chronicle of a current scene or sound, a collection of truly developed pieces which demonstrate the full extent and the soul behind a movement.
(R)evolution features several artists with familiar names: Fluke, Mouse on Mars, Apollo Four Forty, Speedy J, Rob & Goldie. It also has some I’m not familiar with, but the truth is that quality-wise, there seems to be little difference between the two, at least here. The main thrust here is that dance music has evolved out of the dance floor, and can now be enjoyed as a creative effort, rather than merely a component of lights, drinks, and crowds. Fluke’s opening track, “Bullet,” takes some time to build up (over five minutes), but it’s well worth it. Deadstock’s “Nobody” combines a haunting four-note theme with a backing that sounds half-timed, and slow, deliberate vocals. There’s also Spooky (not to be confused with DJ Spooky) and “Fingerbobs,” whose odd syncopated sounds I can’t seem to get enough of.
There are only a couple of tracks that get on my nerves: Apollo Four Forty’s “Raw Power” should have been left at the club, and Nicollette’s “All Day,” which is a breathy-female vocal number that usually signals me that it’s time to step outside and get some air.
Still, twelve out of fourteen aren’t bad, and even those two “duds” are far superior to the pounding drivel that seems to be flying off the shelves these days. If you’re looking to enjoy some private listening, this is the place to be. The Critical Massive, 165 Cristopher St. #5B, New York, NY 10014; http://www.criticalmassive.com