Plastic

Plastic

Volume III

Nettwerk

Upon first glance at this compilation, it just seems like another tool to mass market electronic music to mainstream America. It’s got all the essential elements — cheesy, cartoony Japanese art, electronic remixes of popular “rock” stars (Sarah McLaughlin, Filter, and Delerium), and reads like a who’s who of the MTV “electronica” generation, with tracks from the likes of the Chemical Brothers, Moby, BT, Beth Orton, Moloko, and more. Upon first listen, though, all preconceived notions fly out the window. Regardless of the status of those involved, this is a great compilation of progressive house, trance, and breakbeat.

The disc begins with a beautiful re-working of Sarah McLaughlin’s (whose voice seems to be so conducive to remixes) “I Love You,” by LA’s progressive maestro BT, while Sasha (of famed duo Sasha and Digweed) comes through with his progressive hit of the winter, “XPander.” UK breakbeat outfit Hybrid give Filter’s “Take a Picture” a beautiful, emotional touch, and DJ Teisto’s reworking of BT’s “Dreaming” gives it a harder, trance edge. Moby’s “Bodyrock” gets the treatment from Hybrid again, and ends up sounding like the soundtrack to a breakdance competition held in Ibiza, and the sweet, sultry voice of former Chemical Brothers vocalist Beth Orton gets her classic “Central Reservation” mixed into a memorable tribal house track.

Trendy or not, you’ll have to admit that if all electronic music being pushed into the mainstream sounded half as good as this, maybe we’d see a true musical revolution. A great start for beginners, or a good addition to the collection of an old hand.

Nettwerk Records, 632 Broadway, Suite 301, New York, NY 10012; http://www.nettwerk.com

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