Before I even listened to this, I knew this name sounded quite familiar. I’ve seen this guy covered in almost as many dance magazines as Paul Oakenfold, so I figured his importance in the scene must be validated. But since I’m not a big fan of glossy, tabloid-like dance publications, I already formed my opinion on Pete Tong. But to you tell the truth, this Essential Mix is quite enjoyable, a dance record that’s almost a pleasure without feeling guilty.
I’ve become a bit jaded with dance mix discs, but this record helped ease matters. The lights and sound systems of a club are a much more suitable home for artists such as Pete Tong. Still, Essential’s got plenty of throbbing highlights. Deep, funky house is the order for the day, and since this is the perfect party music, Tong has chosen his selections wisely. It’s about time a record picks up steam after the halfway point. With Trisco and Way Out West at the wheel, this objective was no problem. Tong never lets the funk give way to the bombastic, epic sounds of many mixes today, so more points are added in his favor. Now I’ve gained a sense of why he’s a renowned mixer, and even though the record title’s somewhat of a misnomer, Tong has helped restore a bit of my faith in the power of the DJ.
Essential/FFRR Records, 936 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10010; http://essential.us.com