Off Limits 3

Sonar Kollektiv

With the seemingly endless deluge of mixed CDs out there with automaton imagination, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the talent and music apart (e.g. a house DJ will give us your stereotypical house mix, a D&B DJ, ditto). But leave it to those crazy folks at the Sonar Kollektiv to give us a mixed CD that stands bobbing head and shrugging shoulders above the rest — “a thinking person’s dance mix?”

Steffen “Dixon” Berkhahn has been at this awhile and has provided some capable remixes for Jazzanova, Femi Kuti, and Atjazz. A heady list for an obvious talent. And Off Limits 3, with its ’80s-nu-jazz-deep-house-Detriot-Paris combination does not provide one stereotypical, pat moment while still keeping you moving.

The aptly-named “Initial Problem” by Riton kicks off the disc, slicing and dicing its abstracted beat until a rather smooth dance cut=EDs hammered out of the maelstrom. Meitz’s “Get On Up” has a nice ’80s R&B feel. And you always score points with me by including Vikter Duplaix (this time with Jazzanova on “That Night”).

Everything, of course, is seamlessly mixed. But Dixon has a unique way of stitching that sounds very simple but, when you separate the songs, makes you realize how complex his work really is. He clearly doesn’t make it easy on himself. While his treatment of Ursula Rucker’s “Supa Sista” is really, really unfortunate (it’s just not meant to be uptempo), his remix of J. Rawls’ “They Can’t See Me” just pops and snaps out at you and his handling of Ame’s “Tonight” and Ayro’s “Let This” is pure genius.

This is a disc purposefully crafted for the dance connoisseur who needs more than the oh-so-common 4/4 to thrive and survive.

Sonar Kollektiv: http://www.sonarkollektiv.de

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