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En Trance (MA, United States)

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Price: £17.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing the fun(k) back to the mix CD, and bucking previous Balance trends., 3 Feb. 2009
First, as evidenced by the previous 1 star review, if you're looking for the normal minimal and tech house found on previous Balance Electric mixes and the regular Balance series, you won't find it here. There's more house and disco then ever found in any prevous Balance mixes, so if that's not what you're into, stick with Electric_03 by Ben Korbel, and Balance_14 by Joris Voorn. However, if you can handle it, you're in for a fun, trippy ride as Agent 86 skillfully meshes in old school disco vibes; some updates of two Italo Disco tracks; interesting electro house; and some vocal deep house.

Highlights include newcomers Drop Out Orchestra with a catchy, retro disco melody that wouldn't have been out of place on any dance floor in 1978, and Agent 86's own track, Roxy. The latter bringing an old school electro vibe to a song about the nightclub he has a residency at in Australia. He also adds more of an old school DJ feel with his scratching, and the whole 20 track experience is expertly mixed.

A 5 star mix that really lightens up a Balance roster otherwise full of serious minimal.

Warung Brazil Presents 16 Bit Lolitas
Warung Brazil Presents 16 Bit Lolitas

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We knew they were good, but THIS good!?!?, 3 Feb. 2009
If ever you want to get people to take notice of you as an electronic artist, one sure fire way would be to do what 16 Bit Lolitas have just done: pull of a spectacular two disc mix, one of all your own tracks, and one of everyone else's. It's hard for DJ's to get one mix CD exciting these days, let alone two, and how about one full of all your own producuctions? Amazing feat ... read on.

If you're like me, you've certainly heard of these guys before, often showing up on progressive house mixes over the years, from the likes of Dave Seaman and Nick Warren in particular. With progressive house morphing into the electro and tech house meld over the years, it's interesting to see how the old progressive house artists are taking the change. Not to worry, as the slick melodies, edginess, and sometimes dark sounds of progressive are all expertly updated for 2009 by this Dutch duo. They've been chosen to mix this first CD in the Warung Brazil series, which is meant to capture the feel at Brazil's popular night club, Warung Beach Club. Keeping that in mind, it's a bubbly house mix full of captivating melodies that will fill dance floors anywhere in the world.

This 2 disc set (incorrectly listed on Amazon as 1 disc) is loaded with that tech house sound and some electro, but void of most of the stronger techno and minimal which eases it's way into everything these days. It remains steadily along the house lines, yet with so many similar grooving tracks, their superb track selection always manages to keep the flow exciting.

What's really clear here is that not only are Lolitas skilled at choosing the latest tracks, but they're even better at coming up with a dozen tracks of their own that also fit the bill. I can't decide which mix I like more, as their own tracklist on CD 2 works just as well as CD1, which is diverse with different artists. I think mixing all their stuff definitely works better than an artist album with separate tracks, a trend that has worked well in the past for other electronic albums. I like how the transition of each song feels more like it's at just the right time for switching tracks and keeping the energy flow high. Often on continuously mixed artist albums, the songs are just laced together at their slower beginning and ends. They really pulled off what sounds like various artist mix, even though it's entirely of their own work.

This release is a remarkable showcase for the talents of these guys to abruptly take center stage. If you haven't found this mix, you'd be missing out one of the best electronic 2 disc sets to be released in years.

In Ghost Colours
In Ghost Colours
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.64

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Things tighten up on their sophomore LP, with a little help from an LCD., 9 April 2008
This review is from: In Ghost Colours (Audio CD)
Bright Like Neon Love came out 4 years ago and was an excellent debut album from this Aussie electro indie band. I liked it a lot, but couldn't helped thinking when listening to it, that it was on the cusp of something grand, where maybe not even the band realized how close they were to pushing up and over that edge. Album co-producer and LCD Soundsystem member Tim Goldsworthy may have been just the extra touch they needed to push this exciting band to the upper realms of electronic indie land.

The songs really tighten up and there are a lot more lyrics and vocal tracks than their debut LP. It also clocks in at over 50 minutes, while Bright Like Neon Love was under 43 minutes. Gone are some of the elongated electro instrumentation with a few strips of interlaced vocals found on Bright Like Neon Love. These songs are much more pop aligned, and judging by the strength of some of them, enough to extend their listening audience to an even broader range.

There's a treasure trove of catchy tunes, including the opener, Feel The Love, the progressive rocker So Haunted, and the unexpected leftfield turn when the chorus kicks in during Lights and Music. 80's backing electronica is again the theme, especially on Far Away, where you could have placed it onto any new wave, synth-pop album between 1984 and 1987 and no one would have even noticed. The dreamy interludes are a nice touch, as they glide and connect us through 15 tracks without a bad hitch at any of the stops along the way.

Harmonious from top to bottom and very well produced, this 2nd album is one of the best examples of how talented, non-mainstream, electronic artists can really be. I wish the band much success, and let this highly recommended album do the rest.

Taka Taka (Mixed By Ricardo Villalobos)
Taka Taka (Mixed By Ricardo Villalobos)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £41.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High energy minimal set, still fresh sounding today., 7 April 2008
I picked this up recently expecting to maybe hear it as a little weaker, or dated, compared to all the new, fresh minimal techno that has arrived on the electronic scene in the past year or two, but what I found was a mix that can easily hold it's own with any '07 or even a new '08 mix coming out right now. Ricardo peppers us with high energy techno and tech house from start to finish, with a lot of tracks, a lot of great melodies, and a ton of energy. It's much faster paced stuff than the minimal he is use to putting out lately, and you may be as suprised as I was to hear something this good, especially since rumour has it that he is a much better producer and creator of music than he is a mixer. What I love is that he is able to pack in a walloping 22 tracks, yet you don't feel cheated at the short length of some of them, due to the frantic pace of the BPM's in these tracks. This is a stark contrast to the long, drawn out 10-15 minute tracks he loves to create.

A much better mix than his Green and Blue CD with Loco Dice from late 2005 or his recent Fabric mix. Don't expect to hear an old dud from way back in '03 because this is still as hot as anything out here right now.

by Martin Parr
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think Think of England, only Mexico style., 7 April 2008
This review is from: Mexico (Hardcover)
"Nothing we haven't seen before." A quote from Rogelio Villarreal from the book's forward sums it up, as Parr's style is not new to anyone, and this book does not stray from his past iconic work that he is already well known for. The photos are very similar to past photo works like British Food, Think of England, and Common Sense, all done with a Mexican twist. Like his past works, there aren't many dull photos, as all offer very interesting close-ups and juxtapositions, making even the most trivial of everyday items and people seem camera worthy. There were one or two shots that didn't make me feel they went hand in hand with Mexico at all, such as a close-up of a car windshield with two Nike logo window shades inside, and the disgusting shots of packaged animal feet that could have been sold in any country, but overall, the Mexican theme is quite prevalent, adding many instant classic shots to Parr's ever increasing back catalog.

One of my favorites is the shot of two female tourists, one taking a picture of the other in front of some beach ruins, and the girl taking the photo with her back to Martin's camera is wearing a shirt with a print of a beach scene on it, on top of holding a handbag with an extremely colorful floral print. It's a typical Parr shot, explosive in rich colors. Another highlight is the shot of religious statues being sold streetside, with a McDonald's in the background.

It's another fine addition to the Parr book library, and expect lots of your typical Parr shots.

Other Side: Berlin [Mixed By Ellen Allien + DVD] [Us Import]
Other Side: Berlin [Mixed By Ellen Allien + DVD] [Us Import]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £13.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loads of content and music for your money., 7 April 2008
The previous Time Out releases featured continuous mixes by the listed DJ (including a great techno mix by Black Strobe on Time Out Paris) with a double sided, dual disc and the DVD features on the flipside. The latest installment, Berlin, sadly only features a tracklisting compiled by Ellen, as I was very disappointed to realize the tracks were not DJ mixed. It's also quite odd, as some tracks continuously play into the next (kind of a soft mix into one another), but others stop prior to the next one starting. Most tracks play out for their entire durations. We will still get two DJ mixes from Ellen this year: the 4th installment in her BoogyBytes mix series (as Modeselektor is about to release the 3rd), and a mix for Fabric.

Aside from my disappointment of it not being a full DJ mix, Allien has compiled a list of some very good techno goodies, including two of the most popular tech house/minimal tracks of 2006, Âme's Rej and Booka Shade's In White Rooms. There is also a stunning Carl Craig remix of Rhythm & Sound's Poor People Must Work. Ellen has ecclectic taste in music, and this one is no different, as she adds a punk track, and one classic rock song that is actually sung in German by David Bowie.

The DVD portion is what really impressed me, as it surpasses the others in this series (Time Out Paris was only 24 minutes total), and they have gone to a separate disc and added much more content. It is also chock full of more techno and IDM tracks that are not on the CD portion. It starts off with a very well produced 48 minute documentary hosted by the übercute Ellen, who takes us shopping for clothes and records, and hangs out with other electronic artists like Modeselektor, Seth Hodder, and even Richie Hawtin, who all chat briefly on camera. She mostly speaks English, but some portions are subtitled when she speaks German. On top of that, the background music is full of tracks from Ellen's own current and back catalog, which makes this a well rounded 48 minute tour full of great sights and sounds.

The DVD still has more to come, with segments ranging from 8 to 27 minutes, concetrating on shopping, food, clubs, accomodations, and other miscellaneous sites in and around Berlin. And all this set to even more juicy techno tracks, that I believe are mostly from Ellen's BPitch Control label. It's just the music playing, with informational text at the bottom as they visit many locations. I wish they provided a tracklisting! There is a total of 2 hours and 20 minutes of video footage, between these segments and Ellen's portion, all set to the best musical background one could ever want for a documentary!

This is a great purchase, and could have been a truly overwhelming release, had it just had a full DJ mix by Ellen on the CD, but what we do have is an incredible amount of techno music and one very well produced DVD video on Berlin.

Price: £11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible, dub style breaks entry in the Fabriclive series., 7 April 2008
This review is from: FABRICLIVE32: Tayo (Audio CD)
Not since the Plump DJ's Fabriclive 8, way back in early '03 has there been as an exciting breakbeat mix for the Fabriclive series. The Meat Katie and Freestylers mixes were decent, and more recently, Evil Nine and the Stanton Warriors, which I felt both missed the mark. Up pops Tayo, master of Dubstyle breaks and Baile Funk, as he crosses from your normal breaks into grime and dub, but the main theme always constant is his choice of the heaviest hitting, high impact breaks. The flow is sensational, and this mix can literally be just kept on repeat throughout your day, without it ever losing it's edge or energy level. Slick rap lyrics and hard hitting, reggae tinged breaks make up 27 fast and furious tracks at a never a dull moment pace, making this one of the best Fabrics ever, and not just in the breaks category.

A phenomenal ride by one of the most exciting DJ's in the UK.

Perlen Vol.5
Perlen Vol.5
Offered by Resell MC
Price: £8.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Techno shocker from a master., 7 April 2008
This review is from: Perlen Vol.5 (Audio CD)
After only 5 notes of the first track, I knew instantly that this was going to be one hot mix. Nothing really prepared me for the shock of track 3, however, when I was dumbfounded by what I heard on Thomas's own track Rising. A mindbending bassline came out of nowhere, and at such a slow pace, it seemed like forever for the next wave to hit, which left me thinking what the hell was that I just heard come through the speaker? The drawn out bassline in this track is nothing short of genius, and just another high quality track to add to his repertoire.

It's all high energy techno through the first part of the mix, and only slows down slightly in the middle, before swooshing through the latter half with Schumacher's electro-fied techno courtesy of his own stuff, along with tracks from his group Elektrochemie, and fellow collaborator Stephan Bodzin.

At a very high energy pace, not unlike his artist album, Home, this is a deliciously innovative mix from Schumacher, proving that there's still lots of surprises and new twists to be had in the techno genre.

Grand Cru 2007
Grand Cru 2007
Price: £14.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Superior minimal release oozes class., 7 April 2008
This review is from: Grand Cru 2007 (Audio CD)
I say superior as Connaisseur Supérieur is actually a sub-label of Connaisseur Recordings, which has also been releasing quality tracks on 12". Now, the label kicks off their first CD release, which is a compilation of exclusive new label tracks and a stunning DJ mix by Germany's Patrick Chardronnet. He shows that not only can he produce epic journeys through minimal house, he can also select and mix them. If you enjoyed his track Eve By Day, there's more melodic stuff on these two discs, starting with an unmixed disc 1, and followed by Patrick's mix on disc 2.

Only 3 tracks on the unmixed disc are used in the mix, which I would much rather have than other mixes where nearly every track is repeated. Why not get a variety, which they've done perfectly here. One of the high points on both discs, is the melodic Crawl Around by Daso & Paws, which really has a deep house sound, as do a lot of these minimal tracks.

There really isn't any glitchy minimal here, and it's very similar to stuff Pascal FEOS produces and plays, found on his own artist album (Synaptic) and his Rave On Snow mix series (Rave on Snow 14, Rave on Snow, Vol. 15). It's groovy tech house, without ever straying too far into techno or standard house. Minimal, slightly techno-fied and deep is how I would describe it.

My only gripe is the mix is barely 63 minutes, and a few more tracks could have been thrown in, but I am still completely satisfied with this 2 disc set, from a truly classy and still young label.

Balance 012 - Mixed by Lee Burridge
Balance 012 - Mixed by Lee Burridge
Price: £31.73

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 lively mixes for this superb Aussie series., 7 April 2008
Unlike Balance 010, where Jimmy Van M used a build up of BPM's across his three discs, and unlike Balance 007, where Chris Fortier tried a little something different for each of his three, Lee Burridge unleashes three scorching, high energy techno mixes in the 3rd ever three disc release in the Balance mix series. He really can't go wrong when he chooses so many of the best artists in tech house and minimal, such as Gabriel Ananda, Tomas Andersson, Ben Klock, Martin Buttrich, and Onur Ozer. While none really stray from the melodic techno that's so strongly gripping the electronic dance scene, they each offer track after track of exciting and upbeat sounds. If you're into minimal and tech house, you've come to the right place, as this is one of the biggest values I've ever seen in terms of dollar for dollar and how many beats and tracks you end up getting.

Stellar mixing and track selection by Burridge and a 3 disc mix where every disc is worth repetitive plays. That's hard enough to do with a 2 disc mix, never mind 3, and this was easily my best tech house mix of 2007.

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