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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Pant Soiling' mixing skills
Well isn't this guy a bit special? I'd only just finished getting myself into a rather unholy lather about Sound In Motion when I came across this sitting in the racks of a shop. Cast your mind back, Sound In Motion was an impossibly smooth mix from Mr JZ. It astounded in the way it could efforlessly jump from deep acidic house to glacial breaks to thunderous tech beats...
Published on 7 Mar 2005 by Simon J. Whight

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Technically perfect but.........
I found Alive amazing from a technical mixing point, however, I just found that, in order to show off all the dj'ing skills, the actual tunes were somewhat dull and boring. As a Dj myself I was interested to hear what he has done and the sleeve notes were a good read in conjunction with the disc, but the overall listening experience didn't really excite me at all. The...
Published on 4 Aug 2004


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Pant Soiling' mixing skills, 7 Mar 2005
By 
Simon J. Whight "fourfourfun" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Renaissance Sound Of Vol 2 (Audio CD)
Well isn't this guy a bit special? I'd only just finished getting myself into a rather unholy lather about Sound In Motion when I came across this sitting in the racks of a shop. Cast your mind back, Sound In Motion was an impossibly smooth mix from Mr JZ. It astounded in the way it could efforlessly jump from deep acidic house to glacial breaks to thunderous tech beats. It astounded even more when you heard the tunes generally been given a right seeing to by the man at the controls as they played (especially if you log onto the net to read his mixing notes). Finally it astounded even more when you realise that it was all done live, with no computer pro-tool jiggery pokery. Moist.
So here we go again, now JZ finds himself stepping onto the compilation which big hitters such as Sasha & Digweed, Deep Dish and Danny Howells have only been fit to grace. Once again, blown away by another live mix of technical perfection. The entire feel of the mix is a bit more pacey, a bit more electronic and breaky than Sound In Motion. No bad thing. A little section of ambience kicks off the first disc before launching into some old school breaks. It takes just 3 minutes before JZ gets into action, layering bits of Si Begg's Gangsters over the meaty breaks, cutting bits of bass here, adding some treble there before going the whole hog and sticking some crazy electronic scratching over the top ... all done via CDs (more on that later). The show stoppers don't stop there. One jaw dropping section sees Rob Mello have a sample of Underworld's Dark and Long filtered and echoed in and out of it. Essentially a wonderful live remix, using ! the Pioneer CDJs technology to the full.
Now don't get me wrong, the skills are fantastic, but it wouldn't be much use if the tunes were awful would it? Luckily we're not disappointed, you can be drifting along on some glacial breaks like Smash TV's Circuit Breaker and then you may find yourself grooving along to the deep and gorgeous bass led What Its Worth by rising star PJ Davy.
There are no fillers on this mix, it is a work of sheer quality. Once again JZ includes all his mixing notes with the CD, but even better, there is a wee little movie at the end of disc 2. Playing this on your PC you can see first hand how exactly you can scratch with a CD player before making the scratch noise turn into a plane flying around your speakers, how to take little snippets of the tune you're playing and turn them into a mad mash of rhythmic torment. When you realise that alot of what you hear on the CD is not coming from the tunes at all, its all JZ doing his thing with Pioneers, THEN you know you've got yourself a piece of history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Renaissance keep up the quality, 3 Oct 2003
By 
Simon J. Whight "fourfourfun" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Renaissance machine churns out another mix in its Sound Of Renaissance series. Renaissance resident Marcus James selects and mixes this compilation of dancelands current big tunes from the world of Progressive House. With a bit of a Progressive backlash coming into force and dancefloors demanding more creative mixing and sounds, this mix veers away from the usual tribal sound that we've been used to recently. Soothing deep house is served up to start in the form of Schmoov and Solaris Heights. Nova Scotia's mix of Echomen's Through To You take things on a very Blue Monday-ish tip, not your usual start to a Renaissance compilation and a welcome change. Things toughen up from then on in, funky sax, bass and beats come to the fore with Saxophobia before an absolute stonker comes in the form of Nosferatu. Echoing violins, menacing choir voices. Its far away from being just another tribal drums track. An old old old classic in the form of Wild Luv makes an appearence which is always nice to see.
The second CD follows a more standard Renaissance path after the latin guitars of the opener. Punchy percussion and moody synths from Herweijer, dark progressive far from Gardner & Thomas and Dave Gahan. A top track in the form of De Moma De, tribal chanting, sparky percussion and a warped little breakdown in the middle. Great track. A classic pops up in the form of Danny Tenaglia's remix of The Orb's dance classic Little Fluffy Clouds, dark menacing and trippy, before the mix is rounded of with a wicked extatic vocal track Strings Of Life, always reminds me of Funk D'Void's Diabla.
All in all, a solid mix, more variety of sounds that you'd usually expect to hear, Marcus James' mix programming is spot on too, always a nice sense of movement and purpose with both CDs. Love the way the basslines meld together with the blend between Prophecies and Again & Again on the first disc. Something you can bang out in the car, as well as sit and listen to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flawless, 25 Aug 2004
By 
G. Dowell "gregga17" (amersham, bucks) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Renaissance Sound Of Vol 2 (Audio CD)
This really is a stunning compilation, everything from the mixing (done live none the less), the track selection and the packaging is top notch. I really enjoyed sound in motion, but felt that in that mix zabiela sometimes sacrificed track selection for technical scratching and fx. However, in Alive not only does JZ show off his amazing skills, but also programmes a great set which is both faster and more exciting than his previous offering. This cd is mainly breaks orientated but also contains some great progressive and tech house, with plenty of variety to keep you interested.
highlights of the cd include the awesome home made intro to cd1, and the underworld bootleg to name but a few.
If you are fan of Zabiela or quality dance music in general this is as essential as it gets
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Technically perfect but........., 4 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Renaissance Sound Of Vol 2 (Audio CD)
I found Alive amazing from a technical mixing point, however, I just found that, in order to show off all the dj'ing skills, the actual tunes were somewhat dull and boring. As a Dj myself I was interested to hear what he has done and the sleeve notes were a good read in conjunction with the disc, but the overall listening experience didn't really excite me at all. The second disc is much better than the first and there were a couple of stand out tunes towards the end (Reach)..but, I didn't think they warranted the asking price.
My advice, see the guy live...
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars C**P!, 11 July 2005
This review is from: Renaissance Sound Of Vol 2 (Audio CD)
Right then I am not going to beat about the bush hear I am going to get straight to the point & say that the alive renaissance mix by james z was the worse renaissance mix that I have ever heard. In fact I had to keep checking the cd cover to make sure it was renaissance becouse very rearly do they let me down, there was to much stoping & starting & far to many annoying technical noises for my likeing. I'm sorry but I got more enjoyment listning to my mothers shakeing stevens cd's then I did this one!
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Renaissance Sound Of Vol 2
Renaissance Sound Of Vol 2 by Various Artists (Audio CD - 2007)
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