on 13 May 2005
The first installment of Fear and Loathing launched straight into a full on techno assault, it made my brain scream the words "I HAVE MUCH CRY!". While this initially terrified me I found that the second CD in the package was a very tasty bass led journey through electronic house & techno. The downer about this was that I was left feeling that I had but 50% use out of the package due to my eardrums primal fear of the initial CD.
Now I didn't let this put me off the Luke Slater mix experience, hence I find myself here reviewing the 2nd in the Fear and Loathing series. I had good vibes about this mix anyway just from looking at the track listing. Plenty of good tracks and artists that I already knew and loved; Bola, Brothomstates, Nathan Fake, James Holden, Throbbing Gristle ... the initial signs were good. From the moment I stuck this mix on I knew that it was a much better structured mix than the previous installment. The first CD leads you via soothing ambience and some top moments in electronic house ... gently building you up for the 2nd CDs tech house moments. By the time we hit full swing techno at the end of the mix, I'm all nicely warmed up and loving it. Much more fun than being slammed straight into the old saucepan banging that Fear and Loathing 1 introduced you to!
Now if I can level a criticism at the mix its at the mixing displayed. It appears to be a cross between live mixing and digital editing. Fades between the tracks include all bumps, scrapes and slips expected with live mixing ... those who are of the pro-tools generation may wrinkle their nose at this. Also, it appears that there is some post mix editing since things like A Break In The Clouds breakdown being shortened and Matala Bobo's ending being rearranged are obvious to people who know the tracks in pre-mix form. Now I'm assuming this is post-mix editing, for all I know it may be in mix trickery thanks to many decks and an effects unit. The result is a finished product that sounds very raw. If this was 'Funky House Mix Blandathon 2005' then I'd be spewing bile, but thanks to Luke's ambitious track selection ... this is something you can take on board and accept.
It throws up some questions about the state of our big name DJs and their compilations. Are we being spoilt by being brought up on pro-tool mixes and mixes from the laptop? Nothing more to destroy a budding DJs confidence to hear yet ANOTHER flawless mix when their own home crafted CD shows warts and all. Something to think about while you listen to this perhaps?