Music:UNKLEsounds--Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats: "TAI" disc
Ferry Corsten--Live at Dance Valley 2001 (mix): This mix, like most of the rest of Ferry Corsten's stuff, is all about the party. More than most DJs, he seems to be about the people he's spinning for, and giving them a good time. Seeing him live a couple of years ago, I found that he connected very well with the audience, and seemed to be enjoying the crowd at least as much as the music and his own skillz. Unsurprisingly, this probably should file under house/trance/dance. My only real objection to the mix is the occasional obligatory live event MC (you know the one, he's got that over-the-top voice) reprasenting for Ferry. Favorite track: The Music in You by Monoboy featuring Delores.
Esthero--Wikked Lil Grrrls: Yeah, I know, "what's IP doing an album with a title like that?!" I actually like this better than her previous album Breath from Another. The spoken-word bits sprinkled into the music and the somewhat rough-edged production give it an impact that is hard to pass up, and at her best, the music measures up to Morcheeba's. Plus, she's Canadian, eh! (Although she's now in El Eh. &8-P )
Shout Out Out Out Out--Not Saying / Just Saying: Another gift from DJ Neuron. This one is pretty crazy stuff from Alberta, very hard to classify. Electro, but not fully pop, house, trance, or dance. Worth listening to, with good variety over the disc. Overall, the feel is fairly energetic, with strong beats and guitar-driven melodies and basslines. Synths have their place, of course, but they aren't the core of the music. Guitars are claiming their rightful place in electronica, and these guys are helping. Favorite track: Your Shitty Record Won't Mix Itself.
Enigma--Voyageur: Just in time before they release their next album, I caught their last one. If you haven't heard any of their work, shave off the mountain-man beard and rejoin civilization. Assuming that you have heard at least something from their first 4 albums, number 5 (Voyageur) is similar in flavor, but a bit harder and heavier, and maybe a bit colder, in feel. It's a competent album, and I like it, but I do kind of wish they'd take a risk and evolve their music a bit more. Let's just say that if you didn't like their earlier albums, this one won't convert you. If you did, yay! there's more now.
Casino Versus Japan--Whole Numbers Play the Basics: Another hard-to-classify disc. This one is more ambient, but not beatless. The instrumentation is fairly full, but the melodies are minimalism-influenced. The overall effect is very good for flow state, but it's hard music to really focus on. I notice it mainly when it ends and I think, "hey, it's over already? but that was nice!"
Dr. Octagon--The Return of Dr. Octagon: Really not my usual thing... it seems hexpiritus and company are generating an appreciation for spoken-word in me. I don't have all the axes to describe this fully, but to my ear, it has very good beat and flow, and he has interesting and unusual things to say. He's not one of those too-cool faux-gangstas, who I can't stand: gangsta cred ends when you've made your first million, guys. Hip-hop for smart people? Is that allowed?