Friday, January 06, 2006

Hi-Phen Pile Up! Smash! Oh Noes!

Bit behind the 8-ball on this one, an 05 mix of tracks largely from 04: picked up for a steal at the January sales, Hi-Phen Pile Up Volume 1: A Crash Course In Dance Sequences is like the perfect generic electro-house mix. It’s producer Mugwump AKA Geoffroy mixing tracks taken mostly from his Hi-Phen label, a “Belgian deep house” label its website sez, but it’s about as much deep house as, say, Playhouse or Music For Freaks (which it frequently resembles) are . Deep house may be in its blood to be sure, but this stuff couldn’t be more capitalist ploy electro-housey if it tried. And when I say electro-house I mean electro-HOUSE: monstrous sultry percussion on display at every turn, uniting the divergent trips through tracky Cajual-style US house, brazen italo revivalism, bracing Vitalic-style stomp, post-Jaxx cut-up Prince action, eerie space disco... It’s like early Get Physical with all the influences and sonic affectations yet to be digested and reconstituted, swirling round at the back of your throat with a crude and chewy flavoursomeness.

Too many highlights here: Mugwump’s remix of Jeff Bennett’s “Sitting Bull” (all bouncing electro bass and skanking synth chords) is like DJ T’s “Time Out” soaked in Jamaican rum. The Artifical Arm’s “Welcome To Planet Funk” is shamelessly monomaniacal italo-disco, closer to Mixed Up in the Hague populism than Metro Area precision. Optimus’s “Deadly Dub” delves into continental shelf bass rumbles to uncover the fossils of first wave Chicago house percussion. Mugwump’s “Mudcleaner” is an uptempo number in a musical starring two mainframe computers serenading each other in morse code. Abe Duque’s remix of Chloe’s “Take Care” can’t decide whether it wants to indulge in remorseless body pummelling or starry-eyed space exploration. Rob Mello’s remix of Silent Partner’s “Down By Dub” has no greater ambition than to bustle cheerfully in the magnificent shadow of Patrick Cowley’s remix of “I Feel Love”. And, fittingly enough, this drifts into Lindstrom’s stately, expansive “I Feel Space” (beloved of Elijah), sounding even more like a lonely windswept peak-time record than usual. Not a record for those who like their DJ mixes epochal, but highly recommended to everyone else.

5 Comments:

Blogger Ronan said...

this is a great label. optimus do some stuff for it too sometimes. my favourite mugwump thing is on eskimo tho, his remix of "alive and kicking" by jean winner. check it out!

10:26 AM  
Anonymous geoffroy said...

this is a great review...im workin on the follow-up btw...u should check my other label i do with eskimo, suicide recordings, info on the eskimo site if interested...
nice reading here...greets from brussels
geoffroy/mugwump

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