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Various Artists
DEFECTED IN THE HOUSE
(Defected)
Stars graphics

The liner notes that accompany this three-CD British import offer an accurate summation of the Defected labelís mission: "Some DJís have become too serious about themselves. . . . We do not take ourselves too seriously. . . . Defected in the House is all about having a great Saturday night!!!" That was the spirit that made classic disco, and itís that spirit that inspires these three discs, each of which is mixed in a different style. The first combines soulful pop with garage-style house and some Africanism; the second is mostly acid trance; the last is deeply soulful and furiously tribal. The individual DJs who handled the segueing and song selecting are not identified, yet their anonymous improvisations always satisfy, and often excite, a dancerís imagination. Overlays, quick cuts, and echo blends all push, kick, roll, and tumble the music as it shifts from solid sending to flirty insubstantiality and back. The gospel vocals that kick off the third CD reach for the sky, wail and riff, and dissolve to tribal beats and echoes of well-remembered nights out before reverting to sky-high gospel.

Exquisite is the move, on the first CD, from Boca Grandeís gravelly percussion song "Push" to the light Africanisms of "Maclan" by Salif Keita vs. Martin Solveig and then to Peace Divisionís electronically flirtatious "Beatz in Peacez." Better still are the setís several instances of overlay intensification, a recent development in mixing in which the DJ extends a songís beat into that of a second song and then, once theyíve blended, turns up the volume on the second rhythm, blasting it and forcing the dancerís feet upward like a rocket taking off. My favorite example of this tactic occurs on the third CD, in the segue from J Majikís "Love Is Not a Game" to Mr. Gís "Lightz G Out Dub" and then into G Club Presents Banda Sonoraís "Pressure Cooker," in which the volume surge occurs just before the male voice echoes the words of Cevin Fisherís house classic "The Way We Were."

BY MICHAEL FREEDBERG


Issue Date: June 4 - 10, 2004
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