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The grand tradition of Dj-mix albums continues with this latest limited edition Soulwax collection “2 many DJ’s”, which crams 48 tracks into little over an hour. Whereas the concept of the Dj-mix album nowadays seems to consist of little more than whatever cheap top 10 hits the Ministry of Sound can license cheaply crossmixed together, this album does much, much more than serve up reheated chart shite. For a start, unlike most Mix albums which just crossfade tracks together, “2 many DJ’s” is a constantly changing, constantly evolving palette of sound that crosses over many genres; from 70’s stadium rock to punk and funk via easy listening and electro, quite often at the same time, for an eclectic and occasionally challenging listening experience that is worth a thousand of any “massive chart hits DJ mix” album.
Quite who had the idea of starting this eclectic set with ELP’s cover of the Blues standard “Peter Gunn” was inspired, but dropping *Basement Jaxx over the top of that to exhilarating effect is only a precusor to a CD that often mixes together such unlikely and disparete elements to such great effect creating something new, you wonder why its not done more often, but let alone it then goes into Peaches “fuck the pain away” and then The Velvet Underground. The medley of the *Stooges and Salt N’ Pepa is similarly inspired….and its as if Soulwax have tried to take the ethos of DJ to a higher level; is it to entertain? Or to educate? Or both?
If it is to merely entertain, then the music itself has no intrinsic meaning. If it is to educate and inform, then the music has a duty; to challenge the listeners prejudices , to expand the listeners mind, to break out of one simple genre : something that you will never find on a Paul Oakenfold speed-trance mix CD or one of a Moving Shadow mix CD, which remain in the cliqued safely in their chosen genre, but something this achieves with dexterity. The closest precedent to this CD so far is probably Liam Howletts *“Dirtchamber” Sessions, a similarly constantly evolving album which leapt from the Sex Pistols to the Ultramagnetic MC’s in a matter of minutes, never seeming out of place._ “2 Many DJ’s”_ carries on the same tradition - It draws no boundaries in the music it uses, from garage punk to stadium rock dinosaurs, from Berlin electro to rap, from easy listening to bad cheesy pop (in the best possible way) of course. It draws from all different shades of the spectrum without prejudice to brilliant effect. Who else can you imagine putting Dolly Parton and *The Residents in the same mix?
“2 Many DJ’s” is one of the most disparate DJ-mix albums in a long time: if anything should give the complacent stadium-trance DJ’s a kick up the arse and rejuvenate the art of the mix album out of the safe, predictable, corporate cash-in, this is that album. Dj’s, listen and learn.
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