Wed, 26 Apr 2006 16:40:53
Songs from This Album
Album Reviews: ElectrolushSan Francisco's Om Records has quietly established itself as America's premier deep house label, home to such heavy hitters as Miguel Migs, Andy Caldwell, Colette, Kaskade and Mark Farina, to name just a few. So they're not the first label you'd think of when the word "electro" comes up. If Om has a signature sound, it's all about warm, sensual vocals, jazzy keyboards and quietly funky basslines, not the cheesy, Eurotrash synths and coked-out vocals of electro. But take those two opposing styles -- Om's soulfulness and electro's icy, catwalk cool -- and put them together, and you get Electrolush, which as dance music compilations go is about as good as it gets.
Billed as "the very best of minimal and electro nouveau," Electrolush is pretty much exactly what you'd expect a bunch of diehard househeads to come up with when asked to put together a collection of electro-themed tracks. The best cuts featured here are house anthems in structure, spirit and tempo -- but they're all glammed-out for the costume ball, wearing their best platform boots, feather boas and heavy eyeshadow. Fans of Om might even recognize a few of these tracks in their streets clothes -- Chuck Love's outstanding "Living at Night" gets pimped out by Jimpster, and Andy Caldwell turns up the funk factor on Colette's "What Will She Do For Love" with a nasty little synth bassline. It's fun to hear these and other familiar house tracks slumming it with electro's shamelessly roof-raising synthesizer hooks, electronic handclaps and other kitschy but undeniably effective tricks of the trade.
At its best, Electrolush mines tracks that are every bit as ass-shaking as the rest of the Om catalog -- Art of Tones' "Catch the Pig," Mike Monday's remix of Shur-I-Kan's "Living Inside," and especially the almost painfully funky Patrick Turner mix of Marco Da Souza's "PBC" -- and rubs them up against some of nu-electro's more leftfield sounds, like Solid Groove's almost schizophrenic "This is Sick," which skips giddily from airy/pretty to dark/sleazy and back again like a DJ with a hyperactive crossfader. A few tracks succumb to electro's old habit of annoyingly campy vocals (hello, Chicken Lips), but for the most part, Om has assembled the cream of the crop here. House DJs and fans looking to add a little postmodern sleaze to their collections should snap this one up. - Andy Hermann
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