Paul van Dyk Reflections

[Mute; 2003]

Styles: house music, techno-pop
Others: BT, Paul Oakenfold

cord that is obviously better appreciated in a large dark room with hundreds of sweaty undulating bodies bouncing off of each other in a wash of neon lights? Too much information time: will(oma is sitting in front of his monitor in his underwear in his cluttered studio apartment on a cold rainy day at three in the afternoon. What can this incarnation of me possibly have to say about this throbbing, pulsing synth-laden music?

Well, first of all, I can easily testify from the mountaintops that you've definitely heard it before -- but wait, let's check out track two. Okay, so far a little more mellow. But something is obviously coming to the -- oh! It's singing! "There's a time for us to let go/ There's a time for holding on." Yes, I suppose that's very true. "A time to live and a time to die." Okay. So it's a sort of techno-pop updating of The Byrd's "Turn, Turn Turn." Neato! And it's so clean and strident and positive and life affirming. Maybe I'll take my noose down; I keep tripping and almost hanging myself as I walk around the pad anyway. Track three. "Be aware of the world and stay true to your conscience," sings sultry chanteuse Vega 4. Wow. Head jostling techno breaks and self-help books, I can dig it. You know, I've often thought that dance music was all about sex and drugs, but now I know better.

The closest I've come to appreciating anthemic, mantra spewing dance music like this would have to be Goldie's jungle masterpiece, Timeless. Though it's not a house record, it had the same (properly cranked up) heavenly synth washes and headrush- inducing crescendos. But this is stuff for coked-up tarts and botox victims trying to blow off steam after a hard day of downsizing. This is corporate party music right down to the sleekly composed album artwork consisting of the DJ in various scenic locales, modeling various designer outfits. If you don't already have any BT or Paul Oakenfold or whatever, go ahead and pick this up. Just as a warning though: it might not sound as good in a second hand Datsun as it might in Mercedes. And if you're the type who, like me, prefers to hear something a little more intricate and unstreamlined and, well original, then you should ignore this release. As it is, those who seek these kinds of sounds out probably won't be reading this anyway, so fuckit. There's no crossover appeal on this most recent Paul van Dyk release, just more strident music to rave on to. (It might not sound as good to you when you're barfing up mix drinks in the loo while your date holds your hair back, though.)

1. Crush
2. Time of Our Lives
3. Like a Friend
4. Reflections
5. Nothing But You
6. Buenaventura
7. Homage
8. Never Forget
9. Knowledge
10. That's Life
11. Connected
12. Spellbound
13. Kaleidoscope

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