December 4, 2008

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Various Artists, Bedrock Past Present Future
Bedrock Records, Nov. 18

Dance fans do have reason to feign a celebratory mood, what with the new mix from UK super-DJ John Digweed bringing the best sounds of both the label and the party from which the name is derived. All the songs – big-deal joints from the likes of Steve Lawler, Josh Wink and Pindrop – are instrumentals, encompassing varying shades of crunch and bloop but, later into things, mainly steeped in Euro-house heavily flirting with trance. What most blows the mind and seats Digweed at the same A-list table as Tiesto and Oakenfold is how he sews the songs together, carefully and seamlessly, as though his life depended on turning the wholes of the first 2 discs (a third CD is unmixed) into 45-odd-minute songs – the man is an alchemist, not a dance-up-drinkers jock. It’s also quite apparent, given the near-total lack of chick-of-the-minute whitebread singers, that his label has a refreshingly inspired vision for the future of the sound itself. AEric W. Saeger