April 16, 2009


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DJ Hell, Teufelswerk
International Dee Jay Gigolo Records [import], April 28

If you really want to get insolent, you could pooh-pooh electroclash — the genre DJ Hell pioneered — as an oafish fumbling in the back seat involving disco, Devo, ‘80s Bowie and electro, ie art-punk music for technoids. It had its time, certainly; there once was a Hell record that had a Ft. spot starring Puff Daddy, if that says anything, but let’s not start, and Miss Kittin is still around, serving as the genre’s singing Twiggy.

Why should you hate this stuff, aside from the endless posturing, which you can be sure a few too many of its players take seriously?  Well, any bug-eyed head-fake at the bouncers guarding the velvet ropes is good for the country, for one thing, so maybe you shouldn’t, really.

Wouldn’t matter to Hell, anyway, content in an over-the-top exercise in self-indulgence here — two CDs, 16 total songs, you read it right. The things go on forever, and right when that’s starting to sink in, holy hamburgers, it’s Diddy again, rambling over all eight musky, bassy minutes of “The DJ” about what a bummer it is that today’s jocks don’t play “18-minute versions.” Jeez, Diddy, you try standing there looking important for that long without any opportunity to pretend you just invented beat-matching. BEWS