Junior Vasquez

Earth Music 2

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As an international icon for club culture, Junior Vasquez is best known for his high-profile productions for the diva and fashionista set. But as a DJ, Vasquez has maintained nearly nonstop New York City residencies for almost two decades. And as this live recording taken from one of his late-a.m. sessions reveals, he hasn't maintained his status as a DJ god by playing nice. In fact, contrary to the first Earth Music compilation which highlighted the lineup of clubland divas who have appeared at his weekly party of the same name, Earth Music 2 takes those same mainstream dance clich├ęs and twists them completely around, creating a dark and pounding tribal workout where every overused synth stab and diva wail becomes a welcome break amidst the exhilarating and overwhelming stomp. Half of the tracks found here have Vasquez's own producer or remixer credits on them, while most of the others have been heavily manipulated by his turntable trickery and live effects manipulation. The opening "You Gotta Believe" takes the well-recognized "You gotta believe in something" vocal and hacks it with a digital repeater before letting loose with a barrage of marching drums and flute calls. The following "I Got Something" takes the archetypal disco classic "Let No Man Put Asunder" and updates it for modern psychosis with reversed drum loops and jerky builds and drops. Amidst the mayhem, soulful vocals on "Show Me" and "Weep" offer a gentle calm within the storm, but they don't last. The lasting impact of Earth Music 2 is one of exhaustion, excitement, and a wicked desire to do it all again next weekend.

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