Adam Freeland

Gloabl Underground: Mexico City

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As most music scenes do, dance music has become horribly and irrevocably Balkanized over the past 15 years. House, breakbeat, jungle, and techno have all splintered into numerous subgenres, and those subgenres have split again and again, until the styles have become so numerous and the distinctions between them so minute that only the most obsessive can keep track of them. And the exponents of each subgenre dig themselves into musical grooves that get deeper and narrower with every passing weekend. That's what makes Adam Freeland such a breath of fresh air. Though he comes from the general tradition of breakbeat, he spins a wide variety of music and worries less about showing off his beat-matching virtuosity than he does about keeping his audiences engaged both in mind and at the level of the hips. His two-disc contribution to the Global Underground series is a perfect example of his kitchen-sink approach: you've got your '80s-style electro-pop (Mylo's "Paris 400 (As We Fall Remix)," KIM's "Wet 'n' Wild (Midnight Juggernaughts Mix)"), your blockheaded breaks (Justice's "Phantom"), your glitchy micro-funk ("Lump" by James Holden). And, Freeland being Freeland, you get some actual songs thrown in for good measure -- the best of them being Silverspun Pickups' brittle yet tuneful "Lazy Eye." You've got a few overlong and underdeveloped stretches of utilitarian club beats as well, but you get the feeling that that's just to make sure the album gets put in the right bin. Strongly recommended.

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