Various Artists

Hardclubbing, Vol. 3

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Some American club hounds insist that if a dance club DJ wants to be cutting-edge and hip rather than conventional, he or she has to pay serious attention to European imports -- and, to be sure, a lot of experimental dance music has come out on European labels. Club hounds who hold European releases in high regard should be aware of Hardclubbing 3, a collection of underground dance music that came out in Sweden in 1997. Underground is definitely the key word where this collection is concerned -- focusing on trance, ambient music and other club-oriented electronic styles, this CD gives you a taste of what Europeans were moving to at underground dance clubs and raves in the late 1990s. Spotlighting such artists as Rhythm in Progress, Pierre J, First Movement and Twin and Eric Erickson, Hardclubbing 3 isn't about vocal personality. Even if a tune isn't entirely instrumental, the only voices you hear come from samples or sound bites. The rhythm track isn't just a part of the overall picture on these recordings -- it's everything. To be sure, this type of music -- although interesting and fun to dance to -- has its limitations outside of a club setting. It isn't the sort of music you'd want to sit down and listen to all day in your home. But for those who are interested in the 1990s underground club culture, Hardclubbing 3 is worth looking for.

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