Psyche Out

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The only artist present on both How to Kill the DJ, Pt. 2 and Psyche Out is the Stranglers, the least fitting representatives for either mix. The Stranglers are known more for inciting brawls than packing dancefloors, and neither one of the band's contributions exceeds a minute. Despite the flimsy but noticeable connection, Psyche Out is an extremely different animal compared to the helter-skelter How to Kill the DJ, focusing on the mind-altering qualities that often run through strains of jazz, rock, soul, disco, and purely electronic dance music. This imagines a utopian venue where Larry Heard opens for the Temptations, where Arthur Russell and Herbie Hancock meet to exchange ideas, where Syd Barrett and Ron Hardy are equally revered. The Optimo duo is less quick to switch tracks and tacks, so the ride is a lot smoother here than it is on How to Kill the DJ, with the inclusions often given a few minutes to air out. The blends are often long and discreet enough to the point where you occasionally have to be on the ball in order to pinpoint where one track begins and another ends. Acid Test's "Test One" and Simple Minds' "Theme for Great Cities" overlap enough to be considered a mash-up; this is the headiest moment in the mix, like feeling claustrophobic in an empty stadium (or secluded in a cramped sweat box). When placed in this kind of atmosphere, the tracks rarely known for hallucinatory effect manage to take on new shapes -- even Dinosaur's giddily loose "Kiss Me Again" sounds as if its wobbliness is being tripled, and something as rigid and cyclical as the Carl Craig mix of Throbbing Gristle's "Hot on the Heels of Love" comes off slightly gelatinous. While Psyche Out couldn't have been as much of a strain to put together as How to Kill the DJ, its unique concept and ideal realization makes it equally admirable and enjoyable.

blue highlight denotes track pick