Various Artists

The Best of Techno, Vol. 3

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Like most genres of music, techno has its purist hard-liners as well as those who have a broader definition of what is and isn't techno. A purist will exalt the most abrasive, noisy, amelodic act from Germany or Belgium as the essence of techno legitimacy, whereas a more liberal, pop-friendly techno enthusiast will say that while there's certainly nothing wrong with a hardcore approach, it's also OK to combine techno with dance-pop and make it more accessible to the casual listener. A broad-minded outlook defines Vol. 3 of Profile's The Best of Techno series. Some of the material is fairly melodic -- N.R.G.'s "I Need Your Love" has a real song structure (not just a track and a beat) and honest-to-God singing, and a tune like Joey Beltram's "Get into Life" (which is based on part of Lisa Stansfield's vocal on Coldcut's "People, Hold On") is relatively accessible. However, a more hardcore approach to techno is heard on FX Creators' "And You Will Enjoy," Eden Transmission's "I'm so High," and Acen's quirky "Trio II the Moon," none of which have an actual song structure and all of which reject mainstream pop considerations entirely. The goofiest tune on the CD, meanwhile, is Smart E's' techno version of the music from Sesame Street. For those who aren't seasoned ravers, this CD can serve as a diverse and interesting lesson in Introductory Techno 101.

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