Joey Negro

The Trip

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Joey Negro's edition of The Trip sports what must be the most daring track list in the series, especially since it comes from someone who has helped accessorize the record collections of the most cred-conscious clubbers. This ain't no Disco Not Disco -- it's not even Kings of Disco or Destination: Boogie. (Those discs, compiled with either Sean P or Dimitri from Paris, are some of the most prized crate-diving excursions of the early 2000s.) Keeping with the whimsical, unpredictable thread that has run throughout the other volumes of the series, Negro routinely picks a couple unexpected tracks for every one that makes sense, and his way of sequencing the loathed next to both the unknown and the loved helps show how the distances between the three categories is less substantial than most might think. Obscure '70s French electro-disco (Arpadys' "Monkey Star") and a modern-day analog (Metro Area's "Atmosphrique") appear within minutes of saccharine singer/songwriter fluff (Christopher Cross' "Ride Like the Wind") and well-moussed sophisti-pop (Double's "Captain of Her Heart") -- two waiting-room classics that might make you wonder if Negro is looking to gain a DJ residency at a dentist office. The Tubes and Glen Miller aren't likely to show up on the same release ever again, and the same could be said of Jan Hammer and the Dells. It's clear that Negro has taken almost every opportunity to break free from his reputation as a disco and house jock, and though crusty elves Jethro Tull, jazz diva Nancy Wilson, ZTT drones Propaganda, and CTI mystics Seawind really have no business sharing the same space, they're part of a bizarre party mix that makes for a smoother listen than anyone could have anticipated. Even if you can't appreciate much of what's here, you have to at least give Negro -- as well as Family Recordings -- some credit for putting together a set that is almost completely idiosyncratic (or just loony).

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