Gavin Hardkiss

Through Rose Tinted Glasses

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Quick, count (on one hand, probably) the number of really compelling continuous-mix albums you can think of. Now add one to that number because the latest from DJ Gavin Hardkiss is one for the ages. Hardkiss is the founder of the Hardkiss and Sunburn labels, and also records under the stage name Hawke. Through Rose Tinted Glasses is something of a showcase for the Sunburn brand, consisting of a continuous remix of tracks originally released on that label. Hardkiss avoids the most common downfall of continuous-mix albums -- unrelenting rhythmic monotony -- by mixing and matching his treatments and turning the whole thing into a crazy quilt of dance music styles; the press materials list such rhythmic components as "new school breaks, jet set disco, super electro-dub and the Afro-Latin tropical sounds of global precipitation," but those who approach dance music less like a wine-tasting and more as a way to have fun will mostly hear variations on the basic themes of house and breakbeat funk. There are other influences too, of course: the Brazilian percussion on Lovesky's "Drums 4 Better Daze," the human beatbox on Rebel Crew's "Bounce," the jungly tweakage on Freeloaders' "Konvertible." Hardkiss saves the best for last, reserving the exceptional Latin hip-hop of the Rebel Crew for the end of the program, where they are given no fewer than four tracks. Excellent.

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