Chicken Lips

Body Music - Nite:Life 015

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In more ways than one, Chicken Lips' Body Music mix is laid out like a 2003 version of Playgroup's DJ Kicks set, released a year prior. Not only do producers/DJs Andy Meecham and Dean Meredith -- who at one point were known as dance-chart frequenters Bizarre Inc -- return the favor Playgroup's Trevor Jackson paid them (from DJ Kicks' inclusion of their Nigo dub), but this is also similar in range, basing itself around post-disco tracks that either come from or emulate the late '70s and early '80s. Though the mixing is good enough, the most pleasure comes from the track selections that are made. Major points are scored for the inclusion of Electra's "Feels Good" and Capt. Rapp's "Bad Times"; the latter is one of those heavily synthesized Italo-disco classics that many house DJs have utilized as a secret weapon, while the former, an early Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production, works beautifully as a following track. Playgroup are present twice; Chicken Lips' dub of "Number One," with a brisk, deep keyboard riff functioning as the bass, begins the mix, and a remix of "Make It Happen" (from Ewan Pearson, one of 2003's hottest remixers) shakes up the original with several assaultive synth noises and brittle keyboard stabs. Other highlights come from the Kelley Polar Quartet's spacious and graceful "Hammer/Anvil," Freaks' deceptively nuanced "Where Were You When the Lights Went Out," and Chroma Oscura's closing "Soft Crystal." (Fittingly enough, Meecham and Meredith's own "3 Soaps in One" seems heavily indebted to Daniel Wang, the producer of that last track.) The whole thing has a natural flow to it. From sharp selections to blends that are practical and unforced, Body Music is one of the better mix albums of the year.

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