John Thomas

Caught in the Act

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Clocking over 30 tracks, John Thomas has produced a basic compendium of loop-based techno as it appeared at the turn of the century. All of the major names -- Mills, Hood, Umek, Sims -- are included. And there are lots and lots of drums and hi-hats with the occasional repeating sample (usually just a conga or a microscopic vocal snippet). Thomas also mixes very fast, with few tracks making it over the three-minute mark. But unlike most quick-mix DJs, he remains smooth in transition, only occasionally using a very live sounding cut or scratch. All this adds up to is a whole lot to do about nothing. Thomas is doing nothing that hasn't been done many times before, and with substantially more style and substance. Compare this CD to Robert Hood's contribution to the Caught in the Act series, and it's easy to see why the latter is more well-known globally. While Hood's mix rode the breakneck pace that he is distinctly known for, Thomas just mashed together some records in a manner that sounds haphazard at best and lazy at worst. There are certainly no builds or drops to mark the time over 70 minutes. Just a bunch of DJ tools by notable producers that are definitely not being used to their potential.