Derrick Carter

Choice: A Collection of Classics

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Derrick Carter follows Frankie Knuckles, François Kevorkian, Danny Tenaglia, and Tony Humphries in one of the most impressive DJ series running. As the producer and DJ conveys in the liner notes, the project was taken extremely seriously, and he reached the finish line after an arduous process of track selecting, sequencing, and mixing. This two-disc set, like the others in the series, homes in on material that has played a crucial role in the development of dance music; though a couple tracks date from the '90s, the set is dominated by music that helped form the sound of Chicago's clubs and airwaves from the late '70s through the end of the '80s. It starts off in grand, loopy style, with Savage Progress' "Heart Begins to Beat" -- an off-kilter regional favorite full of feral percussion, drunken horn blurts, and pouty vocals that predated Siouxsie & the Banshees' "Peek-a-Boo" by four years. The remainder of the first disc is heavy on oddball disco, from Klein + M.B.O.'s "The MBO Theme" to the Adnaloy 12" mix of Kid Creole & the Coconuts' "Yolanda," but it also fits in later tracks, like the Staple Singers' cover of Talking Heads' "Slippery People" and Lil' Louis & the World's "Nyce and Slow (The Luv Bug)" (one of those tunes where the title offers the perfect description). The second disc is just as stimulating, filled out with highlights like A Guy Called Gerald's "Trip City (Milton Keynes Mix)," Mr. Fingers' "Mystery of Love (Dub Mix)," Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle's "Baby Wants to Ride (House of Trix)," and uh, yeah(?), Jean Paul Gaultier's "How to Do That." The mixing is done with emphasis on the tracks, not the transitions; Carter doesn't attempt to pull off anything fancy, choosing instead to let each selection play out as much as possible. As alluded to above, a nice bonus is the extensive liner notes. Carter also spends the space providing track-by-track commentary; full of anecdotes and witty asides, they go far beyond the customary "This one's great -- I was the first in my city to cane this"-type malarkey.

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