Judge Jules

Clubber's Guide to Ibiza Summer 99

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Relatively disposable collection of trance-friendly tunes all slapped around by the much-celebrated Judge Jules. Jules has usually been unabashedly precious over such Gatecrasher super-club tuneage, and even here -- with yet another Ministry of Sound compilation -- it shows. Which isn't necessarily a crime. Even on the more R&B-flavored first disc, the coitus-gasping "Luvstruck" is a nicely dirty trance tune (proving that not all trance has to be sugar coated), Kulay's "Burn" steps along with retro-sounding brass and swagger, and Candi Staton's "Love on Love" trumpets with effective bounce. However, make no mistake: other than a few songs that stick out, it's more or less a homogenized, predictable mess. DJ Dan's horrible "Needle Damage" is here. So is the sparkly candy "He's All I Want" by Angel Moon. Even when disc two handles itself better (with the terrific, echoey beats of the Olmecheads' "Spiritualised" and the fun trance-by-numbers of Gouryella's effort), it still sags on its own overly touchy-feely weight. It's not until the final song of the final disc that it shows just how good it can be: here, Jules proves that he at least knows how to show up his peers as his own track, "Tantrum," (under his recording title Hi-Gate) is a stimulating pulse of keyboard tickling and huge beats. So again, there is little reason why this release demands two full discs. If Jules refused the demands of double-disc compilations, he could've tightened it all up and created a solid, respectable entity. Instead, we are given a decent yet forgettable mixture of simple house and syrupy trance. It's too bad, really. Jules has done much better before and after this, so this is far from a required release. At the end of the day, it's just fine for background fun, but hardly anything that will change anybody's life.

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