By the rather narrow measurement of international superstardom, Johnny Fiasco never quite reached the pinnacle achieved by his immediate peers, Derrick Carter and Mark Farina, but perhaps this is only because Fiasco has spent too much of his time in the studio, producing a catalog of releases for revered labels such as Casual and Distance that far outpaces the records made by his globe-trotting friends.This compilation mixes 14 of Fiasco's favorite dancefloor burners, and there really isn't a stinker in the bunch. Opening with the smooth vibes and sax of "Rise," the mellow mood quickly get out of the way as the storming "Keep On Dancing" plows through the mix, a classic warehouse party jam if there ever was one. The heavy-duty Latin groove doesn't let up through familiar club selections like "Reflex" and "Sunrise," but finally gives way for the more techy sounds of Fiasco's equally popular "Zapped"." "Fundamental" breaks things down as far as they can go, reducing the hearty rhythms into DBX like quirks and bleeps before building back up to the soul- sampling "Circus"." The non-stop party energy of Fiasco's music can become a bit tiring over the course of 70 minutes, but its impossible to deny the infectious energy that is the basis for all of his musical achievements. House music needs more producers who aren't afraid to cut loose like this.
Cycles: A Mixed Retrospective Review
by Joshua Glazer