Various Artists

Dance Mania

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AllMusic Review by

Credit Hamburg, Germany native Alexander Ridha, aka Boys Noize, for doing his part to pay part of a debt owed to Dance Mania, an early and innovative Chicago house label that has inspired younger generations of producers, and has fed a handful of subgenres, across the planet. An atypical tribute album, the misleadingly titled Boysnoize Presents Dance Mania is a compilation of new tracks with the aim of echoing the stripped-down, hard-hitting, sometimes vulgar sound of the Dance Mania catalog. For some serious, history-aware house heads, Ridha and Housemeister's "1988" -- with its sampled vocal interjections of "ghetto" and "1988" over a relatively slick and easier-to-make beat -- will have about as much merit as a white contemporary blues band singing about picking cotton. Several other contributions from young Europeans, such as SCNTST's "Change Dat Tape," Bart B More's "Bounce," and Audionite's "Trax-O-Matic," somehow come across as messier and less crude than Dance Mania's second-tier releases. Original Dance Mania producer DJ Funk chips in with "High Frequency," which just happens to be the set's wildest, most effective track. Adequate as a Boysnoize release but substandard as a tribute to a label with a rich legacy, this had the good fortune of preceding Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997, issued by the Strut label. That anthology, as well as releases from later, lower-profile labels such as Databass, Crème Organization, Mathematics, and Nation, as well as Chicago's footwork and juke producers, provide richer documents of Dance Mania's quakes and aftershocks.

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