Various Artists

Digital Disco, Vol. 2

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From a strictly quality-oriented standpoint, Digital Disco 2 is every bit the equal of the inconsistent but generally enjoyable first volume. Its overall sound falls somewhere between the Crydamoure label's Waves compilation-mixes and Ghostly's Disco Nouveau, though it's not quite as vibrant or as thrilling or as fresh-sounding as those releases. During the late '90s and early 2000s, Force Tracks was at the front of the minimal-minded microhouse movement -- best exemplified by Andrew Weatherall's all-Force Tracks Hypercity mix and Luomo's peerless Vocal City -- and the label's gradual move toward a more robust, pro-pop, Italo-disco-influenced sound means that the label isn't nearly as ahead of the game as it once was. All negative issues (which may be nonissues for some) aside, Digital Disco 2 nonetheless has a healthy amount of joyous, unstuffy house tracks, with the bulk of the selections coming straight from the Force Tracks stable. MRI, Luomo, Dub Taylor, and Håkan Lidbo (as D:Exter this time) reprise their roles from the first volume. Lidbo's "Things Have Changed [Adjuster Remix]" is the best of that crop, combining disco glitz and deep-house emotion without falling victim to either element's cornier aspects. The title of Adjuster's own "Moscow Disco" tips a hat to Telex's "Moscow Diskow," but the actual track owes more to the fizzy French house dealt out by the likes of Daft Punk and Archigram. Steve Angello's "Feel Good" (where the comp climaxes) goes down a similar route, with a sped-up vocal sample and a wonderfully glossy disco arrangement thrown into trebly overdrive. The surfeit of remixes is a tad annoying, especially in light of the fact that most of the original versions (Akufen's "My Way," Luomo's "Tessio") are far superior.

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