Various Artists

Electro Avengers: Attack on Planet Funk, Vol. 1

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One of a million rave compilations to be released in the '90s, this CD survives the test of time, not as a classic sample of electronica, but as an artifact from a time that predates genre segregation. In other words, with its electro beats, funky breaks, acid melodies, bazooka bass, and trance histrionics, these tracks remind listeners of a time when everything was called techno and the only requirement for a record's popularity was how it would go over on a dancefloor. The two most sustainable tracks open the compilation. Frog Junkie's "Air Guitar" is infinitely memorable, with its fearless sirens and "Yo party people!" refrain that easily competes with the Chemical Brothers' early party-rocking hits. Ellis Dee's "I've Seen the Future" is more relaxed yet equally mesmerizing, with an opening synth line that recalls "Trans Euro Express" and another definitive vocal hook. An archaic breaks cut by party staple DJ Dan under his Electroliners guise recalls a time when a "Ghetto Train" rhythm wasn't seen as kitschy, and the inclusion of "Let the Bass Kix" by legendary LFO main man Mark Bell proves that everybody was doing it. Some may shun these cuts as guilty pleasures left over from a wasted youth. But as forerunners to more sophisticated (and homogenized) genres like nu breaks, plus the purist electro revival of now, it is too easy to discount these selections. This stuff will be popular again.

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