DJ Fresh

Escape from Planet Monday

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The first solo album by British producer and remixer DJ Fresh (a longtime mover in the global drum'n'bass underground who runs a popular website and message board besides his prodigious list of credits), Escape from Planet Monday is straightforward club-oriented dance music with a handful of pop elements. Although the grooves are paramount throughout this 70-minute set, DJ Fresh (aka Dan Stein) fashions his beats into proper songs, with guest vocals from Apollo 440's Mary Byker and the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant, who provides his inimitable vocals on the epic, spacy album closer, "Throw," over a bed of pinging synth washes and a Spanish-style acoustic guitar. Turntablist supreme DJ Shadow provides another key guest spot, providing vintage horn and vocal parts on the slinky groove "Closer," the album's most immediately effective track. However, most of Escape from Planet Monday is a one-man affair, and DJ Fresh is structurally clever and musically aware enough to keep the album interesting and varied throughout.

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