X-Cabs

Exposure, Vol. 1

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The first volume in the Hook mix series, Exposure, comes from X-Cabs, with Vegas Soul one of the two guises for label-head Chris Cowie. Cowie's one of the main progenitors of edgy trance in England, the man who signed star American mixer Christopher Lawrence. This two-disc set, one a mix album and the second a collection of 12" (re)mixes, has bucketloads of the own -- and own-label -- productions that few figures do in such an unashamed fashion as Cowie and Hook. Kicking off with a driving trance stormer from Sandra Collins' (her 1999 single "Flutterby"), Exposure, Vol. 1 certainly provides what the title promises, though these productions -- most of them by DJs, for DJs, with DJs in mind -- have a samey feel that don't make for interesting listening. Certainly, they're easy to slot into a set -- rarely wavering from 110-120 bpm -- but quite difficult to pick out from one another. "Infectious," Cowie's own X-Cabs' track, is one of a handful rising above the pack. The second disc, a thoughtful but hardly necessary collection of 12" mixes, includes one lone Hook classic (Lawrence's "Shredder") along with newer or rarer productions from Transa and Liquid Art.

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