Various Artists

Future Disco, Vol. 5: Downtown Express

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It should probably come as little surprise that "future disco" sounds, in most important ways, an awful lot like past disco: thumping four-on-the-floor beats, sumptuous candy-coated synth washes, rhythm guitars that alternately cluck and glisten, minimal lyrics. Note, for example, the Syndromes' "The Hit," which is replete with Cameo-style synth squiggles, old-school clavinet grunts, and super-funky guitar parts; the lyrics consist entirely of the phrases "Hit it" and "That's right," until the little-girl singers come in saying "Turn it up and turn around/Funk is our salvation." (The major thing that's missing from future disco is the string section, but you'll hardly miss it.) As with past disco, the key is to abandon yourself to the silliness and just enjoy it: the sci-fi synths and egregious echo on the Tiger & Woods remix of Tensnake's "Need Your Lovin," the relentless thud of Mario Basanov's remix of Metronomy's "Corinne," the way that Benoit & Sergio manage to evoke both Soft Cell and Kraftwerk on "Principles" while creating a dance groove that is utterly irresistible. The program is presented in two ways on two discs: in an uninterrupted mix of 18 tracks on the first disc, and in an unmixed program that includes 11 of those tracks on a second disc. It's kind of a strange presentation, but really a nonissue given that the whole package is priced as a single disc.

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