Gatecrasher: Digital

Various Artists

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Gatecrasher: Digital Review

by Joe Silva

It's been said that U.K. clubbing doesn't get much better than a Gatecrasher event, but for those who haven't been fortunate to taste it firsthand since its 1993 inception, this collection is another in a long line of multiple-disc sets commemorating some of the tracks celebrated on their legendary dancefloors. Compiled once again by longtime resident and much-lauded DJ Scott Bond, the first disc ("Beyond the Discotech Generator") begins with the subtle pulse and ethereal vocals of Pop & Art of Trance's "Turkish Bizarre," before picking up the pace with Maurice & Noble's "Faith Delivers (Union Main Room Mix)." And although the momentum flags here and there, as when the CD reaches Canadian DJ Max Graham's contribution ("Sepia"), the vibe is generally re-established quickly enough via items like Signum's semi-haunting "First Strike." The second disc, titled "Back in the N.E.C.," loses considerable thrust, though, with the inclusion of more deadened bits of trance such as V-Two's "Progressive Future" and Marco V's "Simulated," which are mistakenly featured back to back. Salvageable moments include DJ Gollum and DJ Yanny's somewhat hooky "Shadows and Light" and S.H.O.K.K.'s "Isn't It All a Little Strange," which plays at using dynamics and even a moment of prolonged silence (!) to draw revelers in. The last disc is positioned as a chill-out set and begins appropriately enough with just under two minutes of PPK's gentle "ResuRection." Things move forward quite nicely from there, and despite the inclusion of Moby's overly exposed "Go," tracks such as Michael Woods' serene remix of Saints & Sinners' "Peace," Datar's "B (Ami'b'ient Mix)," and Israeli artist Astrix's remix of Private Taste's "First" make this third disc, oddly enough, the most pleasing and evenly compiled of the entire collection. If Bond can be criticized here for inconsistent selections, the problems inherent to licensing tracks from so many different sources may be partially to blame. But where he falters on this set is quite possibly from forgetting that dancefloor barnburners can often be reduced to sheer monotony outside of the club experience. Intriguing, perhaps, but apart from the third disc, hardly essential.

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