Frankfurt duo MRI round up a dozen likeminded tech-house producers and respective contributions that hark back to the good ol' days of 909-driven Chicago house for Jack to Future, the first compilation released by their new Force Inc-distributed label, Resopal. The back-to-future idea at first seems somewhat uninteresting. After all, dance music had come a long way since the jackin' days of Farley Jackmaster Funk, and in light of the glitch movement Force Inc had been concurrently pushing with much aplomb to much acclaim, bleepy and loopy old-school house tracks couldn't seem more passé. The resulting productions here on Jack to Future, however, are far from uninteresting; in fact, they're quite fun, particularly relative to the sometimes overbearing open-endedness and seriousness of glitch. D. Taylor (aka Dub Taylor) gets the jackfest started with "Return of the CZ," a rudimentary track that couldn't sound more mid-'80s Chicago/Detroit-ish if not for its glistening rather than lo-fi production gloss. The same can be said for much of what follows: the tracks are classically modeled after the simple yet extremely danceable mid-'80s Chicago/Detroit house style, yet are produced with tomorrow's technology rather than some clunky keyboards and a four-track cassette recorder. Most of the tracks also feature some sort of novel appeal, whether a looped diva-vocal tag as in Håkan Lidbo's "Housemusic" ("house music!") and Monomusik's "You and Me" ("it's just you and me tonight") or a quirky sound brought to the forefront like the Underground Resistance-esque outer-space motifs of D. Diggler's "The Mission" and the acid-line-from-hell riff of Rob Acid's "Take My Hand." Some of the other standout moments worth noting include Misc.'s "Re:Jacked" and Jake Fairley's "Plus," which don't sound very jacky but are downright amazing nonetheless. As with most compilations bearing the Force Inc stamp, Jack to Future is thematically interesting and, more importantly, solid from top to bottom, featuring a dazzling lineup of producers who offer stellar works rather than throwaways, and it shows much promise for the ever-growing Frankfurt-based conglomerate's new branch, Resopal.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier