Released long after the original mix of "Jaguar" had first hit the streets, this CD-EP's main highlight is Derrick May's take on the widely acknowledged international masterpiece. Like Jeff Mills' remix, May's is an impressive departure from the original version. Assuming by this point that most listeners are overly familiar with the original's slow build and elated string melody, the semiretired Detroit producer takes the song's different characteristics -- the shuffling Latin percussion, the teasing synth riff, the spiritual melody -- and rearranges them into an epic reconstruction that continually flirts with the listener. Every 30 seconds or so he brings in a new motif and takes out another so the listener never really knows what to expect (for example, Latin-flavored percussion at one moment, the sudden appearance of the synth melody at another). Those familiar with the original version (and most seasoned techno listeners most likely are after two years of nonstop club play) will find that this mix toys with expectations of how the track should flow. Instead of constructing a satisfying experience with its infamous ethereal climax as DJ Rolando did with his original mix, May instead chooses to construct a languishing mix that forever teases the listener, who will undoubtedly long for the original's satisfying climax. (And while this in itself is rather remarkable, May's mix is even more delightful when accompanied by the previously released "Jaguar (Spiritual Transformation)" mix by Mad Mike, which does provide the needed satisfying climax -- but that's the DJ's job.) In addition to "Jaguar (Mayday Mix)," this CD-EP also includes Octave One's "Jaguar (Dance of the Global Tribe)" mix and a CD-ROM video. Since the Octave One remix is available elsewhere, it's a bit hard to warrant the purchase of this U.K.-only release on the basis of one remix, but this is the only place to find "Jaguar (Mayday Mix)" -- aside from those who own turntables and are able to locate the 12" EP. And judging by the song's beauty, it just might be worth both the price and the effort to track down this mix.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier