DJ John Kelley

Knee Deep

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Scalable American breaks is still the bitter pill for DJ John Kelley, as Knee Deep shows that very American techno/trance middle ground to be slightly less appealing than it probably could be experiencing it up all night in a Californian desert rave with people shoving Hello Kitty binkies in your mouth while screaming, "I love ya, man!" Searching for that dark side of breaks and crisp, transistor trance helps this standard collection, but unlike the aptly titled Funkydesertbreaks releases, there is far too much structure and middling 303 effects and not enough of Kelley's simple, slinky grooves. The only standout tracks -- Uberzone's right-wing Leftfield ode, "The Freaks," CJ Bolland's oscillating "Horsepower" -- pit the rest of the mix's turntable orthodoxy into very stiff relief. Because Kelley never seems to find a time to wiggle about like the nutso audience he's aiming for.

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