Juan Atkins

Legends, Vol. 1

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Juan Atkins' Legends, Vol. 1 certainly isn't the techno flashback of his 1998 mix date for Wax Trax; with no Detroit productions in sight (except for his own opener), Atkins instead focuses on a set of catchy, funky tribal-house and disco -- more reminiscent of Joe Claussell's Body & Soul clubnight than Motown's Music Institute. Early on, tracks from Rui da Silva and Individual Orchestra bring a warm, enveloping feel to the mix, occasionally leaning toward Afro-beat. The Detroit godfather also salutes the sound of Chicago, beginning with DJ Sneak's energetic "Dancin' Therapy" and including tracks from a trio of fraternal house producers: Harrison Crump, Felix Da Housecat's Aphrohead project, and L.A. Williams. Aside from a few leftfield names (Isolee, Kit Clayton) for downtempo pauses, Atkins sticks with the groove throughout the set, from a nice filtered-disco track ("Spaced Invader" by Hatiras) through the old-school disco of Harrison Crump ("Get Boogie") and Venetjoki ("Cheap Heat"). As luscious and groove-filled as a Jeff Mills set is minimal and punchy, Legends, Vol. 1 displays Juan Atkins eager to move bodies as well as minds.

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