DJ Aaron Carter

Lit Up

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Just because Aaron Carter serves as a member of the mainstream electronica group Cirrus doesn't mean that his DJ sets have anything in common with his group's music. Lit Up finds the Los Angeles artist moving through a strong set of hard trance -- and the word "hard" needs to be stressed. These tracks aren't the type of candy-coated trance favored by superstar British DJs such as Paul Oakenfold. These tracks actually have as much in common with the hard acid techno of Jeff Mills-era Underground Resistance and the straight-ahead momentum of Richie Hawtin's Decks, EFX and 909 album than any of the Hooj Choons-flavored trance captured on the Global Underground series of records. Of course, just because the trance is hard doesn't necessarily mean that it is quality. Carter dismisses this notion right away by choosing 11 strong tracks for his mix that all tend to sound fairly similar, bringing a holistic sense of consistency to the record, beginning with the slammin' hard house of Jark Prongo and ending with the absolute sonic mayhem of Trip Hazard and DJ Micro. Along the way, Carter spins a few different records from the Stay Up Forever label, characterizing the greater part of his mix with the label's brand of intense acid techno with a strong trance flavor -- keeping one's adrenaline flowing more than making one's head bang. Ultimately, there is little denying the fact that Carter's pristine hard trance showcase will likely appeal to techno fans as much as trance fans, but anyone expecting the much more tame, accessible sound of Cirrus will be mighty disappointed.

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