Carl Cox

Mixed Live 2nd Session

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Two years after recording his first Mixed Live session for Moonshine Records in the birthplace of house music, Chicago, Carl Cox returned to the American Midwest for his second session, appropriately recorded this time in the birthplace of techno, Detroit. The session may have not been recorded at a renowned Detroit techno establishment (instead recorded during the Area 2 tour), nor did it feature any of the city's music (instead featuring mostly Euro-techno), but it's nonetheless an incredibly representative sample of Cox's live performances. In fine form and quite enthusiastic, the British DJ works through a total of 18 tracks in just under 75 minutes, emphatically shouting out sudden rallying calls ("Come on Detroit! Let's see ya!") every few minutes to keep the clamorous crowd fervent. Roughly half of the tracks Cox throws down come from his own label, Intec, and these productions by such producers as Christian Smith, Bryan Zentz, and Renato Cohen tend to stand out as highlights, as do the "Smith & Selway Remix" of Slam's "Step Back" and the "Oxia Remix" of the Hacker's "Nothing Lasts." Cox moves from one track to the next gracefully, and the relentless tempo rarely offers any relief, slowly increasing in both intensity and pace as the mix rumbles on. If anything, the abundance of Intec releases lacks variety. If you don't favor this North European style of hard techno, you may find yourself longing for a good old-fashioned Detroit track every so often or perhaps some of the experimental quirkiness often associated with German productions. Regardless of your preference, though, Cox certainly puts on a show here, and the Detroit crowd at Area 2 certainly responds. After all, more than anything, Cox is a live performer, and Mixed Live, 2nd Session is the empirical testament to the fact. This release certainly tops his studio work and is as worthy as any of his other numerous mix albums, if not more so because of the live context.

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