Robbie Hardkiss

Mixed Messages

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The title may be a bad enough pun, but if anyone wants a sense of what the vaunted California rave sound of the early '90s was like, this is as good an entry spot as any. True, not everything actually comes from the area -- tracks from notable U.K. types like A Certain Ratio and Future Sound of London make up some key selections -- but in terms of what people were listening to at the time, it's more than representative. Unlike a number of recordings released via Moonshine, this collection definitely is the work of the listed mixer rather than the company's in-house crew, and Hardkiss is deft with both his mixing and sense of shifting tempos. If Mixed Messages is ultimately little more than an agreeable lope through a pleasant but now somewhat outdated sound, there's nothing wrong with a little visit back to the past here and there.

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