Sami Liuski and Pauli Jylhänkangas have an affinity for an era of dance music that took place while they were learning to walk. Their homeland, Finland, isn't exactly a hop, skip, and a jump from the locations -- Chicago, New York -- where that era thrived. This being the 21st century, anyone with an Internet connection can become an instant expert on the most obscure of interests; it's quite possible that these two have spent hours scouring archived play lists and devouring muffled, recorder-in-pocket audience recordings of Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles, and other jocks who spun during the time that bridged disco's glory years to the first rounds of stripped-down house tracks from the Windy City. They've probably received additional guidance from modern producers/DJs like Ferenc, Daniel Wang, and Metro Area, who were looking back to these obscure records as early as the mid- to late '90s. Liuski and Jylhänkangas' first album together compiles five of the six tracks from their pair of 12" releases, originally released during 2003 on the Netherlands' Clone label, while six others are brand new. Why they would choose to leave the best track from the singles ("Glowing Cat") off of this is anyone's guess, but it remains a delightful listen, provided you're not a staunch purist when it comes to melodic, dense, early-'80s electro-disco produced by Italians. The sound is much like that of Luke Vibert's tracks as Kerrier District, meaning they're plump and full of energy -- and shamelessly kitschy from time to time -- but lacking in the subtle, studious, nuanced grace that Wang and Metro Area have to their advantage. Give these two credit for having the guts to title a track "Training Montage," in clear recognition that some of their work comes dangerously close to aping Moroder-style film scores circa 1983; they also score a couple points for discreetly tucking away a sample from one of the most tireless Knuckles-associated classics -- George Duke's "I Want You for Myself."
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
feat: Venom 18