DJ Venom

Raise the Volume

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DJ Venom continues his output of hardcore-style mix albums with Raise the Volume. Over the course of 29 songs, the East Coast DJ moves through one maddening track after another, all of which are driven by distorted bass blasts and rave-style ornamentation, the latter usually comprised of either a synth riff or looped sample. Venom seldom lets his tracks play out longer than two or three minutes, as he's quick to bring in the next one. You probably won't recognize too many of the tracks or producers highlighted on this mix, though many of the relatively unestablished producers -- DJ Tony, Archangelz, DJ James BND 007, DJ Vortex, and Venom himself -- do show up multiple times. It's easy to compare Venom to similar quick-mixing hardcore DJs like DJ Irene or Richard "Humpty" Vission, and here he does little to distance himself from these better-known DJs. Raise the Volume is very much what you'll expect if you're already familiar with Venom's other releases and, in that aspect, is a success; if anything, he's a consistent DJ. If you're looking for growth, however, you're not going to find much here. In many ways, Venom practices the age-old rave style of DJing, which is founded upon simplicity and familiarity rather than progress or growth. What Raise the Volume lacks in progress or growth, it compensates for with production value, sounding more pristine and professional that Venom's earlier mixes. This by itself, coupled with Venom's consistency, makes it one of the DJ's more impressive releases.

blue highlight denotes track pick