Various Artists

Reactivate, Vol. 17

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AllMusic Review by

The top-charting power of the Reactiviate series is continued with this 17th installment of high energy trance that makes you want to don Dr. Seuss headgear and intermittently blow whistles at your housecat. More beachside than blistering club-tastic, the first disc has some real treats like a superbly hammering "Till We Meet Again" by Push (taking up the dark glee where hard house fave Storm left off) as well as a remixed "Phuturistic Journey" by Earthbound starting like a dish-strewn kitchen imploding into itself. The second disc, meanwhile, starts with the beats early -- from the tribal boogie of Contact's "Signs of Life" to the none-more-blue synths of Nautica's "Tomorrow" -- and often manages to overcome its patience-testing, unmixed intros and outros. That said, there is still quite a bit of filler on here: Knockhenbrecher, Blue Alphabet, and Nick Sentience all show off such soggy trance-house-by-numbers that it makes the compilation often seem indistinguishable from the other 304 uplifting dance releases each year. Full-length haven? Maybe, but definitely in need of some chemical fortitude.

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