Dave Ralph

Resident Alien

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He may have an allegiance to superstar (aka bland) trance (he delivered volume two in the ultimate wallpaper series, Tranceport), but Dave Ralph's sets paint him as a fan of underground house. And his ear for distinctive tracks is especially appreciated in a dance climate that sees many DJs who should know better indulging in the usual Pro Tools mix disc -- nine tracks of eight-minute sound-alikes equaling a perfect 72 minutes (the most bang for listeners' bucks, if not their sensibilities). Resident Alien has a bit of a taint to it, since the record marks the debut of his label (never a good sign from a DJ). Fortunately, the music brushes aside any hint of major-label intrigue. Ralph still has a great sense for tunes that motivate mind and body, resulting in a mix that offers as much to those playing at home as those in the presence of the man himself. Deep, dark house music is the style on tap, with just a few of the dynamic flourishes beloved of trance mixers (and audiences). Ralph begins slowly, with a few lengthy tracks (the opener is Luis Diaz's nine-minute "Deep Sound"), then stretches out for a long middle passage that peaks with a suitably epic "3AM" by Spoiled Presents Stoler. His own "Full Contact" brings the mood down perfectly. Trackmaster Ralph also includes a second disc with five selections from his own label, three of them his own productions.

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