Poirier / Ghislain Poirier

Running High

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Ghislain Poirier, the Montreal DJ with a bad case of Caribbeanitis, has practically come to epitomize the sound of bounce. It's a sound that lends itself well to a variety of dance music subgenres, and on the two-disc Running High, Poirier applies it primarily to ragga, dancehall, and soca tracks featuring MCs like Face-T, Warrior Queen, MC Zulu, and Burru Banton. The first disc is split more or less evenly between soca-inflected instrumentals (which tend to be relentlessly energetic, dynamically static, and ultimately a bit tiring) and deejay showcases, which are almost uniformly brilliant: Face-T shines especially brightly on both "Wha-La-La-Leng" and the even sharper "Enemies," while MC Zulu brings his rockstone toasting style to bear on "Gyal Secret Pictures" and the frantic soca-dancehall workout "Immigrant Visa." YT's performance on "Let Them Hate" is less exciting, and Burru Banton seems to be kind of phoning it in on "Trust None of Dem," but Burru Banton phoning it in is better than most deejays working at full steam, and the track works very well. The second disc consists of remixes and bonus tracks, among them a very fine Sticky remix of "Enemies," and a surprisingly subtle performance by Busy Signal on "Cool Baby (Poirier Remix)." Warrior Queen's "Bang Bang" refers slyly to Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang," and Boogat's "Que Viva" brings a welcome element of rap en espaƱol to the proceedings. Listening to the whole program from end to end might be more exhausting than pleasurable, but just about every single track here is guaranteed to fill the dancefloor.

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