Chester Beatty

Shot of Love

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To this point a singles act, Chester Beatty made the jump to the realm of full-lengths in 2003, recording Shot of Love for Berlin techno stalwart Tresor. The internationally known label hadn't made many forays into the Far East, as it found the majority of its substantial talent along the Detroit-Berlin axis, yet Chester Beatty is different. The Japanese duo is closely affiliated with DJ Shufflemaster, a fellow Tresor signee from Tokyo of similar brilliance, and also has a fun shtick, its appropriation of outdated yet still memorable samples. In particular, Chester Beatty appropriates here the hooks from A Taste of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie" and the Peter Jacques Band's "Walking on Music" for "LOVEJET/Boogie Oogie Oogie" and "Shot of Love (Walking on Music)," respectively. Furthermore, a spoken word sample of Grandmaster Flash opens "Superrappin'" (the closing moments of the preceding "Easter Sunday Throw Down" interlude), and other tracks featured on Shot of Love are likewise informed by pop-culture miscellanea (like what sounds like a snippet from the Robocop arcade game, for instance), though to a much lesser extent. Of course, there's much more to Chester Beatty than witty sampling. The duo produces dancefloor-rocking minimal techno tracks, and the sampling merely accentuate these otherwise impressive productions. House and hip-hop producers do it all the time, so why not minimal techno producers too? Well, leave it to the Japanese, and that's precisely what Tresor does, clearing the samples and giving Chester Beatty the go-ahead to record a full-length album bookended by the formerly bootleg-only "LOVEJET/Boogie Oogie Oogie" and "Shot of Love (Walking on Music)." The intermittent tracks are top-shelf minimal techno, but aren't quite as novel; regardless, they keep the beats banging hard like you'd expect from a Tresor signee, and the duo mixes the tracks into one another DJ-style, which makes the 50-minute album flow seamlessly as a wonderful, not-too-long whole. Chester Beatty had been making standout one-off singles for several years, and it's great to hear the duo make the jump to full-lengths, especially with such aplomb on such a well-known label.

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