Various Artists

Slinky Planet: Moscow, Russia

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The first in a series of internationally themed dance mix albums by Slinky, Slinky Planet: Moscow, Russia models itself after the successful late-'90s series of Global Underground albums released by Boxed, another British label. Like the Global Underground series, each volume in the Slinky Planet series features a particular international city, in this case Moscow. Glamorous and glossy photos of the city and its clubbing scene characterize the album's packaging and inner booklet, helping capture the spirit of dance music in all of its hedonistic excess and youthful abandon. Unlike the Global Underground series, however, the Slinky Planet series doesn't boast a big-name DJ, though the albums are mixed DJ-style. Ultimately, this doesn't really matter much to the listener; it's more of a marketing issue than anything since the Global Underground DJs were more noteworthy for their brand names than their mixing. Therefore, there really isn't much differentiating these Slinky Planet albums from the Global Underground series they are modeled after. The Moscow mix features a lot of intense trance -- the first disc being mostly full-throttle, commercial trance with lots of synth melodies, the second disc being more progressive and a little less accessible. Furthermore, the Moscow mix features a lot of big-name producers and popular tracks, including noteworthy moments such as Paul van Dyk's "PVD Mix" of Thrillseekers' "Synaesthesia (Fly Away)" and the "Joey Negro Club Mix" of Jakatta's "American Dream." Slinky really goes all out on this first entry into the Slinky Planet series, offering a more accessible and trance-orientated variation of the Global Underground series without the big-name DJ branding.

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