Mike Relm


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San Francisco DJ/turntablist Mike Relm does a competent job on his debut album, Spectacle, creating a series of dance tracks featuring his Moog Voyager synthesizer and topped by a variety of rappers and singers. Relm doesn't represent any progression in electronic music, and that's deliberate. His music often sounds like it could have been made by Afrika Bambaataa in 1982, which means he is something of a traditionalist. The album is tied together by a portentous song that goes by different names as it reappears throughout the disc. "Every time you break my heart," sings Adrian Hartley, "Mama sends anonymous letters saying you're gonna bleed." First time around, the track is called "Everytime" and has a rap by Del tha Funky Homosapien. When it comes back later, it's called "You Break," and Mr. Lif raps over it. At the end, it's become "My Heart," and Adeem is doing the rapping. In between, Relm provides interludes that sound like someone switching channels on a TV set, complete with snatches of "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story and celebrity interviewer Larry King asking one of his typically inane questions. Relm can be credited with maintaining interest, even if he has to borrow Nilsson's "Without Her" to do it, and if there's nothing new on Spectacle, it's nevertheless a light, enjoyable listen.

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