The Hive

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Following four years of darkening trance, The Hive is a conscious return to the DJ-friendly 12" of Oliver Lieb's propellant mid-'90s output. The album is fast-paced, habitually upbeat, aware of mood-pleasing energies, and it would be considered futuristic if the deluge of progressive house hadn't already filled dance culture's appetite for austerely stylized anti-emotion. The Hive also contains some of Lieb's tightest experiments. "Down to Earth" positions Japanese clatter alongside lights and darks a step ahead of 2002's big names (some will hear an 808 State or ATB influence), while songs like "Chieftain" and the two "Infectious" tracks hint at a harder tech-house edge that may have been what the L.S.G. project was really about all along.

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