Various Artists

The Trax Records: The Next Generation

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Released synchronously with the triple-disc 20th Anniversary Collection, The Next Generation summarizes what the Trax label have been up to long since their early classics. It turns out they've been releasing fair-to-good deep house. Compared to the raw, machinic material that was -- and for the most part, still is -- considered the label's stock-in-trade, their current producers are likely to make the gospel roots more apparent while attempting to make the machines sound more human and warm than alien and frozen. Expecting these tracks to be anywhere near the level of the '80s productions involving Larry Heard, Robert Owens, Frankie Knuckles, Adonis, Farley Jackmaster Funk, and the like would be setting yourself up for failure. Even so, there's a reason why only the most devoted deep house heads are aware that Trax continues to put out new wax. Maurice Joshua reprises his 20th Anniversary Collection role by mixing the first disc; the second disc contains most of the tracks from the first in unmixed form.

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