DJ Ursula 1000 has quite the ear for tunes, and knows how to mix 'em -- the extragroovy mix album Ursadelica is the proof. The first quarter of Ursadelica could be mistaken for an album of the DJ's own sampadelic and tres chic productions. Not a problem, but not surprising enough for the nonbelievers. Things get tricky right around Kraak en Smaak's "One of These Days," with tracks getting loopier and fading in and out, most likely due to the DJ's twiddling. It's the gateway to what most makes the album worth hearing -- Ursula's love of cheeky, smiley disco. Swirling around the room -- or maybe headphones -- Frank de Jojo's "Come Home Baby" is a tasty disco-house treat while Nasty Tales revives the campy chestnut "Come on a My House" with a light breakbeat. Great stuff, and Ursula points it out with his tension-building mix, but why the drab Mexicali jazz afterward? Tinkling pianos with bongos should be trying the nerves of even the ESL Records faithful by now, and luckily Ursula gets off it pretty quickly. Faux rare groove, electro-influenced lounge, and some truly unclassifiable dance music brings the party to a close. It's been four years since Ursula 1000 released his last mix -- All Systems Are Go-Go -- and he's learned a lot since then. The riskier moments are as innovative-sounding as this DJ has ever been, but giving the listener one or two tracks they'll likely skip nearly blows it. Everything else is glitter and gold, so time your bathroom break right, because Ursadelica is an almost triumph.
by David Jeffries