WestBam

We'll Never Stop Living This Way

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    8
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Unlike many of the techno DJs and producers who made furtive trips into electro and big beat hoping to pay a few bills, Westbam had been spinning and recording breakbeat techno (of a sort) ever since the mid-'80s. Naturally, his breadth of experience gave him a leg up on most others, and as such, We'll Never Stop Living This Way is a solid album of forward-thinking retro-techno. It's as much a mix album as a production album, with most of the tracks blending into each other, capped off near the end by the irresistible one-two punch of "Wanna Get My Smurf On" and "Beatbox Rocker." Elsewhere, the Westphalia Bambaataa meets the original Bambaataa on "Agharta, the City of Shamballa," and a heavily processed vocal sample leads the way through the up-tempo electro-techno of "Terminator." At times, Westbam works the inevitable big beat formula into the ground; "Hard Times" is a rather bland pastiche of the break from Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Like That" along with the vocal sample from Kurtis Blow's "Hard Times." Most of the album, however, is a present-day vision of Westbam's fertile past.

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