Five, such a good number

Almost Anonymous-Robotic Beats (aalmost420@gmail.com)
Another mix from this suddenly prolific NorCal duo is more along the lines of recent gigs in Sacramento at Sexy Robots and as well as their amazing appearance here in Chico for a small but enthusiastic crowd at Freakbeat way back in January-hence the title Robotic Beats. These guys perfectly sum up what's going on in Northern California and out in the wild, wild west in general. Dark and proggy West Coast house collides with motorik minimal all awash in accents of booty breaks that add rather than detract. These guys soak in all of the sounds our region has to offer and present a mutated synthesis that seriously moves dance floors. The thing that makes each new offering from these guys so great is seeing the duo's own unique style developing within the partnership dynamic. Malachi typically prefers the assembly line side of techno whereas Dave K is an urban block party kinda guy and amazingly the two seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum come together so well. Why? Great DJ'ing and great track selection. While this may not be the trainspotters' wet dream like the previous installment the latest mix does keenly settle on a theme copasetic with the title featuring many vocal snippets and samples dedicated to robots and their deeds (and misdeeds, he he) and that is always a huge plus.
Link to Robotic Beats
1. Rob Mooney - Isolate The Target - Kriece remix - Bass 4 Breakfast
2. Monty Luke & Tasho - Paranoid - Todd Bodine remix - Mothership Records
3. Roby C - Disco Robot - Beiak Recordings
4. Bumpin’ Ugly - Work Me - Maetrik remix - Siteholder Records
5. Hauswerks - Stampede - Hauswerks Digital
6. Presslaboys - Reset My Mind - Presslaboys Digital
7. Format B - Bad Beat - Opossum Recordings
8. C-Jay - You Are The Robot - Roby C remix - 4th Room
9. Yankee Zulu - Good 4 You - Worthy remix - Katabatic Records
10. Loco Dice - City Lights - Martin Buttrich remix - Four:Twenty Recordings
11. Jimi Polar & Kriece - Headgear - Kriece version - Arabica Records
12. System 7 - Space Bird - Dubfire remix - A-Wave Recordings
13. Will Saul - Fast Lane - Fink remix - Simple Records

Robert Hood-Fabric 39 (Fabric)(UK)

The Robert Hood Fabric mix was equal in stature to the Almost Anonymous disk but how often do I get to hype talent in my own backyard that is of equal grade to a Fabric mix? How bout never... So Mr. Hood takes a back seat to the dynamic duo of Amador County, California this time around. Hood of course is a Detroit native and a founding member of the legendary Underground Resistance along with Mad Mike Banks and Jeff Mills. Hood went on to found his own M-Plant imprint and has been making music for many years with Mills via the Axis imprint as well. As an artist he channels the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mentality of Banks as well as the utilitarian approach exhibited by Mills from the UR days. What Hood brings to the table is a penchant for finding disarming and often times beautiful melodies in the cacophony of the assembly line din beat. Fabric 39 is a banging mix of Dutch, German, and Detroit techno that Hood likes to call minimal. Not minimal in the sense of the word today which is percussive at the sake of everything else minimal as opposed to relentless and ceaseless, the very antecedent of today's sleeker more modern minimal. Despite the head banging tempos Hood carves out a wide variety of sounds. memorable hooks, and even moments of deep space weirdness. Fabric scores again with one from one of the pioneers. Kudos.

Various-OM:Miami 08 (OM)(US)
A surprisingly great comp from what I normally consider a pretty fluffy series. If this is any indicator of what more mainstream American club audiences are listening to than I'd say a full scale minimal and techno invasion is about to begin really soon. OM tightens things up a bit on this year's installment with bleeps and bloops courtesy of new dudes like Florian Kruse. Things start of slow with average cuts from Samantha James and Chuck Love plus the dredging up of Miguel Migs' remix of Naked Music's "If I Fall" during the peak is unwelcome and only threatens to remind you of what you are listening to, which is an otherwise cheesy series from OM. The inconsistency of the 2008 edition is what dooms this mix, some tracks are very good while others are decidedly below grade and that the mix only flirts with minimal just makes me want to skip this one in favor next year's already.

Dave Seaman-Renaissance: The Masters Series Pt. 10 2xCD (Renaissance)(UK)
A lackluster affair from one of the most conservative big name DJs as he tries to crossover from prog and trance into the world of minimal and tech house. The results are mixed bag. A handful of good tracks and some pseudo psy trance basslines are nice, but overall this thing is as hamfisted as your typical Global Underground mix disk (mixed by Seaman too I am sure).

Junkie XL-Booming Back At You (Artwerk Music)(US)
Dutch producer Tom Holkenborg may best be known for his remix of Elvis' "A Little Less Coversation" but deep down his alter ego Junkie XL is just a heavy metal producer trapped in the body of a DJ . The drums are so thick and drenched in icy delay on Booming Back At You you'd think it was Mutt Lange at the mixing board and Holkenberg was digitally sitting in for that one armed skin slapper in Def Lepperd. No doubt the guy is a talented producer with some decent dancefloor ideas and even some slightly-less-obnoxious-than-most electro house on his latest. However, there is just too much rock n roll complete with screaming heavy metal guitars and all I can say is save that for the Prodigy (or is that Justice??) fans . Noted exception is the electro punkt rework of the Siouxsie & The Banshees' "Cities In Dust", the original a stone cold classic. The cover has some punky vigor courtesy of vocalist Lauren Rocket but homeboy lays on the Tommy Lee/Sunset Strip vibe so thick it's hard not to get just a little cynical. Actually I feel the same about dreadful old Kiss, too. Still I did manage to crack a smile and it was a fun cover and that's about all you can ask for on album like this.

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