Mixtape Reviews


Posted on August 1st, by Various in 20, Reviews. No Comments

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Shapeshifter

Jigsaw Phase 1 (Miami)

Recently transplanted from the Eastern Seaboard, Shapeshifter quickly set up his techno-filled armada and mutinously plundered the ears of the Florida electronica/ dance clique. In securing his tracks and executing them with beat-juggling, flips, rewinds and other DJ-aspiring tricks, Shapeshifter has moved to the airwaves, confident that a coup of the breaks-diseased ears of southern Florida is just what the doctor ordered. If they don’t get it now, they never will. Downwards, Tresor, Primate, Axis, U-turn, Synewave; it’s a goddamn greatest-labels collection. And that’s just a sample. There’s shit in these tapes that needs to be hunted for. I could sit here and gush all day so I’ll just say this – I listen to one of these tapes every goddamned day… ask my mates. You like techno in all its glory? So does Shapeshifter. <johnny>


J. Goodwill

Daddy-O (New Jersey)

Well, yet another tekno tape, and the quality just does not let up. Funny how it works that when I buy a tape, it ends up being the most boring piece of rubbish, and now that the money’s all spent, I get a flood of excellent tapes. Good karma, I guess… Anyhow this one’s a bit more on the tek-haus side of the spectrum with a real computer music feel. Plenty of that stuff with the beeps and the tones and other gurgly noises for your listening (or butt shakin’) pleasure. It opens with a track giving props to all the big boys of Detroit (May and Saunderson and the like[sadly, no mention of Federov, Kozlov, or any other of the Wings). From that point on it proceeds to kick your ass into gear and doesn’t let up ‘till the end. Only problem I had with this one is that, like so many others, I fail to find closure at the end of the tape. Without warning, I’m groovin’ to a sweet track and then, bingo-bango, dead air… Mixing is dead-on otherwise and the audio quality is fit. <helix>


Tyler T-Bone Stadius

D&B (Vancouver)

Interesting concept here… a deep house DJ who digs chill drum & bass, but couldn’t find enough tapes out there. So, he got off his ass and made his own! And what a tape it turns out to be! Tracks by Omni Trio, EZ Rollers, Dr. S. Gachet, Big Bud, Blame, and several others make this a winner in my book! I love this style… the Moving Shadow chill style. The packaging is very nicely done, the tracks are phenomenal, the mixing is nice… what more do you want? This is a tape that no collection should be without. <dica>


DJ Mark N

The Easiest $300 Dollars I Ever Made (Pure Acid Mixtapes)

Newcastle’s own Nasty Flashy Party Boy Toy Mark Newlands from Nasenbluten shows up with the Bloody Fist crate dumping ouch-watch-the-levels fun on the mixer. Mark is the DJ to beat and you can’t stand this. Tight scratching, bad language and of course samples of Australians complaining and just being poor white trash with English accents. Syndicate, Overlast, Nasenbluten, Xylocaine, Hedonist and other locals give the production. You like this man’s records and you wanna hear ‘em mixed right, well here you go. <johnny>


Richie Wel

The Mainstream Is Polluted (Chicago)

Every time I see Richie Wel, he seems to be having a great time. He’s a really good DJ, and sometimes I don’t dig his partycore with that apocalyptic synthesizer, but the crowd always goes nuts. This tape is a good representation of his style, and includes tracks by Delta 9 and labels in the vein of Industrial Strength, Ruffbeats, and many others that I couldn’t name for you anymore. The mixing is awesome on this tape, and it flows pretty well. At the very end, there’s some nice speedcore, which I wish there was a bit more of, but hey, what can ya do? Nice one, Richie! Hardcore will never die! <dica>


One F

Precious Moments (Milwaukee)

I have listened to this tape approximately 957.3 times since I got it. This is the kind of effort that keeps me interested in electronic music. I can sum up this tape in one word. Original. Jeff brings the funk with acid and house and any other kind of music he fucking wants on Side 1, and takes us on a voyage through qaulity jungle tracks on Side 2. Maybe I have my head up my arse, but there were only a few tracks on this entire tape that I have ever heard. That, along with the flawless mixing, is what makes it so good. If you are lounging around and need a good listen that will simultaneously relax and interest you, this is the tape you are looking for.
<chaz swillingsworth>


DJ Wonder

He Talks To Me (New Jersey)

The intro wins this tape over for me… a completely sick spoken word bit over some subliminal beats. The tape twists through some very dark techno that would be sure to cause weird dreams throughout the night. The B-side is more on the trancey tip, but still maintains that dark flavor. Definitely a tape worth checking out if the darker edge of techno is to your tastebud’s liking. <dica>


DJ Nimh & Deadnoise

Belligerence (Phoenix)

The Nimh side is all partycore and happy hardcore. The mixing is pretty tight. However, I really don’t dig this style of music. Phil would probably like it, though! Anyhow, flip it to the Deadnoise side for the rough business, with tracks by the likes of Tron, Freak, Jack Lucifer, Delta 9, The Destroyer, and many others. Much more to my liking, and it’s pretty damned brutal. In a good way. Dig it? Alright then. <dica>


DJ Mellinfunk

Apocalyptic Acid (Los Angeles)

The title gives this tape’s intentions away: acid muzik all nite long! Starting out with “London Acid City,” these tracks just won’t quit. A few of the featured artists are Commander Tom, Immersion, and DJ Paola, among others. There’s a bit of acid trance showcased on this tape on the B-side as well… the mixing is smooth, the tracks stay funky, and (John Cougar?) Mellinfunk would be sure to rock a party right. <dica>


David Cooper

Demo 98 (Toronto)

Got this one in Kalamazoo at the Sector 616 party from some guy (quite possibly David himself, but I can’t really recall). Proper. Said and done. Pure techno on the A side with plenty of backspins, EQ-ing, and all around techno mayhem that gave me a healthy stiffie. The B-side is a bit more mellow, with a relaxed pace. Definitely what I would call space-age bachelor pad muzik. A nice J-card (no track listing, booo) and sticker and supreme audio quality all add up to another keeper. Look out for this guy’s tape and keep an eye out for this guy at parties. With a tape like this he’s bound to get plenty of bookings. <helix>


DJ Toki

Rain (St. Louis)

The last time I got this guy’s tape, what amazed me was the creativity. I wasn’t really big on the style of music that Toki spun, but the way he put the tape together kept my friends and I listening to it again and again. Toki is back with another, more professional looking tape and this one kicks serious ass. It’s obvious that his music tastes have progressed a lot in the last year and he wants to show us exactly how. He mixes in older acid house, techno, and everything in between. He doesn’t do a lot of the tricks he did on his last tape, but this tape just demonstrates (to those that don’t know), that Pete always comes with some serious fucking mixes. Side one explores the lighter side of acid house and would blow up at any club I can imagine. Side two starts off with “The Spirit Catcher” by Modwheel, which is one of my favorite tracks ever. From there it progresses into some techno that we don’t hear much around these parts. Not stuff that takes itself too serious, stuff that is as intent on tweaking your body as well as your mind. You can get a hold of Pete at his new store VIRUS records in St. Louis, MO. Tell him I sent you and get 2 records for the price of 4. <garrett>


Jamie D

Something for the Breakers (St. Louis)

The problem I have with a lot of jungle DJ’s, and most DJ’s in general is that they play the same boring shit every time you hear them. How many times have you heard all the jungle tracks with the Wu Tang samples by now? Unless you have had your head under a rock for the past year you have probably memorized all that stuff long ago. What you need is some new shit. Something that is just as hype as the classic jump-up numbers, but not so predictable because you don’t know it by heart. What you need is Something for the Breakers. This guy is from the UK, and from his tape I imagine he has been listening to Drum and Bass for a long, long time. I have already made and given out about three copies of this tape because it is just so unbelievably ill. Mixing: Perfect; Programming: Tight (One side starts and ends with Public Enemy samples). I got this tape in the mail along with Toki’s about five days ago and I was relieved to hear so much originality coming from ole’ St. Louie. <garrett>


Madkid

Foundations (Minneapolis)

Even though the Minneapolis scene may be in a transition period right now [read: pretty much dead], Madkid still serves up the best in jungle anywhere. As opposed to his earlier tapes, this one is much more on the technical tip, best described as a Mampi Swift-ish style. The design is top-notch and very professional, as have been Madkid’s past tapes. This tape is tight as a first-day prisoner. Check it, pronto. <dica>


Crook

A.P. Science (Boston)


Damn! They must put something in the water in Boston that gives all their drum & bass DJs crazy skills! Crook’s been hittin’ the H20 pretty hard, me thinks! An amazing track selection of hard, fast jungle with some tasty mixing here, with some overlayed scratching that will blow you away, not just annoy you. Pick this one up ASAP, no disappointments here! <dica>


Terry Mullan + Dan Efex

Live @ Inertia

Chicago’s faves forever flip the sides on this mixtape. Live mixing is fun, just ask Terry or Dan! Recorded in Milwaukee in November, both show up with the goods up front. With a little help from mixer effects, Mr. Mullan flanges your ass over acid, techno and plain ole’ booty shakin’ house. Dan Efex is, of course, the authority of trance in this corner of the US and shows up some of his favorites of late. Very interesting to see some straight techno making it in the mix as well. Solid mixes and definite crowd pleasers by these two gentlemen has made this one popular for a while now, so catch up and get this puppy, from us capitalists here at Massive! Available through the Massive Catalog. <johnny>


The Dervish

Childhood’s End

Deep, dark, sick, spacey jungle. A live PA of the aforementioned music. Unique, and it sounds really really good. The Dervish has talent that must not be ignored. I wouldn’t be surprised if you start seeing him on some bigger stateside labels in the next year or so. I think he’s coming out to the midwest sometime soon, too, so go check out his live set and see how he does under pressure. And get a hold of this tape or any of his music. <dica>


DJ Slider

Homebass (San Francisco)

A nice blend of harder jungle with a dark edge here, all of which is very good, albeit dated. “Homebass” includes tracks by Dillinja, Exocet, Sniper, SS, Swift, and many more. The intro is completely strange- some recording of the 1972 World Series. Yes, America’s pastime. Field of Dreams and all that jazz. Very odd that it was chosen for an intro, but it put a smile on my face. Definitely one to keep an eye out for. <dica>


DJ Stax

#4 (Muncie, IN)

This tape sounds like a five-in-the-morning set at a great party where you still want to dance and not just go home, go to George Webb’s, or whatever the hell you do after a party. Stax provides some bangin’ techno and house that will keep you goin’ like the Energizer Bunny. One of those sets where the sun is coming up, and no matter how much it’s making your eyes want to close, you don’t want the night to end. <dica>


Coy West & Chris Specht

Whole Grooves Vol. 1 (Austin, TX)

In the listing for inspiration, such artists as Mark Farina, Doc Martin, and the Strictly Jazz Unit are listed. I think all these artists have been done fair justice with this tape. Definitely a good wake-up tape with some real funky, head-bobbing house grooves. Some nice scratching on there, even. Definitely a tasty tape from the southern boys, and definitely one for the midwest to take notes on. <dica>


Fishead vs. Venetian Snares

Barrage (Winnipeg)

Canaduh’s finest in hardcore and weirdness come together separate but equal on this project. Resident creepmiester on the web Fishead warms up the listener to his brand of dance music. Greater Than One (insert old school industrial reference here) starts off with an oldie but goodie noisecore track that spreads the virus across a mix of tracks by Micropoint, Nasenbluten, Doormouse, No-name, Dj freak,and Aura Exiter. Fishead then tags in Venetian Snares, aka Aaron Funk. Computer-made and human-engineered semi-retarded jungle breaks and mystery dimension samples collide in a cornicorpia of what our post-apocalyptic grandkids will think was the only worthwhile music our generation listened to. Ask for it at Christmas!! <johnny>


Fiz

I Bleed For This? (Champaign/Urbana, IL)

Straight outta the Champaign ghetto comes this crazy muthafucka with terrible green dreads and an attitude to match. Side A is a straight up techno stomper front to back, while side B is a journey across the hard side of things (from Bizz O.D. to Nasenbluten to Exocet if you can believe that) with a grace that isn’t seen by many. Mixing’s tight and the J-card actually includes a track listing! The sound quality is a little on the grainy side at high volume but overall this one is all good. <helix>


Steven Kaye

Bang [Live at Weedstock] (Milwaukee)

This one is straight out of left field and zig-zags all over the place. Steven is a busy little beaver, bouncing from trance to acid house to demented disco-ish house to (God forbid) SPEED GARBAGE! He covers all the bases and does so with ease. Strangely enough, I had the hardest time sitting and listening to this one, as I could not stop shaking my tight (semi)white ass, proving once again (if there was any doubt before) that Steven is simply one of the best at moving butts. <helix>


Pezboy

Quickie (Baltimore)

Chocked full of squeaky, blurpy, chirpy techno, this one hasn’t left my deck in almost a week (particularly a long time for someone as jaded and cynical as myself). This one is a winner with good sound quality, excellent transitions and tracks that just don’t stop with the relentless sounds that probably shouldn’t be listened to in rush hour traffic, lest you jump out and start to dance in traffic (something I seem to get repeated requests to do). This tape is a definite keeper. <helix>


DJ Timestretch

Live at the Casualty Ward (Pure Acid Mixtapes)

Probably the best drum and bass tape I’ve had dropped on me in quite a while! All kinds of great tracks on this one… dark and dangerous, Timestretch is quite the selector! This tape straight kicks ass. To be picky, the mixing could be better, and the tables got bumped once, but again, this is a live tape. If it weren’t for a few tracks and maybe some better timing, this would be 10/10, but 9.5/10 this time ‘round. I totally dig it overall. <bEAN>


DJ Toni

Juxtaposition (Chicago)

At first glance, this one might escape your notice(black and white j-card with a simple eyeball on it). However, upon further inspection this one rocks. Some serious trance trax of several different persuasions are blended together like a smooth gin and tonic. Nothing else like it, quenching your thirst in a hot sweaty club. The mixing is very tight and the programming is definitely one that holds your attention. Only complaint about this one (other than a boring J-card) is that the sound quality is a bit on the foggy side. <helix>


Special K with MC Skibadee (London, UK)

Live At Steelcity Jungle, Pittsburgh

Now THIS is a tape! I’m a big fan of live mixes, because it shows how a DJ actually performs on the spot, without being able to go back and fix things. This tape was recorded live in Pittsburgh in March 1998, and it sounds fresh. Special K plays loads of dubplates, and only a handful of recognizable tracks, which include “Bull Terrier” by MA4 and “Brown Paper Bag” by Roni Size. Skibadee hypes the crowd like no other, and is definitely one of the top jungle MCs in the world with his speedy vocals and his wicked freestyles. Pick this tape up, it won’t leave your deck for months! <dica>


Eric B

Asian Invasion (Milwaukee)

Yes yes, the Furthur success story is back. You may have seen him on Sunday night at Little Furthur, or at this year’s Even Furthur; an unknown DJ just ripping it up. Gotta love that. On to the tape, we’ve got dark business here. Great mixing. Amusing cover art. A bunch of tracks that I’ve never heard, put together in a wonderful order. Tracks along the lines of the newer Ram and Moving Shadow stuff. The combination of these factors make this a tasty tape. If hard, dark drum & bass is your thing, check this guy out and see what you think. Includes Dillinja’s “So Damn Tuff” and Moving Fusion’s “Turbulence.” <dica>


Dysphonix

(St. Louis)

Let me start off by saying that I need another copy of this, as it was eaten by my best friends car stereo. Having said this, it goes without saying that this is one of the best tapes I’ve heard in a long time (all that without having heard the B-side before it was eaten!). The intro is one out of history (Tod Dockstader/ apocalypse/1962) and has a old DBN Terror Unit feel to it. After the sounds start to float around however, is where the similarity ends and the terror begins. About 3ish minutes into the mix and the beats drop hard like 2-day-old shit. This one rates an almost fully erect boner. <helix>


Ritual

WEIRD Romance (Madison)

For any of you Epic House and Trance lovers that have been in search of good mix tape for driving, at work, or just chillin’, this is a tape sure to satisfy. An average j-card, but a lot more than just average listening. Great sound quality, almost flawless mixing, and an excellent job of programming. Find and buy!! <dolomite>


DJ Cisco

Blueprint (Minneapolis)

From one of Minneapolis’ finest new turntable talents comes this fantastic mix of techno ranging from tracky hard house to raging and bangin’ techno. Seamless mixing and logical programming makes this member of the Purple City’s second wave one to watch for the future. An excellent collection of peak time tunes flawlessly blended into a full frontal dancefloor assault to match any “proper” techno DJ. And, he can do it live too”]I’ve seen it. <brad>


Nigel Richards

SixEleven DJ Mixseries Vol. 2

Dropping straight into gear off the top of this mix, Philly’s Nigel Richards drops three driving repetitive trance-inducing house toons off Aquarius Recordings. Tracks fade down and up- maneuvers that would make an already enthralled dancefloor explode with energy. The tracks are layed upon one another in the mix, proving the man has the skills to keep a driving set flowing hard. But, in time Nigel drops the tempo down to some cool chill stuff, marked by Compass 3’s ‘Rainy Day.’ Chris Sattinger’s ‘Dial 1-976-TIMEBLIND,’ one off ten Communiqué stable releases on this mix, interrupts the flow for a mechanical change-up that sets the flow for some nice quirky clangy techno. DJ HMC’s ‘LSD’ sounds out and is slowly faded into the mix, bringing a fun upbeat sound into the matter. More effective volume drops add to the snare builds of this track, though the volume drop in the end that mixes into Sam Onervas’ ‘Walkman’ – a primarily acid track, seems somewhat awkward, but not bad. Nigel rounds out the last third of the mix with his own tracks- interrupted only by the Communiqué master Woody McBride’s superhit ‘Basketball Heroes’ and Kid Acid’s intense acid tweaker ‘Notatorious.’ Richards’ ‘Why’d ya do it?’ is a ghetto techno crunch festival that runs a bit long in this mix, but mixes nicely into ‘Notatorious’ – the final full track on the mix, and a nice peaked ending. Some suspected ‘added-in’ flange, delay, and stereo effects throughout add a nice touch to this mix. Definitely a good buy for anyone looking for a nice driving mix of tweaked funky tunes and acidic techno. Check out the 611 mix #1 by Dieselboy- the man behind the slick design on the 611 mix series. <matt>


J Goodwill

Live @ Melody

New Brunswick, NJ’s esteemed DJ J Goodwill non-chalantly flows forth seamless synth and organ-driven teary-eyed morning chill house that induces that ‘sun is coming up through the windows and I’m still here sweating and throbbing’ feel that so few have attained as of late without the ‘benefit’ of speed or an abnormal work schedule. Wamdue Kids’ ‘Close Your Eyes’ winds in and gives the commands, leading into Retroactive’s ‘Super Disco Drops,’ which picks up the pace. The mix gets a fever with the addition of David Kennedy’s ‘Holy Ghost,’ bringing some cool vocal screaming into the tune. The ‘Jack’s House’ lyrical bellowing is faded in and out- hips would be _pounding_ to this on the dancefloor. The fact that this is a live mix from J Goodwill’s ‘10’ night at the Melody in New Brunswick reminds you that the hip, no doubt, were in some rapid motion. Disco rhythms sneak their way into the track with Tee Alford’s ‘Deep In Love’ and Retroactive’s ‘Disco Steppin.’ Stacy Kidd’s ‘Love You Better’ is a neat touch with it’s 90’s revamp of an 80’s Steely Dan tune. Goodwill brings it back to the present with a nice string of tracks including E.T’s ‘Give ‘em Love,’ Stickman’s ‘Soul Grabbers’ and Jeff Mills ‘Gift From the Hills.’ The Mills track, along with Krimp’s ‘House of Pain’ give the mix a weird and eerie feel to the mix that I would have very much have liked to seen it’s effect on the dancefloor. good DJ’s take you where they want you to go, and Goodwill has you by the ear. Another trio of trax bring in a nice vocal house edge as the mix winds down. Jamiroquai’s ‘High Times’ is a nice final cut to this phenomenal mix. DJ’s like J Goodwill make you want it to be morning all the time. <matt>


Wish FM 98.1

Wade R. Hampton Live at La Belle Époque, SF (Sunburn, US)

An extremely chilled out and funky recording from San Francisco’s Wade Randolph Hampton. Great listening music for well, sitting around and typing reviews. Very nice listening music that isn’t necessarily low-tempo, but the washing sounds throughout are quite conducive to sitting back and doing your favorite illegal herbs or something more productive… your choice. Many tracks here are off of Wade’s own Domestic Recordings, with appearances by DJ Abstract, Terra Deva, and Jason Mouse. Great CD, and I regret that there isn’t much else to add to that. San Fran can do that to a man… <matt>


London Acid City

Mutant Sound Systems

Licensed tracks from London’s squat scene make up this double CD. One CD is mixed by Zebedee and Orange Peel while the other is unmixed. Hard acid techno for those of us who know. The mixing is decent and doesn’t get in the way. If you’re into Stay Up Forever, Havoc, or any of the other London acid labels you will definitely find this to be up your alley. It’s similar to Fuckin Avin It 2 though there are some hard to find tracks on this. I’d get it if I didn’t already have it. <d.young>


Phantom 45

The Drum & Bass Rinseout (Suburban Base, US)

Our favorite Chicago junglist, Phantom 45, serves up a maximum-strength dose of big bass lines and broken beats on this Sub Base mixed collection. Most of these tracks aren’t exactly new; mostly material from Suburban Base and other’s 1997 catalog. This isn’t challenging music, this is dancefloor hedonism jungle at it’s most apparent- fast, intermittent deep bass and somewhat cheesy synth leads. If you’re into straight-up hard jungle (or, perhaps, the music Phantom spins live) this is one for you. If you’re looking for Bukem style stuff, keep searchin’. <brad>


United DJs of America 9

Mark Farina (DMC, US)

From the consistently-impressive ‘United DJs’ series comes the much ado Mark Farina installment. It’s good to see that Mark is getting the global respect and success he deserves and this CD shows why. The music selection is second to none, mixing is smooth and fluid (unlike half of Chicago’s supposed ‘best’ DJs), and it captures the essence of the Mark Farina live experience quite well. Track highlights include the much-loved Sixteen Souls “Late Night Jam,” DJ Q’s “Glasgow’s Jazz,” Naked Music NYC’s brilliant “It’s Love,” and Mateo and Matos dynamic “Home.” Excellent. <brad>


AK1200

Fully Automatic (Moonshine, USA)

AK1200 has been a forerunner in the US drum and bass scene since its start, so he’s definitely a prime choice for mixing the latest Moonshine CD. ‘Fully Automatic’ is a terrific collection of some of the latest, up-front drum and bass tracks, cleanly mixed without a lot of tricks. Some stand-outs come from Cold Fusion (“Free”), part of the Phunckateck crew in California, Calyx’s “Cubic,” Dred Bass’ “Technology (rmx)” and Danny Breaks’ “In Her.” AK1200 brings us a ripe mixture of dark techsteppin’ tracks and funkier jazzy tracks that helps keep it interesting, instead of flooding us with too many dark minimal tracks. A perfect CD for brocking out in your car or at your desk at work. <noahphex>


TuffJams

Speed Garage – The Underground Sound of London (Ultra Records)

Emily Ng’s label showcasing the best in overseas talent. This time she showcases that UK phenomena Speed Garage. More specifically, the mixing talents of one of the UK’s more prominent DJ duos- Karl “Tuff Enuff” Brown and Matt “Jam” Lamont. Not really what one might expect if you are from the States. Most of the Speed Garage that may be familiar to many is somewhat on the cheezy side with cartoon samples and have a commercial sound. Not this compilation. Sure, a couple of commercial records are used, but for the most part, this is pure progressive house/ garage, whatever you want to call it. Thrown into the mix are Roy Davis Jr.’s “Gabrielle,” Michelle Week’s “Don’t Give Up,” the Todd Edward’s mix of Mantra’s “Away” and, of course, Tuff Jam’s interpretation of Rosie Gaines’ “Closer Than Close.” The mixing is flawless and the selection is superb. Whatever you call it, it’s pure bliss. <j.flux>


Terry Mullan

Lost in the Sound (Mixed not Stirred, Volume 2 – Airbag, US)

Now known worldwide for his ability to pack a dancefloor with his groovy house sounds, Chicago’s very own Terry Mullan puts his own mixed CD into the market. Vintage Mullan starts with one of his funky beginnings, Scooby style, and bombards you with a fury of groovy cuts. His ability to blend songs at the right place at the right time is what makes him one of the most sought-after DJs around. To top things off, he uses a vast amount of tricks like scratching and EQ’ing, which makes the entire mix complete. Terry Mullan has skills to be reckoned with. <j.flux>