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Timo Maas

Balance 017

(EQ Recordings; US: 25 Oct 2010; UK: 18 Oct 2010)

Timo Maas is one of relatively few “superstar” DJ names. He’s produced lots of well-known remixes for well-known acts like Depeche Mode and Fatboy Slim, as well as releasing well-received compilations and projects of his own. His contribution to the Melbourne, Australia-based Balance series is his first official compilation, as opposed to artist album or remix album, since 2001’s Connected.


For the most part, Balance 017 is worth the wait. Disc 1 is excellent, concentrating on more moody, atmospheric, sometimes ambient, deep and progressive house. From the Yello-meets-Leonard Cohen vibe of Nicolas Jaar’s “Time For Us”, to the hyper-disco of Santé & Adam Port’s “Solano” and beyond, the mix is intriguing and attention-grabbing like little house music is these days. Disc 2 concentrates on more traditional, club-ready house fare, but gets weirder and more abstract as it goes along, adding just enough dissonance to keep things from getting into a rut. The late acid combo of Emmanuel Top’s “Somewhere” and Hardfloor’s “Acperience 1” is a brilliant move. Maas’ remix of Placebo’s “Ashtray Heart”, not so much. Overall, though, Balance 017 is a welcome peek into this major figure’s record collection, with lots of exclusives from his own Rockets & Ponies label to boot.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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Timo Maas - Balance 017 launch Brisbane
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