DJs are the vessels through which many people experience electronic music that wouldn’t otherwise reach the mainstream. What is often forgotten is that these same DJs are not just the scene’s curators, but also its biggest appreciators. Unlike the world of mainstream music, the longevity of many underground dance singles is fleeting. They take on new life when mixed and intelligently placed in context. Tracks rise up sometimes only to bolster the set of specific DJs and may never be heard again. Before sites like Beatport, it was conceivable that a limited run vinyl release, once sold out, would never be manufactured again short of some sudden and unexpected peak in popularity. So you put them together in a collection.
The creative works of the roster of producers signed to house music label 50 Weapons are targeted at a dark dance floor house mix and little else. The 50 Weapons of Choice collections may be looked at more as a way to encapsulate a crate of house records into a CD format than an attempt to showcase the artists themselves. In this, the third collection of No. 20-29, the only consistency is the high production value. The warm bass shuffles and crackles abstractly in tracks like Anstam’s “Carmichael” but there’s little groove to be found in “Whiskey”. While Dark Sky’s “Neon” offers up a more traditional house bump and Shed’s “RQ-170” would be better described as a harsh industrial DJ tool. As the name suggests, this is a resting place for weapons in a DJ’s arsenal. The tracks each demand to be appreciated as they were released—individually. The average listener won’t find much continuity here. This is not a party mix.
// Notes from the Road
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