In an interview last year, Minus head Richie Hawtin railed against lazy DJs who put out mix CDs in order to earn easy cash. So the impetus for this latest release, a two-CD compilation, which contains tracks by Richie Hawtin, Heartthrob, Magda, and Loco Dice is questionable. Minus itself began nearly a decade ago as a design-oriented gallery for music, and the first disc presents 11 bare tracks that are noted as a reflection of the label’s history. The focus of Nothing Much, then, seems to be on allowing the complete songs represent themselves, without the tweaking of another DJ. Each of the songs, contributions by Minus artists and frequent collaborators, are powerful enough in themselves. Marc Houle’s eclectic “Bay of Figs” journeys through an acid trip full of bleeps and bloops and Magda’s quirky (and previously unreleased on CD) “48 Hour Crack in Your Bass”, an homage to both Detroit techno and the city’s erratic rhythm. Each track is uniquely Minus, an electronic sound alternately referred to as minimal, avant-garde, and post-modern but which ultimately defies genre-ization. Something More, a bonus 25-track mix by Troy Pierce plays on this lack of genre even more by excerpting minute-long samples and tweaking them until the ever-changing sound makes listeners feel schizophrenic. The result is a hard-hitting blend of the best electro tracks currently on the scene, so good that you may agree with Hawtin and recognize that this is no lazy DJ’s mix CD.
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