Shir Khan’s Maximize! talks big in the first half, but it’s ultimately a lover who doesn’t deliver. The Berlin DJ pulls from an assortment of dancefloor-aimed cuts for his first official double-disc mix, and although it packs weekend-binge-drinking bangers in its early helpings, Shir Khan’s steady diet of heat burns out creatively all too soon. Indie approved entrants aren’t at Maximize!‘s room-rattling center here, which is a good thing. It’s not that the appearance of Busy P’s “Rainbow Man” as well as the multiple Simian Mobile Disco remixes over the two discs are ill choices—“Rainbow Man’s” pitch-bent buzzsaw riffs almost remedy Niyi’s irritating retro love letter to beat snaps (“808 Klap”)—but when Shir Khan reaches for the lesser-discussed glitch picks, it’s a more interesting trip. Disc 01’s inclusion of Phon.O’s “Booty Lickin’” stings with its unforgivably stuttering, bloop-heavy uppercuts (his website mixes highlight disorderly electronica like this), and alongside the dubby Crookers’ “Just Ghetto” house joint, which slices a Corinne Bailey Rae vocal to bits, unpredictable selections trump the marquee names on Maximize!. Shir Khan’s remixes are few, and Disc 02 is almost void of the atypical directions that the first half ventures into, with painful moments surfacing in Shapemod’s “Black Pants” and Shadowdancer’s “End Hit.” When I think of the best mixes I’ve heard this year, those that came from Skream, A-Trak, and Modeselektor, I remember my head exploding upon first listen. Shir Khan’s effort grazed me. These days, some fat’s gotta be trimmed, and it’s gotta hurt a bit more.
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