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John Creamer & Stephane K: Bedrock Remixed and Compiled

Jason Thompson

John Creamer & Stephane K

Bedrock Remixed and Compiled

Label: Pioneer
US Release Date: 2002-10-08
UK Release Date: 2002-09-09

Maybe it's that I've gotten older and the club kid in me doesn't want to dance the way it used to when I was in my twenties. I'm not sure. I still like a great electronica and/or dance tune, but I'm hearing fewer and fewer of them anymore that get my ears excited. It does indeed seem that the true golden years of techno circa 1992-1994 are gone for good. The novelty has worn thin and techno didn't become the next big thing that some were predicting.

Still, there are plenty of club tracks recorded yearly, compilations compiled, and dance discs offered in plentiful quantities. DJ's continue to spin and remixers continue to issue albums of varying quality. The latest in the Bedrock series from Pioneer (yep, the folks that make all the fine stereo and electronic equipment) comes from John Creamer and Stephane K. These gentlemen have contributed such remixes of Satoshi Tomile's "Love in Traffic", Sinead O'Conner's "Troy", and New Order's "Crystal" to name a few. On Bedrock they deliver a double disc set of continuously mixed music that should satisfy diehard dance fans of some stripe.

It just doesn't satisfy me, however. Like I said, maybe I'm missing something, but the tracks sewn together here just are not that remarkable, nor are they good enough to warrant two discs. It's a common problem that these DJs and remixers often go a little too overboard, get a little too self-indulgent. That's certainly the problem here, among other things.

One of the biggest gripes I have with this set is that the tunes just aren't much better than background noise. A lot of these, such as Matt Schwartz presents Sholan's "Can You Feel (What I'm Going Thru)" in its "Sono's Pelican Remix" and Milo's "Jungle of Mirror" in "The Scrumfrog Mix" sound like the kinds of things anyone with a decent looping program can create. A lot of these tracks are slow burners, working off a built up drum and bass groove that intros for too long and then offers up a vocal sample or simple synth line and then goes nowhere for too long. It's not trance. It's simply annoying. I kept waiting for these songs to climax or break out more, and they simply never did.

With one song flowing into the next and not sounding much different from the one that came before, this can certainly be exasperating. Easily the worst song here is the incredibly dumb "Fuck Sonnet" (billed as a "controversial buzz cut") by John Creamer and Prince Quick. I don't know how long it's been really, but tossing in porno flick samples on techno tunes was old by 1996. Lords of Acid capitalized on it in their classic "I Sit on Acid", and Crazy Ivan's novelty "Mozart's Revenge" even had a remix of that tune with sexual groans laced throughout. To hear it still going on in 2003 is kind of embarrassing to say the least. Especially when you're hit with lunk-headed musings like "What good is the head of my cock inside of you, when my other head, the one with brains, keeps thinking how fucked up everything is?" and "Fuck you for letting me fuck you now."

After sitting through that mind numbing audio belch, it was even tougher to sit through the rest of the first disc, which includes the drawn out percussion fest that is "Deep into the Night" by Rivera and Trattner and Peace Division's "Do You See Me" in its original mix. With so many of these tracks clocking in at over six minutes and literally going nowhere, you begin to wonder who's still paying attention by the time the closing "Pleasure" by Duncan Ross and Gaetan rolls around with its semi-ambient tones.

Disc two begins with nearly eight minutes of the listless "Real World (part two)" by 4Toasters before winding headlong into the similar sounding hard dub version of "Seven" by Against the Grain. Both of these tracks offer up a percolating bongo-infused beat with minimal bass and expected voice samples that attempt to either sound futuristic or menacing and come off as merely distracting.

By the middle of the disc there is the light trance of "Supernatural" by Kim English which sports such directions as "stay in a trance" looped ad nauseam over a gurgling bass and soft bass drum beat. Sounds like a gajillion other tunes that have come before it � years before it. Beyond that there are the almost identical "Mas Suvae" and "Kanesha" by Dogma and the Afro-Cuban Rhythms and Fitalic, respectively. Both of these tracks are nothing much more than percussion loops once again that mix together for nine minutes of beat work that could have had a little more added to them.

I understand that Creamer and K are mixing things together here that flow well and work in tandem, but did they have to pick such uninteresting choices? There are only so many seven-minute percussion tracks you can listen to. But perhaps that's not the idea at all here. Perhaps this album works wonders on the dance floor and falls on its face everywhere else. It's truly hard to say. The two men certainly mix these tracks together quite well, but then you kind of expect that when it comes to these kinds of albums. I only wish they had given me more of a reason to want to dance here. As it is, I mainly just wanted to turn the whole thing off.

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