Various Artists - Generationext House2Hard Vol.1, Mixed by Studio B, Dr Willis & Scott Alert
Wed 2nd Aug, 2006 Music Reviewsin
I’m a genre whore. A jack of most trades, so to speak. I stomp to Isaac, raise my arms for Armin, shake my ass to Stanton Warriors and bang along with Jeff Mills. Flitting amongst the bewildering array of EDM types is never easy, not least because CDs tend to pigeon-hole themselves. Thankfully, others share my predicament and are willing to bend the boundaries. The result? Generationext House2Hard Vol.1. This pearl was conceived in balmy Cairns; tourist haven, population unknown. The transient nature of the town’s community makes multi-genre parties an obvious choice. These liberal-minded and generous folk are now bringing the party to you courtesy of Studio B, Dr Willis and Scott Alert.
Studio B (aka Lewis Coleman, Si Hulbert and Harry Brooks) are a UK house outfit best known for their all-conquering ‘I See Girls’. They open disc one with Axwell’s latin-infused ‘Watch The Sunrise’. This bumps in to TV Rock’s famed ‘Flaunt It’. Silosonic anthem ‘Something’ rides nicely alongside ‘I Can’t Stop Playing’ (beware the soft-core lyrics “I can’t stop playing with myself”). The album wouldn’t be complete without ‘I See Girls’; here we’re treated to the Tom Neville Crazy Legs 12” remix. Crackling four by four gives way to whispery vocals and glitchy tweaks with Coburn ‘Give Me Love’. The down-tempo beats continue with Tocadisco’s edit of ‘Walking Away’, the moody male vocals of ‘Closer To Me’ and the evocative Royksopp ‘What Else Is There’. For Sale ‘Buy Now’ is a plodding filler track, whilst poxyMUSIC ‘Our Break’ sparkles. The CD ends with breakbeat; a nice switch. Soul of Man ‘Sukdat’ and Drummattic Twins ‘Feelin Kinda Strange’ do the honours. This mix is tight. It’s sexy, edgy and party-ready.
The house party is over, but we’re kicking on to the club. Enter disc two, and hard dance legends DJ Willis and Scott Alert. The CD starts with the melody-laden 130bpm electro number ‘Rippen Kitten’. The pace picks up slightly with ‘The Drill’ and the gritty ‘Stepping To The Beat. So far I’ve heard nothing that resembles hard dance. The progressive Shiloh ‘Dream On’ is beautiful. It, and Marco V ‘False Light’, secure the first half of the CD strictly into the ‘soft’ category. 2005 epic ‘Dirty Summer’ from Joy Kitikonti heralds ‘hard’. ‘Pay Attention’ builds the pace alongside Philippe Rochard ‘Music Machine Reloaded’. Dr Willis and Scott Alert collaboration ‘Go Away’ is an impressive slice of work. The CD rounds off with K90’s well known ‘Red Snapper’, the driving ‘Hypontizin’ from DJ Wisecrack, and ‘Noise & Muzik’ from Dark By Design. The ‘hard’ labelling of this disc might get railroaded by purists. Sure, it is harder than the standard house fare, but it has nothing on hardstyle or gabber or even pounding hard trance. Perhaps the world is not ready for a house and gabber CD just yet!