Various Artists - Cream Ibiza, mixed by Eddie Halliwell & Sander Van Doorn
Mon 27th Jul, 2009 Music Reviews 2994 viewsin
With Paul van Dyk’s cracking Cream Ibiza double CD from last year still getting a surprising amount of speaker time round mine, I was pretty keen on getting hold of this follow-up from two of the most dynamic guys in the business today. Anyone who has seen either of these guns knows that both possess the intangible (and too often deficient) quality of reading a crowd and pumping them the f*ck up from a standing start. With that in mind, let’s see what the lads have served up for our hard-earned cash this time round.
Eddie’s mix starts off with the crisp sounds of Pryda’s Pjanoo oh wait, make that Lift, before racing through a trio of minute-long high pitched electrohaus inspired Ed-its, highlighting zippy basslines and bleepy riffs as the ‘Captain of Bosh’ whips out his Kanye sunglasses and drainpipe jeans for this season’s forgettable Cream distribution. Sebastian Leger’s Majestic fronts up nicely with change of pace and extended break while still maintaining Halliwell’s focus on computer noise. There are plenty of rolls and effects as Eddie cuts with typical ease, but I find myself pining for some real hands on stuff from the one guy in the genre who can pull out an scratch and make it sound incredible every time. The beats have increased, but the sound is still ostensibly electro-tinged as we hear one minute Ed-its of well worn bangers from Deadmau5 and Pryda again – but it’s still much more ‘sure-fire’ than ‘fire it up’.
A two minute rejig of Marco V’s Coma Aid points towards the trancier half of the heavy-handed disc which improves as it goes on thanks to titans of tech-trance Durand, Patterson and Askew. Decidedly the most unremarkable disc to date to come from Eddie, there is a nagging suggestion that he phoned this in. The Ed-its are great as a concept, but paradoxically go against the raw edge that we all love Eddie for – they are just too neat and mechanical. Give me Eddie on three decks and an effects unit over a laptop anyday.
The equally exciting talent that is Sander Van Doorn backs up on the second disc, preferring a tried and tested mix of tech-trance and driving euphoric in a decent but fairly straightforward offering. Opening in familiar Sander style, the disco vocal of Oliver Twizt’s Another Step grooves into Sander’s edit of Ingrosso’s Laktos with it’s Café Del Mar sensibility and Latin percussion, before the electric tech stabs arrive proper in Randy Katana’s seductive You & I. The Spencer and Hill remix of For an Angel is quality, while being appreciably inferior to the original. Pretty soon, the household sounds of Chinook and Unprepared bring us into the second half of the disc. Stoneface & Terminal plus Kyau & Albert equals a recipe for goodness, and Santiago balances epic and progressive with the beautiful restraint you would expect. The return of the Purple Haze alias is also a welcome bonus and names like Marcel Woods and Gareth Emery highlight everything that is good and right in a saturated genre. As the disc races to a close, Sander lets slip his penchant for nu-romantic vocals with Spaceman and the fitting emotive closer Peace from Depeche Mode. A much better disc than it’s predecessor and far more coherent, this is still fairly harmless fare from the dynamic Ketelaars.
All up, a pair of rather disposable studio mixes from two of the world’s most exciting live DJs. The package feels sanitised without ever being hospital grade, and while it isn’t awful per say, it is the kind of release that you would be happy to take home to meet your mother – and who wants that? Sorry fellas, this one just aint up to scratch.