This is a must-have for die-hard house fans.
David Aaron 2008-07-02
Marking 18 years since they first catapulted onto the house scene with their seminal Muzik-Xpress and London-Xpress, X-Press 2 aka Rocky, Diesel and Ashley Beedle celebrate their status at the pinnacle of the international DJ fraternity with this collection of dance floor classics.
Raise Your Hands is a definitive package of some of the greatest tracks in the dance canon and features more anthems than the forthcoming Olympic Games. Inevitably, eyes are drawn to the inclusion of Ivor Novello award winner Lazy, featuring Talking Heads' legendary front man David Byrne. As the biggest airplay track of 2002 and a number two UK chart hit, it is undoubtedly X-Press 2's finest commercial moment and subsequently their signature track; but it is the industrial, gritty, incessant deep house sounds encapsulated by Muzikizum, Smoke Machine and AC/DC that reaffirm the trio's legendary status. The listener is transported in a heartbeat to the energy of dance floors from the UK to Ibiza, and beyond.
Collaborations have been pivotal in the Londoners' success and this is alluded to throughout. Lambchop's Kurt Wagner features on the gospel-tinged Give It, which shines alongside their teaming of Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter on Witchi Tai To (based on an American Indian peyote chant) as one of the most innovative and uplifting moments of the boys' career to date.
Raise Your Hands is a well-written closing paragraph on the X-Press 2 page of the dance encyclopaedia, and is a must-have for die-hard house fans. And with new track Fire featuring the impregnable vocal talents of hip hop pioneer Africa Bambaataa, the trio have yet again dropped an electric summer bomb to blast them to the next chapter.