Chris Cowie Best Behaviour Review

Compilation. Released 2002.  

BBC Review

Monikers aside, Bellboy Records have reliably informed us that Chris does NOT wear his...

Andy Puleston 2002

For anyone to have produced over 200 records and be described by Danny Tenaglia as "genius" and yet still remain as anonymous as Chris Cowie takes some doing in this day and age.

This (until now) steadfast anonymity is rather like that of a super hero, especially as the chosen names for his public outings over the years include such wonders as Dawntreader (POW), Stonemaker (KA-BLAM!) and Scan Carriers (BIFF!!).

Monikers aside, Bellboy Records have reliably informed us that Chris does NOT wear his pants outside his trousers and does NOT move from his living room to his studio via a fireman's pole.

The release of Best Behaviour sees Chris Cowie stepping quietly from the darkened wings of the dance music stage into the spotlight and admitting that all those tunes we've been cranking it to for so many years are, in fact, his. That this hasn't happened sooner is illustration of a modest man with a rare talent.

The most engaging element of this collection is the variety of his productions. Admittedly, most are floor fillers of some kind yet assuming so many guises has allowed a free rein to experiment. The more up tempo, tech-stompers like "Therapy", "House Of God" (gotta love that Pulp Fiction/Samuel L. Jackson sample "We're gonna be cool") and "Silver" are glassy, funky cuts that demonstrate both a producer blessed with dance floor intuition and studio skills in even measure. "Black and White" might best be described as the thinking man's "Azzibo Da Bass" whist "Flashfunk" picks up where Underworld's Dark Train Mix of "Dark and Long" left off.

Worthy praise indeed but the absence of cheese indicates a lactose intolerance on the part of Mr Cowie; there are too many good ideas that prevent the music from descending into cliché. The more after hours tracks "Hold The Day" and "Mindfield" are slightly left of centre and extend his appeal away from the dance floor towards the sofa, though this is not a deterrent as there is plenty of space and texture to maintain interest.

It's rare that a double CD of dance music produced solo should contain no duds, yet Best Behaviour manages to do so. In one fell swoop Chris Cowie has arrived. Be excited... Be very excited.

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