Dave Clarke Devil's Advocate Review

Released 2003.  

BBC Review

We could have roasted 500 chickens over a candle whist waiting for the follow up to...

Jack Smith 2003

In the 80s Dave Clarke span hip hop and soul. In the early 90s he started making techno and house, releasing tracks on R&S, his own Magnetic North label, and Bush, through whom he unleashed the world famous Red trilogy. In 1996 he released Archive 1, a long player that shocked his tecchier fans by encompassing not just techno and house but also disco, electro and more than a dash of orchestral drama.

If Archive was the sound of Clarke calmly raising two fingers at the purists, Devil's Advocate - Clarke's long awaited follow-up - is an angry, rebellious rant at the same people, seemingly aimed at erasing any remaining scintillas of narrow-mindedness from his fan base, and correcting misconceived notions of himself in the process.

The album bursts open unapologetically with the single "Way Of Life", a classic dancefloor mash-up that utilises the hype skills of Chicago house don DJ Rush. It's not quite as syncretic as a Basement Jaxx chugger, but its the closest Clarke will ever get - and it certainly isn't the kind of track you'd expect from a techno producer.

Which of course is the point: Clarke isn't a techno producer. At a push he could be loosely considered a techno DJ, but once in the studio, techno seems to be the last thing on his mind.

Who else, for example, could implore us to shake our trunks to disco-tech on "The Wiggle", reach for our linos on the bombastic hip hop/electro rub "Blue On Blue" (featuring Mr Lif) and get down to some seriously meandering church organ Goth on "Deo Gratias"?

There is plenty of what could be described as techno-punch of course - the solidified thump of "Stay Out Of The Light", the filthy hoover rumbles of "Dirtbox", the minimal loops on "The Wolf".

But it's tracks like his cover of Bauhaus "She's In Parties" (featuring Chicks On Speed) that demonstrates so well Clarke's dedication to diversity and his inclination to focus on creating music that simply makes him - and us - feel good.

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