Everything Emerson has done smacks of credibility and ingenuity.
Andy Puleston 2002
"A gentleman is one who can play the accordion but chooses not to". Odd that anyone would choose to begin a review of a DJ mix CD with a quote from Oscar Wilde but then not every mix compilation opens the proceedings with Ramirez' squeezebox-tastic "Hablando". This big, stomping, party tune sets the tone for two CDs of pumpatronic mayhem.
Discone houses most of the tougher cuts. The brooding bass line of Medicine's acid hook screecher "Junior Aspirin" drives the mix forward in to the dirty funk of Orlando Careca's "I'm A Sex Machine" and on to the industrial thud and plink of Nitzer Ebb's "Join In The Chant".
The second disc proves to be lighter and more progressive although Darren never whimps out on us and keeps the momentum going with some great choices. The chunky, disco classic "Come In To My Room" by Sandy Rivera, (perhaps best known since Ben Watt's Lazy Dog re-working) lightens the load after the hammering from Slam's swirling "Lifetimes".
Circulation's "Magenta" and Darren's remix of Laurent Garnier's "Man With The Red Face" provide two of the album's outstanding moments. The former is reminiscent of PFM's approach to drum and bass whilst the latter demonstrates that Darren'sskill on the remix is still highly sought after.
Darren's mixing is very much 'on the fly' and as he says in the sleeve notes, 'I never practice. It doesn't go - it's like riding a bike.' Unlike the smooth and often lengthy mixes that characterise the sets of say, Sasha, his style is rougher and more organic. Yet, he never looses the flow and his selection is varied enough to maintain interest at all times.
Everything Emerson has done, be it writing albums with Underworld or travelling the world winding the ones and twos, smacks of credibility and ingenuity. With a renewed passion for his first love Darren Emerson is ready to take on the world... well, Singapore at least. Long may he continue.