The Portland Phoenix
Oct 25 - Nov 1, 2001

[Music Reviews]

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*** DJ Escape


(Strictly Rhythm)

Escape, whose first CD was released earlier this year, mixes this not-to-be-missed two-CD Strictly Rhythm collection with much the same ear for European and Montreal dance-music styles that distinguished his debut. If anything, these sessions state his týste even more uncompromisingly. Few US releases have embraced the sugar-coated, high-speed space beat of hi-NRG as passionately as this set’s second CD: if you want to know just how fast, girly, and soprano-ish European/Montreal club nights sounded like circa 1988, you need listen no farther than Darude’s “Feel the Beat,” Naomi Coleman’s “Ordinary World,” Jessica Folker’s “To Be Able To Love,” Ian Dahl & Marsha’s “Castles in the Sky,” and — epitomizing it all — Tamia’s witty who-are-you song “Stranger in My House.” As for house music at its funky deepest, darkest, and most ominous, the first disc has Kraze’s “The Party 2001,” Crystal Waters’ pointed “Come On Down,” Robbie Rivera’s “Feel This,” Sono’s much (and justly) compiled “Keep Control,” and — craziest ńf all — Different Gear vs. Sia’s “Drink To Get Drunk,” a declaration-of-naughtiness song in which Sia states her right to dress funny and behave as badly as she wants to: “I wear the pants because they suit me/I use booze to get me loose.”

— Michael Freedberg

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