Various - Misch Masch (mixed by Radio Slave)

Radio Slave (at one time Matt Edwards and Serge Santiago; now just the former) was responsible for the Can't Get You Out Of My Head/Blue Monday mash-up from a couple of years ago. Not that you'd know it from the 4th entry in the Misch Masch series, where he takes the mantle. These two discs will prove near impenetrable to many, but lovers of fucked up dance music may find themselves in for a treat.

CD one is a mix of mainly other artists' tracks (although some Radio Slave remixes do feature) and is superbly twisted stuff; minimal, deep (with a low BPM throughout) and occasionally just plain odd. Indeed, the slowed down voices and messy electronic noise that come in on track five are a scary enough accompaniment to doing the washing up, never mind while lost in a k-hole (speculatively speaking). The blending here is subtle and seamless; all the more impressive for not drawing attention to itself. One imagines you'd need to know the tracks very well to appreciate some of the work here. A niggling hook from Trentemoller's Moan, for example, recurs over several tunes. The highlights here are many; check The Cat, Mekong Delta and gorgeously textured closer Renaissance, leading us out of what is a particularly dense set and into a sort of artificial sunshine.

The second CD consists of seven Radio Slave remixes (unmixed). Don't feel short-changed (these pretty much take up 80 minutes), or be fooled by some of the pop names (Moby, Jamelia, Pet Shop Boys). A typical Radio Slave remix will take sparingly from the original, drawing a small snippet out over a long period. It's a tactic you'll find either hypnotic or boring. Only his treatment of X-Press2's excellent Kill 100 really embraces the vocal. Also good is his remix of Body Language, teasingly hovering on the edge of the original's main hook, but never blowing its load.

Misch Masch IV is well worth a look for those willing to journey beyond the limits of commercial dance. Now, if we could only get a certain Kate Bush to give in and allow an official release of the man's treatment of King of the Mountain...



out of 10

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