Loco Dice - In The HouseIt looks an unlikely hook-up on paper—a DJ best known for his brawny house and techno and a long-standing bastion of vocal house. But is it really so strange? Defected have spent the last decade and a half building their rep on seeking out tracks from the far-flung corners of house music and turning them into hits. Their mix CDs are a production line of neatly-packaged clubland snapshots for the casual dance music fan. And whether you like it or not, that's what a lot of house music is to many of its consumers—just another tendril wrapping itself around pop music's trunk. In the other corner you have Loco Dice who, like one of his mentors, Sven Väth, has fashioned a career in underground dance music through a strong work ethic and missionary zeal. He's every bit a brand as Defected, and is clearly aware of the benefits of self-promotion.
That said, there's no doubt that Loco Dice In The House is a departure from the standard Defected fare. It feels like a coup for the latter and a successful exercise in what you might call "brand extension" for Dice. The first CD is the most immediately digestible for the core Defected audience. Early highlights include Roger Gerressen's echo-drenched percussive workout "Somebody Should Have Told You" (its Grand Puba sample no doubt having pricked the attention of an old hip-hop head like Dice) and Matthew Styles jacking remix of Franck Roger's "Don't U Know," which borders on hip-house. While there's a spattering of vocal tracks, they're chiefly of the cut-up variety, with Nathan Borato's juddering "Give It To You" being one of the few exceptions.
Things toughen up on CD2. Glimpse's "True South" acts as a harbinger of things to come, with its cavernous voodoo drums and screwball vocal. Despite being one of the older tracks here, the twisted techno of Skudge's "Convolution" stands out not just for its pistol-crack claps and blurry dub bass, but what Dice mixes it into. If there's one track on In The House that will get people talking, it's the hyped-up house/brostep of Diplo's "Express Yourself." The transition is perhaps the most awkward thing about it, as the record itself rather passes you by, later to be comprehensively outboxed by Mr Tophat & Art Alfie's foot-to-the-pedal disco, "Crab At The Green Hunter," and Alden Tyrell's industrial-leaning techno sprint, "Rush." In truth, Diplo's appearance is a red herring. The inclusion of Tyrell—as well as that of Glimpse, Skudge, Marcel Dettman and Mad Mike & DJ Rolando—on a Defected mix speaks volumes, and reflects a label slowly attempting an image change.
If you’ve seen Loco Dice perform at his ten-year-long Tribehouse residency in his hometown Düsseldorf, or at DC- 10 in Ibiza (from ’02-’06), you will have clicked to this. Loco Dice is someone, who can puzzle together intangible moods with a direct approach. View the full artist profile