The Dirt Crew boys James Flavour and Break 3000 seemingly came out of nowhere to become a much talked about producers, releasing on Brique Rouge, Highgrade and Traum offshoot MBF. Pointing to Daft Punk and Cassius as influences, the Cologne duo incorporate old ravey and trance signatures in their old-skool house and new electro flavas. In 2004 they went one step further, forming their own label Dirt Crew Recordings. And so they bring us up to date with ‘The First Chapter', a selection of their tracks from the last two years.
The old skool versus new electro idea is omnipresent throughout the album. These are big party-time tracks which will suit less discerning dancefloors: what they lack in funk and melody, they attempt to make up for with lashings of ping-pongy electro lines.
Tracks like 'Give Me House', 'Rok Da House' and 'What you Want', which rips a drum roll from old-skool Renaissance anthem 'Talk to Me' by Hysterix, don’t leave much room for subtlety. 'Check this Out', 'Domino' and 'Egal' also fail to impress and the finisher 'Soul Sounds' appears to borrow some of Oliver Huntemann sinister electro tones.
On the other hand the melodic touch of '808 Lazerbeam' shows promise, and 'Nervous' has a quirkiness of its own. But it’s the opening track 'Largo' that is the best on offer here: There's enough shiny synth action and bass elements to satisfy and this is perfect warm-up gear for a night on the tiles.
Not quite the ideal Xmas gift, this album shows one or two hints of what these guys can offer but in the end it’s a below-par effort: Adequate club music at its most bearable that’ll be very familiar to plenty of electrohouse jocks. Yet the Dirt Crew label has put out some tasty releases including Jimpster's remix of James Flavours' 'Da Ride' – perhaps their soon to be released 'Compilation 1' CD will be a better purchase than this one.
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