Having said that, in one sense Fortier is doing what he has always done: merging the best elements of European dance music with populist American sensibilities, and finding a hugely receptive audience in the process. Of the fifteen cuts on 'As Long As...', there are just two that are genuinely progressive ('Fantastic Diversion' and 'Quote Unquote'), which should let his fans know where he stands on the genre, but ironically enough they are the only truly weak tracks on the album. Elsewhere Fortier dips his toes into other forms: 'B Dub' and 'Stay Tuned' swerve awfully close to Michael Mayer territory, 'Don’t Hide What You Believe' and 'Under Your Nose' recall the droning and overwrought strains of the Brooklyn "emo" tech-house typified by labels such as Railyard and Ransom Note, while five of the tracks are strong peak hour dancefloor cuts covering a spectrum of genres including electro, acid, and even some pleasantly unexpected rolling faux psy-trance basslines.
Fortier's eye on the dancefloor means that the album will drag like a mofo when consumed in a sitting position, but you get the sense that that isn't what this is all about. For tech house and progressive DJs, the sonic diversity and dense, melodic beauty of certain tracks will definitely appeal, while more adventurous jocks would do well to check out the likes of 'Fantastic Diversion'.
Overall then, this is very much an ear-to-the-ground release, at times recalling the work of newcomer Adultnapper. But ironically, perhaps it is elements from Fortier's background which make the album shine most brightly: The complexities of the arrangements and dense layering of melodic hooks are very much a welcome reprieve from the cheap rubber band rhythms of commercial electro or the endless click and bleep of minimal. It's an adventurous album, and it should garner Fortier some new fans, not to mention prove that there is life after progressive.
- Published /
Tue / 11 Sep 2007
- Words /