Long, noodly keyboard passages and uninspired track selection make the first mix an awfully hard pill to swallow. Sure, David K’s ‘Three Arches’ is a damn fine track, Kadebostan’s ‘Spirit Soldiers’ is pretty swell too with original melodic textures that recall old school UK prog like Blue Amazon or Evolution, and the Patrick Zigon remix of Gel Abril’s ‘Very Wrong’ is probably the best cut on the whole comp (quite possibly because it manages to be both sophisticated and sleazy, and therefore sounds like the Steve Lawler of old), but these brief moments of clarity are bookshelved between long stretches of, to put it bluntly, rather uninspiring minimal boredom, for example the cuts by Luke Hess and Reshuffle. The mix finishes where it begins, ending with Samim’s fine remix of ‘Three Arches’, but given what has come before, the effect is less coming full circle and more two-for-one licensing deal.
Disc two is just disappointing, sounding as if it was culled from Beatport’s Top 20. ‘Ribcage’, ‘Confused’, ‘China Girl’ are all trotted out by Lawler, but at this stage it could be Sander Kleinenberg, John Digweed or even Layo & Bushwacka behind the decks. Expanding your horizons is one thing, but following the crowd is another: On Viva London, it’s almost impossible to distinguish Lawler from the rest of the progressive house mafia. For a man known for the dizzying heights of Lights Out and the Dark Drums series, Viva London is a serious disappointment.
- Published /
Wed / 12 Dec 2007
- Words /