Just for fun, I followed a full listen of The Rex the Dog Show with the nine-minute "Album Minimix" available for the hearing on Rex the Dog's MySpace page. Pretty shrewd of him to condense his music's pleasures even further than the album itself does: about half of The Rex the Dog Show consists of previously released singles that have been chopped down to between half and two-thirds of their original length, and it ends nearly at the beginning, with "Frequency" and "I Look into Mid-Air," the A and B sides of one of Rex's (really Jake Williams's, but fine, Rex's) first 12-inches on Kompakt four years ago.
Four years would seem like a lot longer ago in dance-music terms than it sounds here. It's been that kind of decade: especially compared to the '90s, the best dance records of 2008 don't sound extremely different than those of 2004, or 2000. That's a benefit in this album's case; everything on it sounds effortless, and all of it meshes nicely. By "mesh," of course, I mean flits charmingly between serrated electro that doesn't need to lean on Justice-style distortion-for-its-own-sake ("Maximize," "Prototype," the remix of the Knife's "Heartbeats") and a smoother, more digital-soul style ("Gecko," hooked on an irresistible female vocal snatch: "Baby, don't you know I live for your touch?"). The keyboard lines impact so instantly they sound as if they've been waiting for someone to claim them since time immemorial. Everything sounds like it emerged spontaneously on an especially inspired night of activity. For an album four years in the making, there are few better compliments.
Buy Rex The Dog - The Rex The Dog Show at
Tracklist: Rex The Dog - The Rex The Dog Show01. Intro
02. Maximize 2008
07. The Knife - Heartbeats (Rex The Dog Remix)
09. The Sounds - Tony The Beat (Rex The Dog Remix)
10. I Can See You; Can You See Me?
11. Itchy Scratchy
12. Italian Skyline
14. I Look Into Mid Air