There's something seething and ritualistic about these tracks. Part of it is that they are, at bottom, pure tools—the whole exercise exists largely because DJs want cool exclusives to play out. But somehow I don't see myself putting on Jeff Mills' "Cycle 30" for my grandkids to teach them about the good old days. (Live at the Liquid Room, Tokyo, definitely.) Out of the mix, in the midday living room, Mark E's edits blossom, draw the ear closer, suspend time; they overwhelm you with their sheer patient grandeur. They're gilded memories of the records Mark E is working with, playing like the highlight reels of his mind.
When "You (Full Vocal Edit)" is going, you hear Diana Ross's 1978 "You Were the One" not simply remade, but idealized. It's six minutes of buildup followed by a two-minute explosion, only not quite that black-and-white. In this case, it's more like red and purple: the chopped guitar stab Mark E tweaks the EQ on for two minutes establishes the neon-accented scene, and by 4:30, when the background vocals come in, he's ramped things so gradually but assuredly that when Diana finally arrives near five-and-three-quarters, the head is ready to burst.
"RnB Drunkie" has only gotten crisper and flutterier. "Slave 1" slivers its components till they induce hypnagogia; "Plastic People (MEDIT)" has the same effect by focusing so obsessively on the cymbals' fizziness. Works 2005-2009 builds to its hooks so patiently that their arrival has more swell than if they'd ambushed you. The closer you get, the closer it gets. I play it every day.