If you let the music speak, Futurism doesn't have all the answers. It's a mix that certainly doesn't veer into the dark and exciting territory his previous mixes reveled in. If anything, Futurism proves that no one does Tenaglia better than Tenaglia, because although he does evoke moments of the old magic, Tenaglia seems happy to retire the trailblazer moniker and slide gracefully into elder statesmen mode.
Over two expertly programmed discs, Tenaglia paints his sound with almost Rothko-like simplicity, limiting his set to the darker colors of his musical palette and rarely brightening the set with the screaming diva a cappellas that frequently and brilliantly contrasted the boom and shuffle in the past. Having a residency at Space in Ibiza rather than the flamboyant NYC clubs of old has seemingly added a more serious tone to his sound. You feel playing to Europeans has made his sound more direct, more mean, and a just a little less inventive.
That's not to say that this is an average set. In fact, it has all the trademarks of classic DT. The first disc shimmies by effortlessly, through Yello's lush "Indigo Bay" to the camp Africanism of Afefe Iku's "Bodydrummin," before almost slipping over the sleaze and sweat that emanates from Guillaume's "Can't Cheate with Concrete." After a tight and taut middle half-hour flush with rhythm and power, the hoover stabs and bit-crusher riffs that drive Magik Johnson's cheap and nasty "Asylum Sneaker" seem a bit obvious, but Tenaglia redeems himself with a blissful set of sublime techno cuts to close out the disc. Starting with Bumpin' Ugly's snarling "Work Me," he bulldozers in the rolling, old school swagger of "Emergency" by Mastiksoul with a viciousness reminiscent of the GU days, before closing out with his own hi-camp, lo-slung robo-house cut "Space Dance."
The second disc is a superior set, with a darker, more linear feel that resembles the end of one of his Miami Marathons. He rides a slippery techno beast that pulses, breathes, and thrashes relentlessly through the strobe; the marching "Morodem" by Phase is as close to trademark tribal as you'll find here and you feel the relish with which he whips in the funky-as-fuck "Beatific" by Daniel D, a pumping percussive number that would get even the staunchest booty moving. By the time he expertly puts things on the simmer with Peter Horrevorts' "Birth," you embrace the slinky and sexy re-edit of Ultra Nate's "Twisted" with open sweaty arms. Ignore the senseless vox of "Space Dance"—it's a poser as a set closer—and finish on Andreas Heiszenberger's sublime "Perfect Moment," a gorgeous tech house number that sparkles through a hazy dawn of melancholic synths.
In times like these, where house seems fenced into corners of aquatic deep house, bone-dry minimal, and crisp Ableton electro, it's easy to forget how easily Danny turned his sheer contempt for genre into a sonic sorcery that bewitched generations of clubbers and influenced selectors as disparate as Fanciulli and Luciano. With that in mind, Futurism is disappointingly two-dimensional and safe, but it's still a great mix from a dark disco master who, after over twenty years in the game, is as good as any player out there.
Wed / 13 Aug 2008
01. Yello - Indigo Bay
02. R.T.A. - Metaphysical Vibe
03. Afefe Iku - Bodydrummin'
04. Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Can't Cheat With Concrete
05. Jitzu & Sire G - Cyclette
06. Wighnomy Brothers - Hankkofloppe
07. DJ Msoga - Tiir – (Burchan's Bomb)
08. Magik Johnson - Asylum Sneaker
09. Luca Bacchetti - Rolling Brooklyn
10. Shinedoe - Filthy Phunk
11. GummiHz - Desire
12. Bumpin' Ugly - Work Me
13. Mastiksoul - Emergency
14. Danny Tenaglia - The Space Dance
01. Fred Giannelli - Mid Life Crisis
02. PuNto - 3Tempo3
03. Silent Servant - Murder Murder (Burch Bomb 2)
04. Phase - Morodem
05. Gel Abril - Your Face Is A Mess
06. Dave Angel - Mothership Pt. 1
07. Daniel D - Beatific
08. Davide Squillace - I Ment to Be Sharp
09. Hertz - Big Bang
10. Joris Voorn - No Revolution
11. Peter Horrevorts - Birth
12. Ultra Nate - Twisted (Got Me Goin’ Round)
13. Andreas Heiszenberger - Perfect Moment (Efdemin's Cremant De Cramant Mix)
14. Danny Tenaglia - Space Dance Vox