December 8, 2006

20:20 Soundsystem - Tape Remixes

20:20 Soundsystem made electro/disco/house for years before Get Physical made it hot. Their pristine, squeaky clean sounds and lines belie a dancefloor muscularity that only seems to come to the fore when the floor is dark and the moon is high in the sky. Likewise, Ralph Lawson’s label 20:20 Vision has always sat easily between its sometimes-brilliant electro-leaning output by Carl Finlow and its housier offerings like Fred Everything’s fruity “Light of Day.” This massive remix project is another well-considered move, pairing the original with Dirt Crew and Prins Thomas. Dirt Crew’s sound sits perfectly here as the “filthy other” to 2020’s sparkles, while Prins Thomas takes a pinch of the same grime and flings it into hyperspace disco mode. To tell the truth, the original is no masterpiece—it’s one of those tracks which stays in your box for its qualities as a “gear changer,” the B-side between A and C, useful for moving a house set into electro mode or vice versa. Dirt Crew’s mix smears a little disco mud on the original licks, but ends up underwhelming—it’s the Prins Thomas you want. All three versions, even the seemingly throwaway “bogus bonus version” prove yet again why this Norwegian is justly touted as one of the most creative productive forces in current dance music.

20:20 Vision / VIS137 / VIS137-A
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[Peter Chambers]