Various Artists - Classic Rave 2
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Various Artists
Classic Rave 2

Although "Classic" is defined as "an artistic work of the highest excellence," the problem in rounding out the rest of the equation is that everyone has such a different idea of what they consider a classic to be. While this compilation has picked some solid tracks for the second in the series of "classic" rave tracks, some people may argue with the tracks that have been included, and others may argue with tracks that have been omitted.

Although it's a hard thing to judge, the disc should admittingly start out on a high note for nearly anyone with the inclusion of 2 Bad Mice's track "Bombscare." With a slowed-down breakbeat and a rumbling low-end, the cheesy explosion sound effects sound all the more vibrant (and 5 years ago) in their inclusion. It's a good little handwaver, and in it's time blew up (pardon the pun) floors everywhere. Following right on its heels is the low-fi electronic wonder of "Chime" by Orbital. Created way back in 1991, the track wouldn't really inspire much dancing with the light sounds, but that doesn't make it any less of a nice listen. Acen rocks the place following soon after with the fast, "Close Your Eyes" fueled by more thick breakbeats, a sped-up LL Cool J sample and some dreamy synth wash bridges. After the fairly light "Don't You Want Me" by Felix, the album takes off again with the drum-troupe flavored "Give It Up" by The Goodmen. Although it's the album edit version (the full track runs over 6 minutes, while this one only goes about 3.5), I think that the track would qualify as a classic in nearly anyone's book (and if not, they've at least heard it at some point).

From there, the album goes through a mixture of track that kind of skirt the line on whether or not they were classics or rave novelties (but then again, sometimes there admittingly isn't much of a difference). After the acid sounds of "Vamp" by Outlander and "Loose Caboose" by the Electroliners, the disc follows up with the electro-influenced "The Beat Is Over" by Basco and the light, diva flavored "High" by Hyper A Go Go. Things close out with "London Xpress" by Xpress 2 and N-Joi's "Anthem." They're both light, disco-esque numbers and the end of the album feels a little less inventive than the beginning.

In the end, whether or not you want the album depends on how much you can stand the old tracks. While some tracks like Orbitals "Chime" have aged fairly well, the light cheese of other tracks reminds you of just how old the tracks are. Unlike, say Warp's 10+2 Classics releases, most of these tracks weren't as influential, but did capture a small moment where they were the flavor of the month at raves.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00