Various Artists - Smitten Contortions
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Various Artists
Smitten Contortions
(Imperial Dancefloor)

From what I can tell, Imperial Dancefloor is a label that specializes in music that will pound your brain out on the dancefloor, and this 2CD release of hard-acid (or hard-ass?) trance that pumps at no slower than 140 BPM. A couple of the tracks on the release are repeated on both discs (the first disc is singles, while the second one is a continuous mix) as if the first disc was created for DJs mixing with CDs while the second is for those at home to get an idea of how to put together a 70-minute plus session.

The first disc starts off with a slower (meaning barely lower than 140 BPM) track by Audio Pancake entitled "Soul Suckin," but promptly drops off into a longer, somewhat stripped-down number by Balloonheads that goes through 3 distinct parts before grinding things up for the final 3 minutes. Some of the other highlights of the first disc include the very slowly building "Glazed" by Vibe Bar Rejects (that works much better as a track than some of the tracks that simple bang on) and the super dark-acid sounds of Tarball and Lungbutter's "Wank In My Pocket." There are a couple mis-steps on the first disc, as on the goofy b-boy sample in Punk Floyd's "The Exstacy Is Working" and the old-school dis of Audio Pancake's "F Goa," but for the most part it's a 79-minute plus smorgasboard of thumping.

The second disc finds a lot of the tracks making a reprise in the mix (by Dave The Drummer), including the first two of which are his own (but don't make an appearance on the first disc). Things really don't get burning, though, until the third track (which is also the shortest unfortunately) "Their Eyes" by DDR that bleeds around the edges with tons of layered siren-like sounds and a relentless beat. From there, two songs from the first disc weave their way into the mix before "Bad Day At Black Frog Creek" by Chris Liberator and The Geezer let you know that it's a hard acid mix again with a super-grimy 303 line and other squirty acid squiggles.

Overall, the 2CD set is one that you probably won't find yourself listening to a lot, simply because of the overall lack of variation in the tracks. It's 22 tracks of hard acid trance, and although there are some minor differences to be found in it, the main motivation behind it all is making your ass move, not firing up the brain (although those crazy acid lines snake their way into your head pretty easily). The second disc is better for casual listening (or as background music for hard workouts) because the tracks are mixed together without breaks, but as mentioned above, if you're a DJ who doesn't spin from wax and want to crank up the BPM's, this is a release you should check out.

rating: 5.7510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00