Optimo - Walkabout
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It's time for another mix disc from Optimo, which basically means that once again, you will be reminded that the duo has a much cooler record collection than you. Never one to bow to convention, in the past they've slammed together songs from kids choirs and Gang Of Four (How To Kill The DJ [Part 2]) to progressive rock and industrial (last years Psyche Out). Originally only released in Japan, Walkabout has finally hit a larger stage, and fans of the two will again want to go ahead and plop down the money now, because this is yet another solid (and varied) batch of music.

Basically, toss a dart at the board and you'll hit something odd and great here. With everything from post-industrial to minimal house to avant noise and post-punk, Walkabout is just about what you'd expect from the UK-based twosome. After opening with the album-titled track from Throbbing Gristle (a favorite of Optimo it seems), the mix slides right into a great minimal selection that blends tracks from Grungeman and Pan Sonic into six minutes that feel like they belong perfectly together. With a submerged thump and some swirling, but quiet layers of feedback, the former is particularly eerie.

As can be expected, it pretty much goes everywhere from there, with old school beats from Lenny Dee and Nicolai Vorkapich, the bleepy, but gorgeous "Fillertet 2" from Shane Berry, and the washed-out guitar haze of Boris on "My Machine." It livens up even more during the second half, with the buzzing but catchy "Radiation" from Suicide (from their Ric Ocasek-produced second album) and the Smith N Hack Remix of "Moving Like A Train" by Herbert, with horn blasts that get chopped to nuggets and slippery house beat that gets things chugging.

As with all Optimo mixes, most of the joy comes from hearing how they put the sometimes seemingly disparate tracks together in a way that makes sense. Other than a couple WTF transitions, Walkabout again pulls things off with flying colors, ending with the mutant dancefloor of "Manoman" by Black Dice. They're nowhere near as smooth as other DJs, but at this point I don't really think that they care. Instead, Optimo just wants to share some of their eclectic collection with a world in a way that instills body-moving and perhaps a bit of head-scratching. With this seventy-minute plus mix, they've certainly managed to do that again.

rating: 810
Aaron Coleman 2007-04-19 19:58:15