When I first started getting into listening to mix discs, I thought they were one of the best things ever. At the time, my musical knowledge and interests were somewhat limited, yet I was always excited to hear things that someone else thought were interesting chosen for me. As I've gotten older, my interest in a DJ simply mixing tracks together in a smooth way has somewhat waned, but I still like an inventive mix once in awhile and although it's gotten a bit out-of-hand lately, I still love the idea of a good mashup.
That said, this release from Optimo (aka JG Wilkes and JD Twitch) is one of the more interesting things I've heard in some time. Although it's somewhat similar to the Soulwax 2 Many DJs series in terms of the sheer number of different styles that it combines, How To Kill The DJ [Part 2] takes it one step further even by seemingly trying to include as many musical styles (from the past 40 years or so) as humanly possible into one bizarre mix that flips styles with ease and mashes tracks like it was yesterdays news (which I suppose it is).
A two disc set, the first is a mixed disc of tracks and the second is a seemingly even more eclectic batch of single 'classic' tracks that the duo picked. For sheer listening and surprise factor, the first disc easily takes the cake as it starts with "Wars Of Armageddon" from Funkadelic and promptly runs through tracks from everyone from Laibach to The Cramps to Banbarra and even Nurse With Wound. That's just the start of the madness, though, as "Damaged Goods" by Gang Of Four rips off entirely before somehow mixing into "Good Vibrations" from the Langley Schools Music Project. To say it's a bit of a surprise is an understatement, but then who would have thought that Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" would fit on top of Ricardo Villalobos' "Dexter?"
Like other mixes that have come out with the prime intention of flaunting just how out-there the actual track mixes can be, part of the charm with How To Kill The DJ [Part 2] is the sheer surprise factor in hearing how many of the tracks are put together. Unlike mainstream mashups, though, it's also clear that the duo have a love of the obscure and aren't afraid to dig deep past the mainstream and bend tracks to their will in order to drop the cuts that they like. With 42 tracks running over an hour of time, you'll probably even hear something you've never heard before but might want to follow-up on (I know I did).
The second disc is even more unique in some ways, as the group includes some more spaced-out tracks that might not have fit quite as well into the mix format (although that didn't obviously stop them in other places). Again, the disc runs over an hour in length and includes tracks from André Williams, The Balanescu Quartet, Sun City Girls, Hasil Adkins, The Flirtations, and Angelo Badalamenti. In 60 tracks combined on the two discs, there's a taste of just about every style you can think of. Whle it's not always a completely smooth listen, it ultimately very seriously satisfies what I really loved so much about mix discs when I was first collecting them, which is that it got me interested in a couple new things that I've never heard. Bizarre, but highly addictive.