Tuesday, December 11, 2001

I've not done anything other than diarise for a while, so I thought it was time to put my house in order and do something a bit different. CD review time. This evening: Roger Sanchez - First Contact. I bought this CD about a month ago and I've fallen in love with it, in much the same way as I did Daft Punk earlier in the year. I sometimes get odd feelings that a particular album will become a favourite and most times my instincts are right. I'd loved Another Chance and had been waiting for some cash to buy the album. In the end I just bought it anyway - and a wise move that was! In a lot of ways it's like the Daft Punk album - fantastic French-stylee production with lots of beeps, layers, knob twiddling and lots of noises recorded backwards to help stimulate your little ear drums. First up is Computabank - crossing early Kraftwerk with Stephen Hawking and like a lot of these tracks it builds and fades in a hypnotic, almost tidal way. This runs nicely into the aforementioned Another Chance, a huge single back in the UK not long after I left. This is the long version at some seven minutes... I loved this single for the 'Dumpf Dumpf' bits - where Rog breaks things up with a couple of beats before coming in with synth drums in full effect. A word of warning though - as it's the extended version those 'Dumpf Dumpf' bits come in at different times and you have to unlearn where to join in! Track 3, Contact, could have been lifted straight off Daft Punk's Discovery. It's almost over-produced, with layer upon layer assaulting the listener, and the first time it was on I thought at one point the CD was skipping as there's a clever little effect part way through that I now love. You Can't Change Me is Rog's answer to Armand van Helden's You Don't Even Know Me featuring, er, Armand van Helden! Funky and I think the next single. The Partee (sic) is my least favourite track. The intro is incredibly like, er, Armand van Helden but not featuring him this time! The rest of the track is a latin dance track by numbers with little imagination from Rog. Sounds a bit like Funking for Jamaica by Tom Browne. More like Daft Punking for Jamaica. Ventura brings to mind the funk of Cuba by the Gibson Brothers, but stripped down, re-jigged and unleashed on a new generation. Daft Funk almost, until it turns into an Ibiza chillout track for the last minute or so. I Never Knew starts with a string intro that wouldn't be out of place on a Craig Armstrong track and then steps up the tempo into another piece of commericial 2001 DTPM style funk - this time more Modjo style but none the worse for it. Guest vocalist Sharleen Spiteri (put your hand together ladies and gentlemen, she's all the way from Texas!) adds her velvety tonsils to Nothing2Prove and does a great job - the mix of her voice and Rog's music work well together and good that she's here as the track isn't something I could ever imagine Texas producing by themselves. And finally Esther, track 9 - Leavin'. It starts off slow with a chill out feel but builds into a track that has you dreaming of vodka and tonic on the balcony whilst on holiday in the sun. It would be the track to get your chill out going again!

All in all then, pretty good stuff. Great played loud in your apartment, great played loud on your Discman. Love it. What does anyone else think? Comment away...

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