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respect is burning
DJ Deep
Respect is Burning presents: Respect to DJ Deep
Astralwerks

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Respect to DJ Deep is another cornerstone in this popular series, in which French DJs spin the phattest house music Europe has to offer. DJ Deep, who apprenticed with Laurent Garnier, draws from the best of all possible sources of house, world and garage, and he mixes it up with a jazzy flair that echoes the stylings of Dimitri from Paris. Like Dimitri, Deep utilizes the nocturnal, urban, cool jazz-lite sounds of the '50s to make his dance music sound more like a party than your standard dance... It's a party that's been jacked up a notch or two.

If you're going to steal, you should steal from the best -- and that's certainly what Deep has done here. Deep's remixed tracks include productions by Little Louie Vega, Kerri Chandler (aka KCYC, who has done stuff with garage that would make a decorator swoon) and Olivier Portal, who has worked with Femi Kuti). When he slips in some world music, it's all the currently trendy tribal sounds, like soca, Ivoirienne and Nigerian music, soul, latin funk and cuban salsa. Deep is smart to appeal to the massive tribal culturees of New York, London and Paris by using music from the tribal cultures of the Equator. It's also a smart way to heat up the dance floor while keeping the soul cool. Although soul is beginning to revive (Alicia Keyes, Jill Scott and D'Angelo are supposed to be reawakening its bones), you won't hear many decent examples in today's music. Deep brings it all back with a rush, and that adds meat to the appeal of the beats.

Clocking in at 78 minutes, Respect to DJ Deep has no loser tracks, guaranteeing a good time for all listeners. If I have one complaint, it's that the tempo didn't ease up, or down, or vary too much at all. Maybe I listened to this album for the first time in the wrong environment -- driving in a truck on a sunny Saturday afternoon with the windows down, with the speedometer just topping 55 -- and that affected my ability to judge the speed of the sound correctly. Subsequent listens, however, have not changed my mind. Still, it's a not a huge complaint; variation in tempo makes dance music more exciting, but when you tire of Deep's tempo you can always switch CDs. The important point is that you can listen to the whole disc without ever having to skip over lame tracks. The sound is great and the mood is consistent; DJ Deep has chosen thematic works that work well together. That's definitely one point on which Deep has even the great Garnier beat...and I write that with the deepest respect.

-- Jenn Sikes
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