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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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Halcyon Digest
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Everything in Between
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Lisbon
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Starkillers & Austin Leeds
Nervous Nitelife: Vegas
Nervous

Rating: 7.3/10 ?


June 12, 2008
There has always been something about the culture of house music that is a tad bit laughable; I'm talking about the obsession with expensive brand names, over-priced liquor, and scantily clad ladies. A quick look at the cover of Nervous Nitelife: Vegas confirms all of the above: DJs Starkillers (AKA Nick Terranova) and Austin Leeds are lounging in their Dolce & Gabbana and BOSS wear together with a handful of ladies in revealing outfits. OK, they're not sipping Cristal, but the cheesiness is still there.

In order to fully enjoy the music on Nervous Nitelife: Vegas one should block out the cover image and slide all of the yuppie pretentiousness in a drawer; musically there is a lot to enjoy on the release. The two-disc set consists of a 14-track CD with every song seamlessly mixed together, and a DVD featuring a "documentary" in which the two DJs talk about the Vegas scene, and house culture in general. While the CD is enjoyable, the DVD is nothing more than an hour-long version of the previously mentioned cover photo, and should be ignored.

What's important is the music, and Terranova and Leeds know their house. The two understand the underestimated task of selecting interesting tracks that are more than just floor-fillers, and they know in what sequence to spin them in order to prompt listeners to get up and dance. Additionally, they have a firm handle on the often over-looked art of mixing; their chosen tunes stream seamlessly, and the result proves that DJ'ing is a craft that involves many skills.

For most fans of contemporary American house music, neither Starkillers nor Austin Leeds are new names; these guys have been around for quite a while, and it's impressive to see how they've come to master their craft while at the same time having a fingerspitzgefühl for finding new tracks that will work on the dance floor. This know-how and taste shines through on Nervous Nitelife: Vegas, and it's a pleasant listen, even for a house novice.

I have to repeat my word of warning, though: do not look straight into the cover photo. It will eat your soul.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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