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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Lisbon
Fat Possum
Various Artists
5 Years Get Physical
Get Physical

Rating: 8/10 ?


June 5, 2007
As my appreciation for electronic music spreads, I find myself becoming more daring in what I choose to admit that I like. For somebody who was raised on a steady diet of punk and indie rock, fessing up to enjoying techno or house or something that might otherwise be played in a club of some sort is like telling your soul mate that you've been cheating on them.

Really, in my mind, punk rock and dance music are interrelated: both have their avid devotees, center around rhythm, and sometimes both sides enjoy a little friendly slamdancing, too. But for me, rock music is the preferred poison and sometimes listening to new electronic releases becomes a shoulder-shrugging, I-don't-get-it experience. With so many bedroom studio junkies and alter monikers running about, it's hard to keep up with who's who, much less keep the good, bad, and non-impressing sorted out.

This multi-paragraph introduction brings me to the point: 5 Years Get Physical, a double-CD anthology marking five-years of the German dance label Get Physical. The package's first disc is a collection of tracks originally done for the label but now remixed by renowned artists, not all of them strictly derived from the electronic genre. Disc one was, at first, all I felt compelled to listen to, it was that infectious. The heavy-hitters just seem to keep coming - Matthew Herbert (taking on Chelonis R. Jones's "I Don't Know), Hot Chip (M.A.N.D.Y.'s "No Stoppin'"), Rapture (S. Williams's "Picadilly Circuits"), even Moby (Djuma Soundsystem's "Les Djinns") - and keep killin' the tracks they service. Some lesser-known underground powerhouses (Fujiya & Miyagi, Dexter, and Henrik Schwarz) also lay down excellent dance-inspired grooves and keep the overall disc quality remarkably consistent. Equally impressive are the remixes that are done by non-dance artists, such as Larry Gold's orchestrated impersonation of Booka Shade's "Night Falls," Senor Coconut's go on "Body Language" (M.A.N.D.Y. Vs. Booka Shade), and Earl Zinger's freaked-out, electro-rock "Pleasure Seeker" (Elektochemie).

The back end of this double feature is a disc of compiled exclusives from Get Physical artists. This material is tailored more into a singular style - that of dance, house, and some techno - and inherently fails to apply to the masses in the same way that the first disc did. But for the most part, the second mix of house DJs holds up quite well against the all-star cast of remixers. The tracks with the most character are "To The Gum" by Riton vs. Heidi (with its repetitive "move that black behind" sample), Booka Shade's melodically-dodgy "Unhealthy Pleasures," and the breathy/dark/vocoder-hosting "Oh Superman" from M.A.N.D.Y. Vs. Booka Shade.

I don't know if club goers across Berlin will be getting down a summer long to 5 Years Get Physical, but if the music on the two discs has enough appeal to get an indie/punk rock kid to do some head nodding, I'd say it's done its deed.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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