Dig These Discs :: Horse Meat Disco, Markus Schulz, Katie Melua, School Of Seven Bells, Gayfest 2010
Compilations are a good way to get all of the hits you were looking for by an artist, or to create a party atmosphere without changing between multiple albums.
Before iPods, this is the way that it was done--and the majority of the albums below prove that compilations are still a thriving practice for labels. One of the best uses for compilations nowadays is to find new artists or new mixes of songs that you might just love.
Horse Meat Disco 2
Anyone who tells you disco is dead has obviously been living in the mainstream too long. Thanks to James Hillard, Jim Stanton, Severino, and Filthy Luke, the glory days of Studio 54 are alive and well--without the nasty hangovers or questionable antics.
The quartet has come back together to mix another round of Horse Meat Disco just one year after the first compilation was released. The album consists of a number of classics mixed together with new discoveries. The mix includes music by artists like Stephanie Mills, Kasso, Rinder and Lewis, Bravo, and Madleen Kane.
The music is enough to keep the party going all night, or at least for an hour, as that’s the disc’s running time. (Most likely, no one would have a problem going back for seconds.)
If songs like "Cherchez Pas" or "Afrodesia" don’t get you moving, then nothing will.
Markus Schulz - Do You Dream
After three long years, Markus Schulz is finally unleashing his follow-up to the well received Progression. His third album, aptly titled Do You Dream, puts you, at time, into a dreamlike trance.
Album closer "Goodybye" features guest vocals by Jessica Riddle, and it makes you feel like Alice going down the rabbit hole. Perhaps like many good dreams though, "Goodbye" ends abruptly, startling you awake and leaving you wanting to go back for more.
Schulz spent 18 months crafting the 16 tracks that make up Do You Dream. The results are sure to keep him at the forefront of the industry. The tracks are able to stand on their own as well as work cohesively to formulate an overall identity for the album.
Another highlight on the album is "Last Man Standing," featuring Khaz.
Katie Melua - The House
After listening to the first track on Katie Melua’s fourth album, The House, it would be okay to be afraid. Despite the whimsical music and style, she has obviously been scorned, and is looking to exact her revenge in the cruelest of ways--by disguising her feelings as love and killing her lover.
Previous Madonna collaborator William Orbit takes over the producing credit on The House. British Melua has also teamed up with Robbie Williams’ co-writer Guy Chambers. By changing up the mechanics of her work for the first time, Melua is able to take control, and offers a more mature take than on her previous albums.
Melua, who is virtually unknown stateside, sounds like England’s version of Bjork at times. The track "A Happy Place" uses the electronic backing that the song sounds like an intergalactic song that might have originated with Barney and Friends. ("Tiny Alien" is another song that charters into outer space.)
The album quickly recovers, with the chanteuse sounding "A Moment of Madness," and stays on the right path all the way home--arriving at a place that is much less scornful-sounding than what the opening track would suggest.
School of Seven Bells - Disconnect from Desire
Tell me if you have heard this one before: a pair of sisters (in this case, identical twins) starts a band and finds that by harmonizing, they are able to make catchy music.
No this isn’t The Veronicas, but rather The School if Second Bells, who are released their sophomore effort Disconnect from Desire this summer.
The twins, Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, along with bandmate Benjamin Curtis, have created music that is both haunting and catchy. Their music is more left of the middle than The Veronicas, but there are definitely some similarities between the two group’s musical stylings.
Right from the beginning, with opening track "Windstorm," Disconnect form Desire is off and running. The trio has grown from their debut, which has allowed for them to iron out the kinks that they initially had in their music. Along with this growth, however, there are some new issues that they have to work on if they are going to continue in the electronic world. But that doesn’t stop the album from soaring as fun ear candy.
GayFest 2010 offers two discs, with the first offering a more straightforward (no pun intended) version of the songs, while disk two offers a megamix by DJ David Strong.
Included amongst the tracks are remakes of popular song such as Madonna’s "Express Yourself" by Melissa Totten, who sounds just like the original. Less carbon-copy vocals come with Jo Frances’ version of Donna Summer’s "She Works Hard for the Money." Both are okay, but Totten’s is more fun to listen to, as it doesn’t sound like a bad dance karaoke version of the track. The best of the re-made songs comes in the form of Hannah Jones’ "Automatic," which was originally done by the Pointer Sisters.
Not quite in the same arena as those singers is Carol Jiani, who is revisiting her own song, "Hit ’N’ Run Lover," and giving it a makeover.
The second disc’s remix by David Strong does well working the tracks into each other so that the party doesn’t ever have to stop with a second of silence. He works the songs into each other so seamlessly that you’d never even know they had ever been done another way.