MGF Reviews Regress: Classics Part One

Regress: Classics Part One
Regress / Made Records (3/13/07)
Trance / Electronic

I’ve known Jimmy Van M (the only name that I recognized from the set list) as guy who closely affiliates himself with “supastar DJs” like Sasha, John Digweed and Nick Warren. It’s my feeling that DJ worship is absolutely absurd, and I greatly prefer producer-driven material to guys who take credit for piecing together compositions created by other people. Sure, Paul van Dyk, Sasha and BT have done some really good original stuff, over the years, but for every Paul van Dyk original record, there’s seven Paul Oakenfold mixes. Anyway, back to what I was saying about not knowing what to expect: I was hoping that this wasn’t going to be double-disc full of anthemic trance, because I just was not in the mood.

The sole Jimmy Van M track, “Jetlag”, is seven minutes of dark, though at some times overly droning, trance that wasn’t half bad, but the following “Lost” by Flatline is equally as dark while integrating elements of techno and Euro for a great floor-filler, as well as my personal favorite track on the album.

The obligatory long, drawn-out breakdown comes with “Doobie” by Mavi, which clocks in at over a minute, but luckily doesn’t approach the five-minute Dutch trance mark—the kind where you just want to put your hands down already and get a f*cking drink—so it didn’t really grind my gears too much. NEMA’s “Untamed” is titled appropriately, as it’s a hard-driving tribal track that’s unfortunately ruined by yet another long build-up.

More tribal goodness kicks off the second disc, as Mavi makes its third of four appearances with “Precious”, which includes some organic elements reminiscent of Orb’s Pomme Fritz days. NEMA makes its third of four appearance with the twelve-minute clunker “Virus”, which really isn’t half bad, as it builds and up and releases at all the right times in order to stay relatively fresh. “Validate” by Pappa/Gilbey sneaks some house in, which was a nice change of pace after over an hour of dark trance. “Amor” by Bertoldo is more tribal fun, and even snuck in a female through the back door for some basic unintelligible female vocals. Normally I tend to frown upon lyrics in trance tracks, thanks to people like Ian van Dahl and DJ Sammy, but this was much more underground, and thus, much less embarrassingly saccharin.

This is like dance music for grown-ups. No ravers here. Good. As a whole, Classics Part One is not too shabby, though some of the tracks feel like filler, and since this isn’t mixed, the pauses between the tracks can get a little odd if you’re trying to listen to it straight through. I’m sure someone could have mixed it together in order to make it flow a little better. Everyone’s a DJ these days. Then again, this may have been unmixed for the sole intent of giving DJs one collection of stuff that would have otherwise been a hassle to chase down separately on vinyl or CD-single. But I’m going to assume not, because that would ostracize the rest of us who are not… oh yeah, everyone’s a DJ these days. Carry on, then.

[Editor’s Note: If you were looking to purchase this, it was a pain in the ass to find on Amazon, and is tagged incorrectly, so here’s a link, because I’m awesome.]