Peace Division

Nite:Life 10 (NRK)

Don't be surprised if Peace Division's latest mix compilation becomes the beginner's manual for DJs looking to save a night gone wrong. DJ/producers Clive Henry and Justin Drake have been at the decks since the late Eighties and their skills have been lent to such acclaimed electronic artists as Moby, Armand Van Helden, and X-Press 2. Tribal to a tee, their captivating sound has helped to shape the current foundation of club music worldwide. The twelve songs on Nite:Life 10 feel like one continuous track held together by percussion minimalism, and since there are few flaws, a DJ who senses his crowd growing restless can drop anywhere on this mix and find a pill to calm the nerves.

Though the duo is distinguished as cutting-edge, this release plays it relatively safe, treading steadily through progressive house and elements of trance but never reaching beyond the known. The mix does everything dance music is supposed to do, but it never comes across as anything more than solid. After the instrumental opening of Earth Dueley's "Decomposition" and DJ Nique's "Mission," both thumping mood enhancers, house grooves and vocals drop in the mix courtesy of Shauna Solomon, who pines for another on the post-peak coming of dawn "I Wanna Be." Miami natives Oscar G and Stryke go toe-to-toe on "Hypnotized," stirring up a sultry stew of electric longing, volleying drum beats, and the ominous title refrain. The Miami theme continues on Solo's decent version of "Cocaine," a deep and dark line through the stimulation of patterned keyboards producing a subtler version of the infamous tropical narcotic. But then it's back to the basic formula: The remaining tracks trek along dutifully as one extended dub of drum and bass lines. Even the closing track, James Holden's "I Have Put Out The Light," begs for more sinister sampling than it gets, leaving the song hanging on its own melancholy. Perhaps the boys were using this project as an actual set where the use of prolonged themes would be expected, but for a compilation it lacks the definitive breaks in atmosphere needed to hook a listener. While there's nothing bad about the mix, there's nothing spectacular either -- just another nightclub spin.

 
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