DJ and producer Darren Emerson was once a member of dub-strewn acid house collective Underworld. And lest you forget, he opens and closes his new mix compilation, GU36: Bogotá, with the then-progressive trio's 1993 epic "MMM Skyscraper I Love You." The two CDs this bookends are Emerson's third entry for Global Underground, coming many years after 2000's Uruguay and 2001's Singapore, and show a restless soul with one foot still in the stadiums.
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Neither minimal techno nor its recently reunited deep house cousins command much attention across these 2 hours 28 minutes of big-room tech-house. On the first disc, the highlights include Jagged's "Hello Kool Nice (Quarion Remix)," Emerson's own "Home," Pete Heller's "Sabotage," Nikitin & Semikashev's "Reflection Vector," and Maja's "If You Love Me Tonight (Passarani Mix)." The tracks jack with an unrelenting, adamant clap and varicose bass lines. Disc two follows similarly, with synthetic praise choruses dropped in between tension-elevating dropouts. Top tracks include selections by Kerri Chandler (remixed by Argy), Josh Wink, Mathew Jonson (remixed by Adam Beyer), and Spirit Catcher. In 2009, aqueous chords and electro tropes are no longer Emerson's prime accelerant. Still, the occasional massive crescendo remains a driving force, tying together decades of mischief.