Since putting their collaborative efforts on hiatus last year, the dynamic duo of Dubfire and Sharam, known more famously as Deep Dish, have each sought to create a stronger distinction between their solo recordings. While Sharam has adopted a free-wheeling aesthetic, Dubfire has taken a decidedly rootsy turn with his new Global Underground compilation, Taipei. Dubfire's no stranger to the GU series, so although the album takes liberty with trance, retro, and New Wave influences, the intensity remains intact. The first disc ramps up slowly with a few low-key indulgences before hitting stride on Julien Jabre's "Swimming Places," a smart blend of soft-plucked guitar welded together with loops of melodic flute. The mix then takes its best turn with the pairing of nostalgic New Wave and Knight Rider-esque synths on a remix of Ballroom's "Remember Me." Really it's among the New Wave, industrial, and retro infusions where Dubfire's self-reflective mood finds its stride. A skillfull rendition of Nitzer Ebb's "Control I'm Here," and a cover of Love and Rockets's "I Feel Speed" sung by Dubfire himself, particularly stand out. Through it all Taipei remains well-produced and sharp, proving that this half of Deep Dish has plenty to offer on his own.
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John Linn