Star remixer Peter Rauhofer was the man behind the sexily named remixing outfit Club 69 and currently DJs at New York’s Roxy nightclub. The two-disc Live@Roxy shows Rauhofer’s skill with spinning and remixing records, with tracks blended seamlessly and featuring actual melodies much of the time. Part of the joy of dance music is anticipating what comes next as a song builds and breaks down and builds again, from start to finish. Disc two kicks off with “I Am Ready” by Size Queen (Rauhofer’s latest sex-inspired pseudonym). With that song’s seven-minute Rough Mix going nowhere at all, we too are more than ready…for track two. Anxiety kicks in early with his remix of Funky Green Dogs’ “Rise Up,” in which he’s thrown a litany of DJ bells and whistles. But he keeps the glorious original song in here — with verses and chorus and everything! — and simply plays with his bells and whistles throughout, for added entertaining effect.
Still, more often than not Rauhofer wears us down with empty promises and broken songs. Laszlo Panaflex’s “Dance to the Music” keeps our interest for a few minutes, until soon enough all that remains is the line “if you want music” repeated over and over again. Yes of course we want music, silly. Please tell us what we need to do to get it. Javith’s “Workin” starts off strong with an infectious percolating rhythm. But that’s all there is to it, as it repeats its way to the next song, which features a creative rhythm that almost makes up for a lack of true melody. Rauhofer, we can forgive you for your frequent breaks — between and even during songs — at least when you’re spinning live. But remember, a CD is forever. At least it could be.
Sound Factory Uncut: Thirteen on Thirteen is not even for today. Sound Factory resident DJ Jonathan Peters celebrates the vaunted club with this compilation, but Peters’ two discs are certainly “cut” from the 25-hour-plus run of the club’s anniversary party, and in any case feature 25 tracks, not 13. It means to stand for 13 years on the 13th of April, I know, but while that gimmick worked for the event itself, it doesn’t for a CD released months after the fact. But that’s the least of its problems. The compilation’s booklet offers many telling examples of why, you’ll want to avoid this set. Featuring running commentary from unnamed, overjoyed celebrants, the booklet includes this gem of an entry: “The hard beats just won’t let up. No vocals. Just the beats. I’m covered in sweat, my hair is drenched! The air is thick with fog and the lights are right out there with Jonathan. This is the greatest love fest in the world.”
Dear’ins, keep all that in mind as you consider this compilation in the light of day, featuring hard beats, no vocals, sweaty bass, drenched melodies covered in unpenetrable fog and burning-retina lights. Live, it may have been glorious fog and glitter. But on record, it’s all smoke and mirrors, promising what it doesn’t begin to offer. “Let’s generate some sound,” a heavy breathing, deep-voiced man says early on, and that it does. It’s not music, and it’s not anything worth hearing.