Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Danny Howells, Miami: Global Underground #27

Global Underground is a UK record label that specializes in dance music.  Their signature series of CD releases involves taking a DJ who is well known on the international club scene to a particular city and presenting 2 CDs worth of music performed in a local club.  The 27th disc in the series features Danny Howells at Miami’s Space club.  The first disc contains a mix Howell’s played shortly after sunrise on the club’s terrace on a Sunday morning.  Disc two is a mix he played in the main room of Space several hours earlier.

Howells is a first rate mix master with a finely developed ability for sequencing tracks and both building and sustaining momentum.  Many well-known DJs impose their approach on the music they play by infusing their mixes with percussion or synth overlays and transitions between tracks that embody the “sound” they have used to brand themselves in the international club scene.  While this may thrill club goers who are constantly reminded that they are in the club with the famous whoever-it-is-this-month, it tends to reduce a mix to a tedious sameness when heard on CD.  Howells doesn’t have this problem.  He adapts his contributions to the music playing right now which gives his mixes a real sense of direction and development.

While the Global Underground mixes are usually classified as some variant of House, Howells has a broad and eclectic taste in music which adds to the feel that his mixes are developing and going somewhere.  He is especially good at building momentum leading to an exhilarating climax which he then ramps down and builds back up again.  You’re doing something around the house with this music playing and you find yourself dancing before you even realize you were listening to the music.

Disk 1 starts slowly.  There are interesting things going on in the opening tracks in the mix but if you’re not paying attention they can be overlooked in the fairly steady 4 by 4 beat laid out over the top.  But Howell’s knows what he’s doing and he’s setting you up.  The first four tracks are a slow buildup which culminates in Ame’s “Shiro” before he drops the funk bass bomb on you with the Salt City Orchestra Nightclub mix of Sneaker Pimp’s “Post Modern Sleaze”.  From that point on the mix just flies.  Disk 2 is more intense and driven as would be expected from a mix played during peak hours on the club’s main dance floor.  Both mixes are excellent although I marginally prefer disk 1 as being a bit more nuanced.

If you enjoy dance music and are looking for an eclectic mix that avoids the samey-samey sound of too many DJ mixes, Howell’s Miami: Global Underground #27 is a good bet.

If you like this mix you might also enjoy Howells’ Renaissance The Mix Collection.

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03/22/2010 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] I reviewed Howells Miami mix for Global Underground earlier, his Renaissance The Mix Collection was the one I tuned in to first.  Howells is usually […]

    Pingback by Review: Danny Howells, Renaissance The Mix Collection « Tuned In To Music | 06/15/2010 | Reply


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