Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Hernan Cattaneo, Renaissance The Masters Series Part 13

Renaissance is one of the premier record labels devoted to dance mix collections and their two-disc Masters Series lies at or near the top of their catalog.  This is Hernan Cattaneo’s third mix in the Masters Series.  Depending on how much you like his mix style, this can be taken as evidence that Renaissance recognizes talent when they see it or that they’re stuck in a rut.

For my tastes this Cattaneo mix has both strengths and weaknesses.  The music holds to a solid midtempo groove virtually throughout which I find very pleasing.  It is very smoothly mixed with each track flowing effortlessly into the next giving each of the two discs a highly unified feel.  It is also very well recorded and comes across with great clarity in a well defined three dimensional space on a sound system capable of producing the music encoded on the CDs.

The collection’s weaknesses are related to some of its strengths.  Cattaneo’s refined, smooth mixing style combined with his tendency to latch onto a very steady groove tend to produce  a mix that shows little in the way of variance over the length of a CD.  This problem is exacerbated by the fact that many of the tunes he’s chosen for this mix have highly similar timbres and they tend to introduce change slowly while they focus on rhythm at the expense of melody or harmony.  The result is a mix that sounds pretty much the same no matter where you are in the set.  Any 10 minutes sounds very good but every 10 minutes sounds more or less like every other 10 minutes.  Each of the two discs increases in intensity over its length but its a slow and steady business.  I tend to put it on when I want some deep background music that has a solid groove when I’m doing and thinking about something else.  If I want the music to be more upfront in whatever I’m doing I go elsewhere.

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03/27/2010 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews | , , ,

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