Review: Various Artists, Ministry of Sound The Annual 2010
Like many other label/club/brands Ministry of Sound puts out a yearly compilation of dance music. Unlike other dance music conglomerates they put out different versions of the Annual in different countries. I’ve seen UK, US, Australian and German versions. I’m guessing they are attempting to pitch each collection at what they perceive to be the differing tastes of dance music fans in each country. With that thought in mind I picked up the German version because I thought Germany’s preeminence in the world of electronic dance music ought to result in a compilation aimed at a knowledgeable and discerning audience. In other words, I expected the German Annual to be the most interesting of the three. It is also three CDs while the others I saw are two.
The discs are mixed but little real thought or effort has gone into sequencing. It’s basically just one beat-matched song after another without a break between tracks. If you know someone who thinks big-name DJ mix CDs are just some guy playing a bunch of songs, play your favorite DJ mix CD for them and then any of the three discs in the German Annual. The contribution of a good DJ should be obvious pretty quickly.
If this is Ministry of Sound’s idea of the kind of music their most sophisticated audience is tuned in to, I think I’d best avoid the compilations from other countries. The German version of the Annual is basically three discs of bangin’ club music with a fairly strong emphasis on vocal content. Much of it is cliche-ridden and fairly unimaginative. One the one hand, with three discs there’s a lot of music here. On the other hand, it gets old fast and you’ve still got the rest of disc 1 plus all of discs 2 and 3 to go.
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