Various Artists
Ben Sims - Escapism

By Andy Rantzen

 
Well, how exactly do you review a DJ compilation? It’s a real puzzle. This sounds like it would’ve been a good night out at some British techno club or other. The CD kicks off with the classical rap-braggadocio-over-menacing-soundscape tactic and then kicks into some high quality hard, funky, loop-based techno.

All the big names are here – Jeff Mills, Surgeon, Paul Mac, Kirk Degiogio, James Ruskin, Steve Bicknell and Ben Sims himself, each appearing for two or three minutes in smooth linear succession. There is that stellar track by Octave One, Blackwater, brimming with joy and excitement, and of course a banquet of heads-down baldy boy techno from Europe and the UK. Karl O’Connor, as Regis, is as alchemically conjunctive as ever – how he manages to project his personality so magically into such a looped medium as post-Millsian techno is anyone’s guess.

This CD demonstrates Sims’ craft behind the decks – he gives it to the punters big time with skill, taste and showmanship. He’s a consummate techno DJ. As a listening experience at home, it’s like peering into a party from the outside, wishing you were inside.
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