James Ruskin – Point 2
It may never be understood why some techno producers put out artist albums. Every track on this CD rocks. Hard, tracky, get-yo-ass-in-front-of-the-speaker-type rock. A catchy loop, a burning hi-hat, and then -- wham! -- the kick drum comes in and we are out of the gates and on to techno heaven. Then as quickly as it begins, it's over. A two second break until the next track, and we're off again. That's a bit more roller coaster action then one may need. Techno like this just doesn't really work in an unmixed context. Most of Ruskin's peers, including Surgeon, Neil Landstrumm, and Christian Vogel, seem to recognize this caveat and taper their bang away instincts with elements of experimental sound or electro or even hip-hop. Save the really hard stuff for the 12" records. Ruskin makes a slim attempt to diversify towards the end, with "From the Edge" and "If (Loft Mix)" taking his customary loops into sub aqueous realms. But, by then, all but the most dedicated techno listener will most likely have given up on this CD, having been pummeled through the five incessant prior tracks. If you are DJ looking for a vinyl double-pack to slay the dancefloor, you can't really go wrong with any of Ruskin's work. But if you're holding this album in CD format, put it down gently and slowly back away. There is way too much bump in that little plastic case.