Bugged Out: Suck My Deck by Damian Lazarus

Ignore the woeful title and bask in the many pleasures of Crosstown Rebels head Damian Lazarus's high-energy, sweat-drenched contribution to the Bugged Out DJ series (Bugged Out began as a weekly Manchester party in 1994 with Bugged Out Recordings established in 2000 to document the club sound), starting with the majestic cyborg stomp of Break 3000's “Flash 1” and the Holden Remix of System 7's “Planet 7” and peaking seventy-four minutes later with Superpitcher's glorious mix of M83's “Don't Save Us>From the Flames.” Fresh pumpers from Pier Bucci (“Polaris”), Trentemoller (bleeping techno in “Physical Fraction”), and Phonique (a soulful I:Cube remix of “99 & A Half”) deepen the mix's strong Detroit-meets-Cologne flavour; Lazarus even includes “Love 303” by The Stranglers in a dubbed-out treatment that's less incongruous than one might expect. A few missteps occur—Freaks' “Tweakers” would fare better as an instrumental, and the jury's still out on whether the inclusion of Thomas Dolby's Bowie-flavoured bellow (“One of Our Submarines”) is either an inspired masterstroke or—for those of us still trying to recover from ‘80s material like “Hyperactive” and “She Blinded Me With Science”—a perverse lapse in taste (no such ambivalence applies to the splendidly percolating groove Ricardo Villalobos stokes beneath it, however). Notwithstanding a few questionable moments, Lazarus's set of largely underground gems maintains an oft-epic roar that rocks hard from start to finish.

July 2005