Magda: She's A Dancing Machine

With 71 cuts assembled into a 16-track, 78-minute mix, Magda's She's a Dancing Machine calls to mind Richie Hawtin's recent DE9/Transitions where the Minus captain likewise crammed a massive number of micro-edits into a 75-minute running time. But unlike Hawtin, Magdalena Chojnacka doesn't reduce the originals to fragments so minuscule in size they verge on unrecognizable; instead, she somehow manages to retain the individual pieces' identities despite the packed playlist. The disc essentially conjures the experience of an early-hours club set with Magda behind the decks. Though bits by Ricardo Villalobos (“Adgam”), Plastikman (“Slow Poke (Twilight Zone Edit),” “72”), Bruno Pronsato (“Wuorinen,” “Open Your Eyes”), Caro (“My Little Pony,” incorrectly credited to Pronsato on the sleeve) and Robert Babicz (“Battlestar”) surface, Magda largely keeps the spotlight on her Minus brethren (Marc Houle, Troy Pierce, Tractile, Niederflur, JPLS, I.A. Bericochea) while managing to squeeze in a handful of her own cuts (“Black Leather Wonder, ” “Oblivicleas,” “Staring Contest”), perhaps a not entirely surprising move given the Items & Things imprint she recently established with Houle and Pierce. True to her live sets, Magda keeps things on an even keel throughout, generally eschewing raucous extremes for a chilled and balanced flow of techno, acid, and minimal house that invites and rewards listening as much as grooving. There's no arguing the quality of the execution and the content but, frankly, I'd have been happier had Magda opted to issue a full album of her own material rather than a DJ mix, given that until now she's released only a single 12-inch under her own name to go along with numerous remixes and compilation contributions.

September 2006