Paolo Mojo: Balance 009
EQ Recordings

Fabulous two-disc set from Paolo Mojo, the ninth in EQ Recordings' Balance DJ mix series. The coup de grâce is the eclectic track listing which encompasses electro, soul-jazz, house, acid, and much else besides; disc two is especially strong in this regard with cuts from Areal (Ada's cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah's “Maps”) and Ghostly (The Vanisher's “The Tic-Tac Tactic”) working their way in. Mojo also succeeds at holding interest for the set's duration—no easy feat at 150-plus minutes—by stretching the mix to its breaking point during the second half, moving from buoyant Italo-tinged electro and deep house to a blazing Robert Owens vocal segment (“I'll Be Your Friend”), then venturing into spacey psychedelia (Nathan Fake's “The Sky Is Pink (Icelandic Version)”) before mashing Dee Lite with Ada (underscoring an accelerated a cappella treatment of the former's “Good Beat” with “Maps,” itself given a Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas overhaul) and exiting with Sebastien Tellier's majestic “La Ritournelle.”

Also got to love the dispatch with which Mojo gets things moving on disc one. Slyly easing the listener in with Kayot's placid “One Night In Cuba,” the set immediately slams into gear with the deep bass-funk of Audiomontage's “Naughty Neighbour” and just keeps on rolling. Things take an early soul-jazz turn in Weekender's “Sunday Sessions” (whose bright legato guitar playing recalls George Benson's Breezin') and then gets really tight when Alex Kid's irresistibly funky “Pick It Up” drops. Timewriter's strutting “Lion Steps” and Sebastian Leger's remix of Inner City's “Say Something” impress too but then there's very little here that doesn't on this superbly grooving Balance installment.

June 2006