Saeed Younan: Saeed Younan Re-Mixed
Star 69

Let's not mince words: if Saeed Younan's relentlessly pumping mix is about anything, it's about one thing: S-E-X. A seamless blend of house, techno, and percussive grooves, his 76-minute album drips with primal energy (orgasmic for that matter during “Go Deeper”). The deep tribal strain in his minimal sound might perhaps be traced to the variety of ethnic music the Washington DC native absorbed while growing up (a dimension that surfaces most conspicuously in DJ Wady's massive jungle stomper “Mazka”).

The skeletal dubbed-out groove of Patrocinio Beltran's slithering pumper “Too Far” sets the mood at the start, with the jubilant vibe carrying on into jacking tracks like Ariel G's “Behold Malfunction” (which kickstarts its groove throughout with a one-bar drum break) and Krypz's “I Love the Bass.” A shame, though, that vocals appear on so many cuts (like Suzanne Palmer's “Sound of the Drum,” BPT's “Moody,” Celeda's “The Underground,” and a voiceover in C&M Production's “True House”); aside from being largely superfluous (not to mention a progressive house cliché), they only obscure the churning throb Younan broils throughout (it's worth noting, however, that he generated entire new tracks to accompany the original vocals). Having said that, certain vocal tracks do impress, like “Go Deeper” (where a biting female voice repeatedly spits over an irresistible driving tribal pulse) and Sumantri's dubbed-out groover “How Does it Feel.” Vocals work best when they're presented minimally, as on Younan's own “Rock the Rhythm” where his funkily fragmented recitation of the song's title works well for being so subtle.

December 2005