Three: Hallucienda
System Recordings

New York-based DJ/producer Three takes an encompassing trip on Hallucienda, a fantastic 75-minute mix featuring rare and unreleased tracks (eight of the twelve cuts) from his celebrated Hallucination Limited imprint (though Florida-based Hallucination recently celebrated its 10th year, its Hallucination Limited offshoot has existed since 2003). Rather than package the material as a straightforward label retrospective, Three smartly packages the tracks into a superb live DJ mix.

The set opens with the gradually awakening strut of Aphasia's “Say Hello,” its cavalcade of whirrs and voices invigorated by a subtly aggressive bass figure, followed by the roiling stomp of Rabbit In The Moon's wicked “Timebomb (Original Mix)” and the clanking beats and acidy spirals of Sycophant Slags' ominous “Dharma Fields.” Donning his Reverse Commuter guise, Ken Gibson (aka [a]pendics.shuffle and Eight Frozen Modules) slathers Terryn Westbrook's yelps with funky squelch on the burbling romp “New York To Me.” Cool Berlin breezes blow through the bass-heavy groove of Bob Skies' “Proletariat” before Reverse Commuter returns with the deep machine-funk bruiser “Southern Charge”; Gibson's behind the mic this time, an incessantly looped syllabic slice effecting a bridge into the warm house of Terry Francis & Ricardo's “Change” featuring vocal musings from Portugal's Ricardo. Little Mike's slamming raver “Back to Gravity” and Sean Q6's (Three's partner in Second-Hand Satellites) disco-funk pumper “Out in the Shed” are as incredible as they are relentless.

Irresistible moments? Try two: Sensitize's “History Is Not Shrinking (Mount Sims Rework)” opens with a slippery Italo vibe but then turns deeply funky with a female vocalist's cool interjections (“Tell me that you love me and you put yourself above me / You lie, lie, lie”), and Q-Burns Abstract Message's dreamy “This Time” (aided by the rework skills of Grumptronix) pairs slithering electro shimmy with Lisa Shaw's serene vocals. But singling out individual highlights seems a tad unfair when the quality level remains so high throughout. Hallucienda is an eclectic and maximal fusion of house, techno, acid, soul, and electronic funk that offers one nonstop pleasure after another.

September 2005