Various Artists – Carl Cox: Global

Carl Cox is associated with the delivery of quality performances and recordings at the harder end of the scale in dance music. Over the last couple of years Mr Cox has travelled the world, contributing to the title of his latest release ‘Global’. The last couple of years has also seen the emergence, acceptance and integration of electro as a mainstream genre. In some respects, electro is at other end of the scale from techno, so it is interesting to see how this influenced his latest release.

The CD is a double compilation and arguably could be considered as an electro/house mix on disk 1 and a harder house or tech for disk 2. According to the inside sleeve, the tracks chosen for selection were the ones that “gain the best reactions on the floor.” For the first CD – the track selection is good, the songs in their own right quite funky and well selected, but as an overall piece I wasn’t engaged. It was not something that made me want to move. My favourite tracks on the first CD are the quirky ‘Wet Mango’ (Pott Art), ‘Heaven; (Pedro Gonzales) and the last track ‘M’ (Milton Jackson). ‘M’ in particular is a great teaser for what comes on the second CD.

For me, the second CD is where it all begins – as Carl Cox is touring around the country this NYE/NYD, this is what the fans will be wanting to hear to give them the energy to get back on the dance floor. Listening to it now, I can’t wait. CD 2 is definitely more tech, more tribal, even verging on a trance feel – that kind of energy and dance floor vibe you tended to get on trance compilations three or four years ago. Having seen Carl in the Boiler Room at the Big Day Out – this is what I remember him for, and this is what I believe he is best at. His ability to capture rhythm and relentless energy.

From the first track ‘Stimulate’ (Terry Numan), followed by ‘Tribal’ (Dani Koenig) and ‘100%’ (Kult Krimeria), the CD states its intentions to get you moving. These are definitely songs that would get a positive dance floor reaction. By time you get to ‘The Time is Now’ (Lee Coombs and Paranoid Jack) it’s old school, little fish, big fish, make the box, jaw clenching smiles all over. ‘Rhythm Search’ is relentless – I love it.

The best way to approach this compilation is to consider it as a two-piece set or 2 hour performance… easing in with the first disk, really delivering the energy, excitement and hands in the air vibe with the second. In my mind, the second CD is all over the first. But that’s me and my taste. Whilst I am not an electro fan, it’s fair to say that the balance of these two CDs delivers a good listening experience and demonstrates the skills of one of the world’s best DJs.

Definitely a worthwhile acquisition for any dance music fans collection and if an indication of what to expect this summer, something to look forward to.