Various – Trax Re-Edited review

In the wrong hands, this collection of contemporary reworks of classic Chicago house productions could have been a distasteful mess. Indeed, the last time a similar exercise was tried – for Justin Robertson’s Art Of Acid compilation back in 2008 – the results were largely disappointing (see the Plump DJs breaks version of “Acid Tracks”).

Trax Re-Edited, thankfully, is in the right hands. Overseen from concept to delivery by the men behind the DJHistory.com website, it has the feel of a labour of love rather than a needless cash-in. You get the impression that everyone involved – particularly the vast army of producers and re-editors who’ve contributed – was acutely aware of the need to balance respect for the source material with a desire to satisfy the needs of contemporary dancefloors.

Of course, some re-edits are more successful than others. Justin Harris and Bubba & T-Bone offer relatively cosmetic tweaks on their versions of stone-cold classics “You Used To Hold Me” and “Baby Wants To Ride” (both, though, offer improved sound on the badly mastered originals). On the other side of the divide, Kink completely remakes Jack Frost’s “Clap Me”, offering up a breathless acid wig-out aimed squarely at peaktime floors. When it drops, madness will ensue.

With the quality threshold high throughout, picking individual highlights is tough. Hotel Motel’s strung-out version of Frankie Knuckles’ “It’s A Cold Cold World” is a late night delight, while JD Twitch’s pumping, peaktime take on Mr Lee’s rather silly “Pump Up Chicago” is worthy of repeat spins. Look out, too, for impeccable acid rinse-outs from Andy Blake, Leftside Wobble (whose version of “Face It” by Master C&J is a tracky bomb), Disco Bloodbath, Neville Watson and Chris Duckenfield.

Matt Anniss