I:Cube – “M” Megamix review

I:Cube -
Artist
I:Cube
Title
"M" Megamix
Label
Versatile
Format
2xLP, CD
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Ah yes, the dance music album. Always a sticky matter for those who care, from collections of singles to experimental indulgence, there’s a certain amount of trepidation that accompanies the notion of a culture based around singles and DJing attempting to branch out into the home-listening world. Of course this is all a gross over-exaggeration and there’s boundless examples of the cross-over achieving great things, but still that underlying uncertainty abounds and it brings us neatly to the new I:Cube album.

If there’s a man who shouldn’t be breaking a sweat over an album, it’s Nicolas Chaix. Either in his solo ventures or as one half of Chateau Flight, the man has issued many a long player. It’s in his favour that he has a broad, unpretentious musical remit upon which to draw, from sultry disco fodder to muscular tech-house. For this fifth I:Cube album, it certainly sounds as though he might have been getting a touch moist around the temples, albeit through physical exertion rather than nerves.

“M” Megamix is a rapid-fire collection of tracks woven together (there’s a clue in that title you know) which takes the manner of a live set. The idea is essentially to bring the dance music album back to its raison d’etre, the dancefloor. To keep things interesting, the tracks are whipped through with a wonderful irreverence, as cheeky radio interludes and impulsive switch-ups keep things from staying too formulaic.

Rather than some vision of a smooth, linear DJ set, this album instead takes the stance of creating pleasure through disorientation. Chaix is a master of alluring grooves, and he uses that gift to really mess with your head when he changes tack, as between the edgy bleeps of “Y.O.U.R.O.C.K.” and the light-hearted disco stomper “Get The Fever”. Those surprise moves keep you engaged through all 23 tracks of this joyous beast.

As mentioned before, Chaix’s lack of pretension is one of his greatest strengths; the I:Cube way is a direct and satisfying one. At no point is it cheesy or hackneyed, but it never tries to be too clever for its own good. With a live feel to match that immediacy, the “M” Megamix is a triumphant statement of what a dance music album should feel like. It might not be a comprehensive answer, but it certainly puts paid to all those “collection of singles” efforts out there.

Oli Warwick


Tracklisting:

1. Not Important
2. Bajo Bajo
3. Grotto
4. Your Brain
5. Transparent Sea Creatures
6. Transpiration
7. Zero Tastatur
8. In Alpha
9. Interludio
10. Y.O.U.R.O.C.K
11. Get The Fever
12. Cadence Iii
13. Jah Menta
14. Makossa Suspens
15. N’dololo X M
16. Magnetic Mambo
17. Omamo
18. Club Miniature
19. Le Rocher Aux Singes
20. Déflation
21. Popular Electronics
22. Too Old For This
23. Lucifer En Discothèque
24. Sh 50 Storm

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