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Crazy As FSUK

Bentley Rhythym Ace
(Ministry Of Sound Recordings)

I'll tell you right off that bat that if you want to spring for this 2CD mix release from some of these two completely off-their-rocker fellows, it's probably going to be a bit hard to find and it will also probably cost you a pretty penny. I will follow up that statement, however, by saying that in all my years of buying mix disc releases this is probably one of the best (if not the best) one that I own. I've admitted before tons of times in different reviews that I don't think mix discs are creative enough and while sometimes they work well, I think that most DJs simply don't take enough chances with what they're doing. True, mixes like Liam Howletts (of the Prodigy) Dirtchamber Volume 1 are going to be different than something like DJ Skribble's Essential Dance 2000, but I think that if someone is going to take the time to put something down on CD, it had better be primo.

If you've heard the debut album by Bentley Rhythm Ace (the excellent big beat freakout of Album USA), you may have a really rough idea of where things would go with a mix disc that the pair conceived, but even then I don't think that you could get anywhere near the wacky crap that they pull over the course of the 130 minutes here. Not only do they mix everything from Jefferson Airplane and Buffalo Springfield to Mad Cobra, Fatboy Slim, and Herbie Hancock, but they manage to make it all super duper fun in the process and keep things hopping and fresh at nearly all times. Given that the full name of the release is actually Future Sound of the United Kingdom, it's funny that the duo so often goes to the past in order to pull their stylings, but it actually works quite well.

Just as a rough example of the widespread crazy-ness, let me run through the first 6 songs on the second disc. After starting out with the spy-theme sounding "Kinky" by John Barry and His Orchestra, the group drops "Soul Finger" by the Bar Kays (you'll have heard it before if you're seen Spies Like Us, as it's the track that the Russian scientists dance to by the missile). After that 70's hand waver is over, they mix into the instrumental scratch fest of Jurassic 5's "Lesson 6: The Lecture" before they drop the absolutely slammin' "Rola" by Fuzz Townshend. It doesn't end there, though, as the following track is a loopy remix of "Mr. Hardcore" by Mad Cobra before the duo includes their only track on the two discs with "Madam Your Carriage Awaits." It's a mid-tempo number with plenty of swirling sounds and a nice low-end, and it slides in nicely. The next track is "Here Comes The Judge" by Pigmeat Markham's and by the time it rolls around, you may be on the floor laughing.

And that's the fun of the disc. While it's not meant for slamming the dancefloor all night long, it will definitely inspire some dancing and even more than that a load of laughs. Ideally, I'd say to go out and buy the mix without even looking at the rest of the track order and artists involved, then just give it a completely fresh listen and go with things on the fly. At any rate, by the time the 130 minutes is done, you'll have been around the world musically and had a touch of nostalgia at the same time.

There's just about damn near everything thrown into the mix. You've got your reggae, electro, 70's rock, disco, drum and bass, jungle, big beat, techno, soul, funk, rap, jazz, orchestral, and even cheesy pop. It's all stirred-up and given the crazy treatment, but damn if it isn't a whole hell of a lot of fun. Not only that, but with 44 tracks that run over the course of 2 discs, nothing stays on too long and if you don't like one thing, chances are things will change up quickly and you'll soon be on to something that grooves your noodle. It's still a mix rather than actual original music by the group, but mix discs don't get much more original than this.

Rating: 8.5