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Electronic Music for the Masses

Deep Dish: Global Underground 21 - Moscow

By Eric Chemi

Staff Writer

Deep Dish, nominated for a Grammy last year for its remix of Madonna’s “Music,” and again this year for remixing Dido’s “Thank You,” recently released its own double-CD set in the twenty-first volume of the Global Underground series. Included on this album is the Dido remix, along with their remixes of songs by artists such as Fatboy Slim, Envy, Dino Lenny, and Manaca.

An upbeat selection of songs -- something similar to what a dance club would play -- is essential to this album. Most listeners do not require too much from electronic music, so that is why it is disappointing that Deep Dish fails to deliver on even this most basic of levels. Because this album includes Deep Dish remixes of songs from several music genres, one would expect the different tracks to contrast and complement each other. Instead, all the tracks mesh together into one long, continuous song. In addition to monotony, the album feels forced together, with pounding, thrashing bass and unnatural beats thrust upon the listener.

The only difference between the songs is whether or not a particular remix includes vocals or not. It’s nice to see that Deep Dish tried to present some form of variety, but the vocals rarely seem to add much to the quality of the song (Dido being the exception). The vocals, like much everything else, are arbitrarily placed amidst incongruous background music.

Deep Dish, which also owns its own record label, illustrates with this compilation its need to focus more on the corporate side of music. For most listeners of mainstream music, it’s hard to tell that Deep Dish could have done so much better, but this album is nevertheless a failure.

All Moscow has to offer is some decent beats here and there. One of the tracks earned a Grammy bid, but the album is, to put it simply, forgettable. Of 25 tracks, not one actually sticks out as distinct or high-quality. Some DJs here at MIT can do a better live job of mixing music from their dorm-room turntables than Deep Dish did on this album with their expensive equipment and extensive recording sessions.

Each track segues smoothly into the next. Without looking at the digital display on your stereo, it would take at least a minute to actually realize a new song had begun. Deep Dish probably spent too much time trying to organize the tracks for such tight segues, and it was a great misuse of their time, because everything else about the album is haphazard and dull.

I don’t know what else to say that would actually serve to give more insight on this album. Many people will consider the album a decent collection of electronic tracks, and that’s probably true. But for Deep Dish, or electronic music in general, Global Underground 21- Moscow is nothing special.