Seb Fontaine

The mainstream media's coverage of youth movements generally demonstrates a staggering degree of ignorance, so it's no surprise that the press has consistently treated DJ culture like a new phenomenon, when it's anything but. As proof, consider that Seb Fontaine, among England's best-known (and just plain best) spinners, is actually a second- generation jock. His mother chose the platters at venues in Ibiza, off the coast of Spain, back in the '70s, during the period before Generalissimo Francisco Franco was seriously dead.

It's a stretch to say this heritage forms the backbone of Perfecto Presents; the two-CD set is an invitation to dance, not a history lesson. Still, the diversity of styles that Fontaine offers helps to keep the package from tumbling into redundancy like too many other attempts to capture nightlife on plastic.

Progressive house is the predominant flavor, but plenty goes on under its roof. Salt Pervert's "5 AM Soho," which starts the party, sports percolating rhythms that segue seamlessly into Shagrat's "India," a track on which Eastern melodicism gives the beats a timeless quality without causing the energy to flag. Later, Fontaine makes room for the beguiling nastiness of Andreas B's "Crazy Hardcore Bitch," the Afrika Bambaataa nod "Planet Rock/Funky Planet," by Powers That B vs. Roland Clarke, and the irresistibly funky Matrix vs. Goldtrix showdown "It's Love (Trippin)." Disc two showcases just as much versatility. Highlights include Aircrash Bureau's quirky yet propulsive "Don't Expect Me," Bjorn Mandry's industrious "Timefactor" and Didbaba's "Hold You," which comes complete with a choir of robotic angels who sound blissed out and ready for action.

Perfecto Presents doesn't revolutionize the mix-CD genre. Instead, it's the next link in a very long chain. Like mother, like son.

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Michael Roberts
Contact: Michael Roberts