Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Nick Warren: Prague
Genre: Dance & Electronic
Double CD Set Mixed in Prague by Nick Warren.
Double CD Set Mixed in Prague by Nick Warren.
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The Not Unpleasant Roots of the Artist
LexAffection | Philadelphia, PA USA | 01/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nick Warren's first installment in the Global Underground series accomplishes two things: Firstly, it showcases Nick's talent for spinning and mixing what were, at the time (1997), popular tracks and making them his own. We see the results of these early endeavors on more current items like Reykjavik and Shanghai. The second thing that GU003 accomplishes is taking us back in time on a musical journey that would, by any other standards and especially artists, seem cheesy and dated.
I will admit that this release, to me, sounds dated and not matured. However, the extent to which it is dated is comfortable and classic, very much like Oakenfold's Tranceport. In fact, these discs remind me very much of Tranceport in all respects. Nick is able to quietly omit the cheese whilst simultaneously engulfing us in wicked beats and pounding bass. A very impressive feat, and a juxtaposition that we find later in Reykjavik, as the liner notes say "Nick is a master at combining the light and dark." The track selection, for its time, is superb; an avid trance fan may notice, however, that many of the songs appear in several hundred other mixes and compilations (Cafe Del Mar, anyone?) Somehow, Nick makes these cliched tracks his own and brings forth a sonic juggernaut from the past.
Of the GU's I own (and there are plenty), I feel most conflicted about reviewing this one. In one sense it is an instant classic due to the mixing, track selection pre-1999 boom that ushered in the era of "progressive trance", and the fact that its simply Nick Warren! On the other hand, though (and we must not disregard the other hand) there are flaws, inconsistencies and other techniques employed here which, by today's standards, simply don't measure up. For instance, there are so many cliched drum-roll crescendo's on these two discs. I realize that that was not necessarily frowned upon by the trance community back in the '90s (and this is certainly not a 'prog' album by any stretch of the imagination), but it makes listening to this recording a bit difficult at times. Another challenge to overcome is the second disc; for those of you familiar with Dave Seaman's Cape Town release, and who have recognized the odd/awkward placement of tracks and their transitions on the second disc, you will find the same type of arrangement here. On disc two, some of the selections simply dont make sense, or even if they do, just sound awkward and out of place during the transition. These flaws do not ruin the second disc, nor the entire release itself, but they do make me highly favor the 1st disc over the 2nd.
I will need to spin these discs many more times to come to a full appreciation of their merits, very much mirroring my experience with Renaissance: The Mix Collection. I was rewarded highly for my patience with that 3-disc mix, and from what I hear now, I expect to "come around" with regards to this album, too. It is definitely not a bad album, nor even a mediocre one(!) - if you have found yourself dusting off the ol' Tranceport or Seven Ways discs as-of-late, you will find yourself enjoying Warren's Prague very much. This release encapsulates a far-from-unpleasant journey into the roots of current "Progressive Trance" (think: Shanghai, Ibiza, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Buenos Aires), as well as of Nick Warren the artist. A quality release with some expected flaws which are easily overcome. This album will appreciate over time.
Nick Warren...Always a Step Ahead of the Times
CloudMan | Vancouver, BC | 02/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I will always be a little bias towards any compilation that Nick Warren attaches his name to. In my opinion he is the most talented DJ to mix electronica to date. Like most big name DJ's he does have his peculiar style, but unlike most, he is constantly evolving and progressing from set to set.
Global Underground 003:Prague is an outdated compilation for the most part, but is still enjoyable when taken in context that is was created over a decade ago.
LexAffection "LexAffection" provides a great review of GU 003:Prague which I mostly agree with. However, unlike this reviewer, my favored disc is the second and not the first.
Disc 1 is quite choppy and the track selection is fairly dismal, even for 1997.
Disc 2 is much tighter and holds fast to the original essence of a successful trance mix. Changes in tempo and beat. Many more tracks from disc 2 could potentially be slipped into a more recent trance set and go unnoticed than those offered in disc 1.
In summary...Disc 1 3/5 stars. Disc 2 4/5 stars.
Still it is amazing what Nick Warren did with this compilation considering what tracks were available to him at the time.
Be warned though, if you are new to electronica and were not into the "scene" prior to 2000, this album will probably not be appreciated."