John Acquaviva - Acquaholic Vol. 1

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  • Munich label Great Stuff give John Acquaviva the chance to compliment his weekly Aquaholic residency at Privilege, Ibiza with a mix CD branded after the night. Acquaviva is an old hand: he founded Plus 8 with Richie Hawtin in 1989, sowing the seeds for a DJ and production career spanning many years, not to mention an influential role in developing Final Scratch and Beatport.com. Last year the Canadian had a prolific year production-wise, teaming up with Tobias Lutzenkirchen and Ramon Zenker to send clubbers, in particular the Germans and Italians, crazy with their credit cards on the download sites. But enough of the history lesson - I was curious to hear this mix, subtitled the 'True Electro Experience', to see where it's at for Aquaviva these days. Lets not beat about the bush here, this CD is a big night out crammed into 75 minutes. Mike Monday's dub of Whirlpool Productions' 'Disco to Disco' is a rapid-rinse intro, before Acquaviva himself pops up on the tracklist, shifting from disco to house with the click of a mouse on ‘No Fear’ and ‘Feeback’ - two big club smashes which have appeared ad nauseam on recent setlists from Sharam (Deep Dish) to Coxy to Romboy. Eyerer and Chopstick’s 'Electric' is pretty much more of the same - aquaholics might drink this up, but will it tempt non-believers? Fairly obvious stuff I would have thought, but then Acquaviva has set his stall out here and there's no room for slow-builders or abstract rambles. Still, some dodgy moments from Oliver Huntemann and Jon Kennedy draw cringes, with Tasha’s vocal on 'Sermon of Jack' grating in particular. And if you thought you hadn't heard that wobbly synth from Mason enough already this year, well then look no further. Even Umek seems to be on the electro bandwagon here (as if there's any more room left, what with half of Europe in tow), and by the time we get to D-Nox and Groove Dust to finish, the terms 'big-room', 'flogging' and 'dead horse' come to mind. A lot has changed since the heady times circa Acquaviva and Hawtin's ‘X-mix’. This straight-up club mix suggests John isn't interested in exploring new turf – the sound of ‘Privilege’ isn't a huge leap from his 'Back to Basics' effort in 2004. This is club music for havin’ it large, as they say, or for getting it on "in your car", as Xenia intimates in her slightly bored voice - maybe she too lost interest and fell asleep at some point.