- A new Global Underground concept focusing more on the DJ hardly sounds like revolutionary stuff; after all it was their legendary original series that first capitalized on the growth of the superstar DJ with front cover pictures and DJ-branded marketing. What is new with Global Underground DJ though, is Nic Fanciulli: A distinctly fresh face and intentional break from the old guard giants of prog.
Just like the rest of the GU catalogue, the first disc is much more interesting, tracing a multitude of sounds that supposedly—according to the press release—represent something of the influences and heroes of Fanciulli. It's fascinating, then, that the majority of the material is from 2008 with the inspiration seemingly embedded in producers of the pedigree of Rolando and Nick Holder and in a classical house sound, such as the Balearic piano sentiments of "Faces" or the enthralling tech warmth of "Love Never Sleeps." It is, in fact, the breadth of track selection that maintains the intrigue, utilizing the full array of enduring genre characteristics—an acid throb, a minimal bleep or some epic prog. Then, in Pangaea's "Router," containing the most haunted vocal you're ever likely to hear, disc one rounds off in meaningful style, albeit emphasizing that this is very much a collection of tracks rather than a smooth mix.
The second disc is Fanciulli in club mode, with fresher material—including two of his own—pushing the BPM counter harder and delivering his more customary sound. Rolando bares his Detroit soul for the opener "The Afterlife," after which the mix thumps into techy-minimal action and remains there throughout, only relenting slightly for Einzelkind's "AKA The Groove"—the track's title aptly elucidating what the mix misses in sufficient doses. Worse though, the inclusion of "Emissions," by Dubfire dulls the vibe; personally I've had enough of the "have you seen the size of my crescendo?" style the SCI+TEC boss pinched off Paul Ritch and has since imitated poorly.
With the digital proliferation of music, GU holds nowhere near the same influence it once did as pioneers of the dance compilations market. The inaugural edition of this new series almost reflects that. A decent overall effort from the type of DJ unlikely to polarize opinion, disc one alone makes this worth a listen; but another GU classic, it is not.
01. Nic Holder - Summertime
02. Metro Area - Nerves
03. Seth Troxler - Love Never Sleeps
04. Dubshape - Droplets
05. Pan-Pot feat. Vincenzo - Faces (Vincenzo Remix)
06. Raf 'n' Soul feat. Tony Marino - Man On The Prowl (Jesus Gonsev Deep Dub Remix)
07. Koljah - Antigua
08. Spencer Parker - The Beginning
09. Terry - Twi-Ces
10. John Daly - Voyager
11. Jamie Jones - Summertime
12. King Pin Cartel - Ghetto (Fanciulli & Mac Rework)
13. Nic Fanciulli & Steve Mac - 10
14. Rolando - Where Were You
15. Pangaea - Router
01. Rolando - The Afterlife
02. Photek - Glamourama
03. Chateau Flight - La Roquette
04. Nic Fanciulli - Green Tea
05. Reset Robot - Continue
06. Einzelkind - AKA The Groove
07. Baggy Bukadr & Tim Burka - Campus
08. Steve Mac - Smack
09. Dubfire - Emissions (Nic Fanciulli GU Mix)
10. Mark Broom - Rain Check
11. Chymera - Sumatra
12. Nic Fanciulli - Materia
13. Sebrok - Vision Kopie
14. Kenny Larkin - Cirque de Soul