- In the liner notes to DJ Shadow's classic Endtroducing, he gives thanks to James Brown for creating modern music. Not to suggest that the man behind a mysterious edit 12-inch from 2008 is attempting a similar sort of shout-out, but as his hour-long agog mix gets under way with the Godfather of Soul's "I feeeeel allllllriiiiight" echoing into the cosmos, one can't help but feel that they'll soon testify accordingly.
Justin Vandervolgen, the man responsible for said mix, came up through the dance-punk of twin acts !!! and OutHud and while neither act employs his services, he's kept busy with his own DJ sets and in a new project with another disco editor, Lee Douglas, TBD, which emphasizes the frazzled ecstatic rave end of the dance spectrum, to noisy and often exhausting effect. Vandervolgen excels at digging up disco nuggets, far from the pricey end of the spectrum. His previous Golf Channel 12-inch turned Chic's "Flash Back" (on their less-heralded Take It Off from 1981) into something dark and seedy, making a mantra out of "Make love and dance was all we'd do," while the more campy flip stretched out a forgotten early '80s single.
Much like another killer mix from one of New York City's finest, Eric "Dr. Dunks" Duncan's How We Do in NYC, Try to Find Me Vol. 2 revels in classic disco earmarks: fierce male exhortations on "Get to My Baby" and honeyed female growls for "Means it Much"; string section swoons that swish across the speakers; horn lines brighter than bathroom lights; heart-arresting four-fours. Where Dr. Dunks tightened his edits to a mesmeric (almost minimalistic) degree, Vandervolgen springs further outside those parameters (with a footnote that "no Ableton and no software plugins" were used).
By the time he's at "You Know That One Song That's All 'Boom Tss Boom Tss' with the Keyboard?" and "Uh Yeah, of Course......That One," Vandervolgen's launched into the outer spaces of techno and fallen back through the roof of house music and landed on the disco master bed. And it's not before long that he follows that trajectory back to the outer limits (a feat deployed most often by legends like François K). That harmonica lines and clarinets swoop into the mix (and purportedly, Ms. Bette Midler herself) somehow makes perfect sense. While slinky guitars, farting synths, and phased saxophone solos often get into such mixes, these more bizarre timbres stand out. And when yet another fluffy cloud string section floats in (around "Where To Begin") with guitar and synth close behind, you're high up in disco heaven, feeling alright.
01. Yo Cowboy
02. Get to My Baby
03. Means It Much
04. You Know That One Song That's All "Boom Tss Boom Tss" with the Keyboard?
05. Uh Yeah, Of Course...That One
07. All of It. Now Please. Thanks.
08. Change Ups
09. Better Middlands
10. Where to Begin
11. Hey Love
12. It'll Happen