- Trax endures for all kinds of reasons—history, some great tunes, assiduous positioning on the part of the copyright owners while the contemporaneous DJ International has more or less disappeared—but one of the strongest is its sheer fucking weirdness. Does a normal person make a record like "Baby Wants to Ride" or "No Way Back" or "Acid Trax"? (I mean, 13 minutes of that?) Trax's personality was both campy and severe; its glory years were few, but the early stuff has a hungry, obsessive quality with few equals in any era of dance music.
Trax Re-Edited doesn't try to match that disruptiveness even a little: these edits are very 2011. That's both their making and undoing. Most of what's here is very streamlined, which is odd for music that was originally so uninhibited. Not for nothing is Justin Harris's version of Ralphi Rosario's "You Used to Hold Me" called the "Respectful Redo," with Harris updating the beats for Xaviera Gold's vocals to ride over—and that's one of the better tracks here. (Ditto the similarly reverent treatment of Jamie Principle's "Baby Wants to Ride," AKA the greatest Prince rip ever, by Bubba & T. Bone.) If the only way to accurately judge a remix is by whether or not you'd toss the original over the boat's side for it, only a couple things here come up trumps. The rest is merely solid, and sometimes stolid.
Ray Mang's take on Virgo 4's "Take Me Higher" sets a template many others follow, and which Mang transcends; it's a modern slow-build that eventually works up sparks. Many times, those sparks are spare in arriving—Hotel Motel's endless-circle 12-minute version of Frankie Knuckles' "It's a Cold Cold World" is Exhibit A. But sometimes the remixers imbue things with a bit more heat. The Toby Tobias and Hardway Bros. version of Adonis's "Rockin' Down the House" gives it some juicy disco flair, isolating suspended synth chords and freeze-framing them to mirror ball-like effect. Leo Zero turns Robert Owens' "Bring Down the Walls" right out, concentrating on a sublimely jackin' groove that Zero keeps twisting thanks to his endless filtering, interrupting, and bounding of Owens' central phrase ("Let 'em fall"). All that gimmickry, though, is exactly in the Trax spirit. On this compilation, that's a rarity.
01. Virgo 4 - Take Me Higher (Ray Mang Re-edit)
02. Farley "Jackmaster" Funk - Farley Knows House (PPF Jack For Daze Dub)
03. Frankie Knuckles - It's A Cold Cold World (Hotel Motel Re-edit)
04. Adonis - Rockin' Down The House (Toby Tobias & 06. Hardway Bros Re-edit)
05. Mr Fingers - Washing Machine (Swag's Ariston Re-edit)
06. Master C&J - Dub Love (Mark Broom Re-touch)
07. Ralphi Rosario - You Used To Hold Me (Justin Harris Respectful Redo)
08. Willie Wonka - What Is House (Andy Blake Re-edit)
09. Jack Frost - Clap Me (Kink Cover Version)
10. Jamie Principle - Waiting On My Angel (Leftside Wobble Re-edit)
01. Virgo - R U Hot Enough (R&R&S Re-edit)
02. Jamie Principle - Baby Wants To Ride (Bubba & T.Bone's Still Believing Re-edit)
03. Kevin Irving - Children Of The Night (Disco Bloodbath Re-edit)
04. Mr Fingers - Can You Feel It (John Daly Re-edit)
05. Mr Lee - Pump Up Chicago (JD Twitch Re-edit)
06. Pierre's Pfantasy Club - Fantasy Girl (Bleepfunk's Acid Sweatbox Remix)
07. Spanky - Acid Bass (Neville Watson Re-edit)
08. Ron Hardy - Sensation (Richard Sen Re-edit)
09. Robert Owens - Bring Down the Walls (Leo Zero Re-edit)
10. Adonis - No Way Back (Greg Wilson Re-edit)
11. Master C&J - Face It (Leftside Wobble Re-edit)