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Toolroom Knights Vol 1: Mixed By Martijn Ten Velden & Paul Harris
by translucent: 05-29-2007

Toolroom Knights Vol 1, a two-disc compilation named after DJ/Producer Mark Knight's Toolroom Records brings a taste of the roving Toolroom party to the masses. Having held a number of successful events at various European clubs, Toolroom takes their music across the pond with the volume knob cranked to eleven. The first of the two disc compilation is mixed by Martijn Ten Velden. Martijn, a Haarlem native found early success as a hip-hop DJ (that's Haarlem, Holland, by the way, not NYC). Having eventually switched to house music, he brought a noticeable amount of the funk and rhythm of his roots to his EDM work.  The first standout track of the disc is Martijn's remix of "Blow That Door." It has just the right amount of funkiness, with just enough cheesiness to make it tasty without pushing it over the edge into Puntersville. Spektre's "Neon Drif" follows directly after, with its haunting, undulating synth line fading into the distance. The next standout is M.A.N.D.Y.'s remix of Tiefshwarz's "Damage," featuring vocals by Tracey Thorn. While by now, this track had gotten quite popular, every time I hear it, Tracey's melancholy voice juxtaposed with the cacophony of horns sends shivers down my spine. The Hook & Sling remix of Martijn's "I Wish You Would" snaps things back into a bit of a more upbeat mood from there nicely, although that track is a bit too commercial-sounding for my tastes. While the remaining tracks don't particularly resonate, they do close out the disc smoothly.

Disc Two, mixed by Grammy Award winner Paul Harris, of Dirty Vegas fame takes over right where Martijn Ten Velden left Disc One. While Harris has a bit of trouble keeping even momentum at the beginning of his disc, he eventually settles into a proper groove with the soulful-tinged Muzzaik remix of "Nobody But You" (not to be confused with that PvD tripe "Nothing But You"). From there, Paul gets feet tapping and heads bopping with the catchy Tom Neville remix of Dave Spoon's "This Machine." After a bunch in between, the next track that grabs you is the filthy Tom Neville remix of Spektrum's "Don't Be Shy."  The Rene Amesz remix of Lexicon Avenue's "That Acid Track" eventually pops up. Great track but honestly, It probably would have fit better at the beginning of the disc. The Cagedbaby version of NUfrequency's "Love Sick" follows. Another great track that might work well enough with the previous Lexicon Ave remix, but by now throws the momentum of the disc completely off-kilter. While many artists choose to wind down the tempo of their compilation towards the end in order to wind down properly, Paul does it a bit too abruptly just after finally managing to build up the energy properly after the first several tracks in his mix. The finale, Danny Howells’ remix of Bent’s “Waiting For You” is completely out of place on this disc. Overall, I can’t say I disliked Paul Harris’ Disc Two. It’s not a bad CD, flow issues aside. However, it definitely could have been much better.

-Ruben-

TRACKLIST:

CD1 - Mixed by Martijn Ten Velden
1. Martijn ten Velden - Intro (I Wish You Would)
2. Laura Kidd - Automatic
3. Splitter - All Alone
4. Cyro - Score A Million
The Hedgetrimerz - Put Ya Hands Together (Acappella)
5. WVP Pres Fresh & Juicy - Blow That Door (Martijn ten Velden Remix)
6. Spektre - Neon Drift
The Hedgetrmerz - Do You Feel It (Acappella)
7. NUfrequency Feat Plavka - Love Sick (Tom Novy's NUNUfrequency Remix)
8. Tiefschwarz Feat Tracey Thorn - Damage (M.A.N.D.Y. Remix)
9. Martijn ten Velden - I Wish You Would (Hook & Sling Remix)
10. Fine Taste - More Grey Than Blue
11. Justin Martin - Cicada (Claude VonStroke 17 Year Mix)
12. Martijn ten Velden & Lucien Foort - Bassification (Album Mix)

CD2 - Mixed by Paul Harris
1. Superbass - Don’t Be Silent (Audiofly Remix)
2. Audiofly & Paul Harris - Miscalate (Partial Arts Remake)
3. Ny-lon Feat Kate Smith - When You Love Someone (Lifelike Mix)
4. DJ Dove Pres. Ms. Lady Life - Nobody But You (Muzzaik Remix)
5. Dave Spoon Feat Penny Foster - This Machine (Tom Neville Remix)
6. Major Boy’s - Pan America
7. ATFC - Life ( Lil Mo Life Mix)
8. Wally Lopez, Rene Amesz & Peter Gelderblom - Strike Me Down (Henrik B Remix)
9. Spektrum - Don’t Be Shy (Tom Neville Remix)
10. The Factory - Couldn’t Love You More (Shlomi Aber Remix)
11. Lexicon Avenue - That Acid Track (Rene Amesz Remix)
12. NUfrequency Feat Plavka- Love Sick (Cagedbaby Babymix)
13. Bent - Waiting For You (Danny Howells Remix)

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