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LEADING PLAYER  
10/10/2002 - UK press
One can only assume that when they released "Wildstyle" in Continental Europe, it had been remade by Kryzstof Kielowoski into an arthouse epic with a jazz score and no subtitles. How else to explain the European predilection for instrumental hip hop that focuses on cinematic samples and the expense of the beats that make hip hop breathe? And like a lot of arthouse cinema, you can walk out halfway through, have a fag and a cup of tea, and return safe in the knowledge that nothing will have happened.
Paul Clarke

Vienna"s DJ DSL has obviously seen that version if the widescreen soundtrack stylings of "#1" are any indication, but the gritty street-level beats suggest he"s also got a pirated copy of the original under his bed.

"#1" contains the kind of crisp and springy rhythms DJ Premier would be proud to call his own, intertwined with smokey soul so thick it"s like getting a blowback from the opium-smoking caterpillar in "Alice In Wonderland". It"s also another triumph from the long-dormant G-Stone after the excellent Stereotyp LP, and whilst they haven"t woken up enough to get the long-promised Kruder and Dorfmeister album out there - we"re waiting, gentlemen - DJ DSL will reaffirm their position at the pinnacle of downtempo.

Like "The K&D; Sessions", "#1" is more a collection of remixes, collaborations and reworkings than an album proper. But the comparisons to his label bosses don"t end there because DSL is also a master of understated textures, which build into proper musical panoramas rather than hazy sketches. There"s also the fact that he"s really, really good - and that, as with Kruder and Dorfmeister, your enjoyment of his dextrous beats and blissful melodies will increase exponentially with dope consumption...

Approaching hip hop with the loops and beats mentality of Pete Rock rather than the showy studio trickery mindset of Dr Dre means tunes like "Happy Bear" offer simple pleasures rather than shocks to the system. But once you sink into their inviting folds of jazzy melodies and lazy scratching they just won"t let you go.

The beats on "Neu, 6 Min." should be strong enough to win over beanie-hatted purists, but if there are still any doubters, Kool Keith appears to give the "real" stamp of hip hop approval on "Let Me Talk To You". His rap swings from the ludicrous to the lascivious - he wants to "drink cups of tea" before "getting your juices flowing" girls - but DSL"s rhythms are the real deal draw here, amazingly funky and intricate and wrapped in Gallic femme moans hornier than Emmanuelle Beart"s pillow-talk.

The gentle guitar on "Liebeslied" is similarly sensual, whilst the grinding dub bassline of "I L.O.V.E. You" also arouses groin-level stirrings. It"s certainly a sexier take on hip hop than the crotch-grabbing groaning, laughable machismo and silicon-enhanced honeys favoured by the empty-headed "playas" of US rap. The power of suggestion is the most erotic of all.

created: 10/10/2002 by webmaster

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