Ed Case : Ed’s Guest List

Guest laden super-slick album...

Oh, is this the way they say the future’s meant to feel? Or just 20 people standing in a field? The rumours of dance music’s demise haven’t been exaggerated. Liverpudlian businessmen can now rent Cream out as a conference centre (really loud PA included), dance magazines come with half a ton of ‘please buy me!’ free tat Sellotaped to them and down the student union, Strokes

haircuts are outselling Technics by two to one.

Bad times, then, for the superstar DJ hankering to add ‘recording artist’ to his CV. Last month, [a]Ed Case[/a]

zimmered over to the studio to ‘phone in ‘Bunkka’, a collection of watery trance. Next month, Sasha’s debut LP ‘drops’, 11 years after he started talking it up: that’s roughly one year for every person who’ll think “hmm… what my record collection’s really missing is some badly Xeroxed Vangelis”.

Luckily, DJ [a]Ed Case[/a] (not his real name) is one man who’s kept an eye on the charts as well as an ear to the dancefloor. It was his remix of ‘Clint Eastwood’ that filled a dreary tune with sunshine and saved Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz from extinction. Last year, his own track with Sweetie Irie, ‘Who?’, was a spanking garage-pop hit in a year crammed with spanking garage-pop hits.

On ‘Ed’s Guest List’, then, the point is that every song works as a single: it’s not an album inviting you on some interminable musical journey and leaving you dozing on the hard shoulder by track four. Each track has a vocalist, including hot UK garage totty Robbie Craig, Elizabeth Troy andSo Solid Crew’s Harvey. Ms Dynamite has her ragga hat on for the great ‘Deal With The Matter’ while things only go really wonky when Skin out of Skunk Anansie and Saffron out of Republica are allowed a turn: it sounds like a competition to find Britain’s most abrasive landlady.

As his remix ofDestiny’s Child’s ‘Bootylicious’ showed, [a][/a] is an impressive producer. This is an album full of super-slick effects, bouncy sub-bass and tight hi-hat action. The album falls down lyrically, where, Ms Dynamite’s track aside, [I]”my friends saw you yesterday/ with some girl in your Carbrolet”[/I] is pretty much where we’re at. But then people who still buy dance albums don’t buy them for the lyrics. Do they?

Johnny Davis