Two Hearts Beat as One
The Thrive and Renaissance labels have been branding DJ mixes with “Renaissance Presents” off and on since 1998. An extra word indicates a newly planned series-within-a-series: Renaissance Presents Frontiers, comparing and contrasting full mixes by two different DJs. The first installment puts Liverpool’s Yousef head to head against San Francisco’s Behrouz.Yousef’s terminally funky mix cooks with the cut-up jazz of No Assembly Firm’s “No Future in Your Frontin'” and Switch’s “Just Bounce 2 This.” There’s tension and whomp aplenty from the likes of Johnny Fiasco’s “Hallucinator.” Yousef really impresses, however, by dropping the needle on off-kilter house that includes everything from male spoken-word vocals to atonal synth riffs. His track with Nic Fanciulli, “I’m No Good,” is a microcosm of the disc as a whole, with curious sounds popping up like Whack-a-Moles — raising eyebrows along with heart rates.
Behrouz opens disc two with “For the Time Being” from Phonique and Erland Oye. By the time he reaches the last third of the disc — starting with a remix of Penn & Chus’ “Esperanza” — the set is so deep and dark it just about skims the ocean floor. In between, he adds weight to Tone Depth’s “Everything” with an a capella track, incorporates tribal drum pounding from Jaimy’s “Touch It,” even flirts with old-school electro on the Youngsters’ “Confidential Music.”
Yes, Behrouz alone gets to use the sample “this is true house music” in his set. Nevertheless, starved for a mix that stands out from the pack, fans of either his moody style or Yousef’s more laid-back sounds will happily pay the two-disc price of admission for Renaissance Presents Frontiers.