No Forest, All Trees
Pinning down Velocity Code’s self-titled debut is an impossible task. It’s a “debut” that includes music from as far back as 2003; it’s a singles collection half stocked with new songs; it’s a bunch of studio tracks paired with a live mix. Simply put, you can’t listen to both discs straight through and expect something cohesive. These Southern California producers are better appreciated as guides in your neighborhood record shop, leading you on a successful dig through crates and crates of singles.Tracks 1 through 5 of the proper Velocity Code album are quick shots of vocal house, including the original guitar-drenched version of “Beautiful Outside” and Johanna Boberg’s anthem “Is As It Is.” The next three are essentially storming instrumentals: “Reality,” which re-uses elements from “Is As It Is;” “Bydz,” which along with “Reality” was a 2004 single; and “Stank Groove,” an excellent acid jazz anomaly. Three serviceable remixes that backed “Beautiful Outside” on vinyl close things out. The net effect is that of a DJ construction set, a group of songs that can contribute to a hot mix even if the whole tracklist doesn’t mix so well from beginning to end.
DJ Leggo engages in such a construction project on the energetic live companion Super Mix. Leggo fuses half of the album’s tracks to other material by Velocity Code and side project Velocity Pimp, most notably the proto-industrial edginess of “Mix Dark” and “Trickle Down.” With so many disparate yet quality songs, Velocity Code posits that you may not need to see the forest when all your trees are bonsais.