You Call This Fine Art?
One of these days the ghost of Scott Stapp will once again haunt us, with some group of disgruntled music fans suing an artist for a performance under bad circumstances or false pretenses. Chicago DJ Press may well be on the short list for such litigation, as his debut EP bears the title The Fine Art of a White Label, yet it’s painfully clear he’s nowhere near mastering said art.The problem starts with the term “white label,” which brings with it certain connotations of content. These bleeding-edge vinyl recordings are the secret ingredients of club nights, long strands of musical DNA threaded through house, trance, hardcore, jungle and other relatively straightforward rhythms. Press gets off on the wrong foot immediately, with The Fine Art of a White Label being a CD release with individual tracks far too short to pique interest or pack a floor.
It’s Press’ sound sources, many seeming about 10 to 15 years behind the times, that send things permanently downhill. Opening track “Bazaar” detunes a synth riff similar to one from “Dark & Long,” opening track from Underworld’s legendary Dubnobasswithmyheadman. “Musical User Interface” and “1,000 Tiny Footprints” crumple up the once-groundbreaking acid house of 808 State into tracks too muted and clunky to be considered music for the masses.
Songs like “Over the Moon” and “Still” admirably reach into the realm of rhythmic noise inhabited by the likes of This Morn’ Omnia, but that limits their appeal to your local industrial club nights. Come closing time, Press’ dance tracks don’t really inspire much dancing, and that’s downright criminal.