Album Reviews

Various – The Trip Created By Joey Negro

(Family) UK release date: 13 March 2006

One of the great things about a series like TheTrip is its ability to show another side of thecompiling artist, tunes they might listen to when notdoing the day job, so to speak.

When that artist hasas many personalities as Dave Lee, you’re on to awinner, and choosing the Joey Negro moniker for thisrelease would seem to indicate a leaning towards thedancefloor rather than a sleepy bedroom. The truth isthat everyone’s catered for here, as the pair of mixesdraws in music from the big screen, the club, thecoffee bar, pretty much every aspect of everyday musicmaking you can think of.

All very promising, then, and though it soundsobvious the fact Lee is a DJ makes it a lot easier forhim to pull things together smoothly without beingwrenched cruelly from one style of music to another.This means it’s OK to have themes from 007 and TheAvengers running into The Divine Comedy‘sexuberant National Express, those lyrics still assharp as ever.

It’s also not a problem for a guiltypleasure like Christopher Cross‘s Ride Like TheWind and Jan Hammer‘s Don’t You Know to berubbing shoulders with the ultra cool minimal New Yorkhouse of Metro Area. Add DustySpringfield and the B-52s and you have acosmopolitan first mix with something for everyone,and, crucially, something new for everyone.

A second mix in the same vein would be hard to pulloff, so Lee opts for a lightly funky, soulfulexperience. Again this can be taken loosely at times,as Jethro Tull makes an early appearance, butthere are several magical moments of effortless class,the pick of which occurs when Kool And TheGang‘s Whisper Softly moves after a natural pauseinto the warm, soulful groove of RashannPatterson.

After more magical soul from ErykahBadu the DJ rightly assumes we might be ready forbed, and curls up with Glenn Miller‘ssoftly-softly Moonlight Serenade chosen as the hotwater bottle.

And so Joey Negro’s musical background becomesclearer, with pretty much every decade from the lastseventy years covered and little allusion to the vocalhouse music in which he specialises. Sure, there may bemany compilations of this type around, but few carryoff the formula as well as this one, particularly whenthat someone has such a multi-faceted personality. Arewarding trip then, with plenty of eye-catchingscenery to enjoy.

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