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Album Review: DJ Marcelle – Another Nice Mess

There’s eclectic. And there’s just plain over-complicated. With her latest mix LP, DJ Marcelle hints at what’s to come with the long, slightly awkward title. An almost dizzying blend of styles that takes in everything from the African chimurenga stylings of Tonye et Son Groupe Wenawe to dubstep, high-octane accordion break-core and electronica, MMSAFSDL seems to delight in ticking as many boxes as musically possible in the space of 78 minutes.

At times, it’s a bit of an aural onslaught that owes as much to early 90s hardcore as it does to the dub DJ Marcelle is clearly influenced by, but there are moments of genuine surprise scattered throughout the mix as well. She’s a skilled selector and practician of the art, but you’re sometimes left with the feeling it’s all rather self-indulgent. Throwing in a liberal helping of sound effects such as clacking snooker balls, grunting warthogs and large aircraft taking off doesn’t help clear the waters either.

Having said that, you can’t fault some of the tunes she weaves together like some kind of crazed Persian rug. And she does try to make the effects marry up with the tracks so they at least sound like they make sense. Stand-out tracks include Sa’Bat Machines’ Sylvia, a skipping, shuffling, bass-laden gypsy infusion, the sublime closing track Philogrezs – Vie (Voiceless Edit) and the utterly madcap Guntest by Bong Selecta.

And there is much to marvel at in hearing DJ Marcelle draw together such diverse styles into the melée. In fact, it’s where she overlays two or more contrasting tracks together and they just seem to fit that the mix really comes into its own. Highlights of this are the beguiling Adam Kroll/Andreas vs d. Meden and Freidrich Shutter/FM Einheit and Imler medley, which melds techno, jazz and a haunting vocal into one seven-minute long bounce-fest, and  New York New York’s raucous Roger Wilson Said spliced with DJ Scotch Egg – Another Nice Mess.

Overall, it can be something of a challenge, but there’s enough here that works and makes it a genuinely rewarding listen.

Ben McCormick

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